Aug 292011

Opening of "A Vat of Water"

A Vat of Water is a free iBook. The story is very brief, but, as the author notes, it makes a nice little exercise for students who have studied Chinese for about a year. The story is a traditional one about the calligrapher Wang Xizhi (王羲之 Wáng Xīzhī). For more on him, see Wikipedia and the links thereon.

The iBook includes interlinear pinyin and English; there is also a vocabulary list at the end. As you can see form the image below, the vocabulary list includes more than just simple glosses for the words, but also helpful information like the fact that  出名 chūmíng is essentially synonymous with 有名 yǒumíng, which students often learn earlier.

Personally, I don’t approve of interlinear pinyin except perhaps at the very earliest stages of study. It’s simply too easy to look at the pinyin, even when you’re trying not to. But that’s just my opinion. This is a nice, free offering to Chinese learners.

Glossary at the end of the book

The author, Lydia Lin, also maintains a website, called Learn Chinese Weekly, dedicated to helping people learn Chinese. At the website, you can find an audio file of the Chinese text of A Vat of Water (I wonder that it wasn’t short enough to have been included, making an enhanced iBook). There is also a link to the same book at Smashwords for those of you with other e-readers. iOS device owners can get it by clicking the button below.

A Vat of Water - Lydia Lin

Finally, here’s a copy of Wang Xizhi’s calligraphy, which seems rather timely, given that the last post was about vertical text. In the “sidebar” at the far right you can see the calligrapher’s name and the title of the work 快雪时晴 / 快雪時晴 kuài xuě shí qíng.


"Sunny after Snow" or "Timely Clearing after Snow"

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