October 6th, 2007

zhuge tenpou

I can has Rosetta Stone!

(Some day LOLcat will grow old- in a week or two- but for now...)

May I say a heartfelt thank you to the editors of Schaum's Outlines and one Claudia Ross, Ph.d? Their Chinese Grammar gives its sample sentences in both traditional and simplified hanzi. Both my other Learning Chinese books used simplified only, which are useless to Japanese-reading me. But with both forms together, *with* sample sentences, I not only have a fair chance of learning to read basic Chinese, I may finally be able to associate simplified hanzi with the kanji I know.

(And of course a straight grammar is more useful to me than any textbook that assumes you want to speak the language some day. Far more sentences that work *as* sentences, rather than taking me at length through the process of introducing oneself.)
zhuge tenpou

Of English gentlemen and Chinese mudmen

To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, the affair between Hatsu Akiko and Edwardian/ Meiji will live as one of the prettiest love stories in all literature. Have just finished her Chinese Bird, one in the 'Gorgeous England' series. How she does love her English aristocrats and country houses and hobble skirted ladies, and how charming they look through her 'never been to England can't stand to travel' lens. I mean that without irony. If a period and an artist were made for each other, it's those two. Edwardian England had its own unpleasant traits, but Hatsu-sensei's kind eye doesn't see them. And her gardens are softly green and her men are gentlemen and her women are ladies and love conquers all, just as it should. (And here are some useful Parker quotes at need.
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