Teach Yourself Chinese Language, Life, and Culture by Kenneth Wilkinson

By Kenneth Wilkinson

Educate your self Language, lifestyles, and tradition titles delve into the customs and methods in their featured international locations, taking a deferential but energetic perspective. issues comprise govt, arts, language, paintings, rest, schooling, fairs, and nutrients. each one name explains the position of language in shaping tradition and gives useful info for tourists. know about conventional chinese language medication, English fish and chips, the Welsh pink dragon, or even Christmas in Japan.

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Sample text

Daoism (MUt Daojiao) Otherwise known as 'Taoism'. ' Any attempt to describe Daoism betrays only the speaker's misunderstanding; in other words, the Dao is indescribable. Uo Zi %? The semi-mythical figure of Lao Zi (Lao Tzu or Laocius) is credited as the founder of this philosophy. Like Confucius, he lived around 500 bc. His name means 'Old Boy' because the legend has it that he was carried inside his pregnant mother for 80 years and was born with white hair! Some traditions have it that he met Confucius, but this is very uncertain.

He maintained that people should look to the past to learn the lessons of history. Only by 'continuing the past' was it possible to 'open up the future'. Thus he claimed that history, being of unparalleled importance, should command the most attention of any subject. Confucius insisted that caution precede any decision and that, generally, it was better to follow than initiate. Religious/spiritual Confucianism Underlying all Confucius' teachings was the concept of 'filial piety'. This is an elaborate expression for 'obedience to parents'.

This is because Chinese can be written in a variety of ways, the traditional way being vertically, in THE LANGUAGES OF CHINA 35 columns from top right to bottom left. Among overseas Chinese this is probably still the preferred method, but in mainland China, most writing is done horizontally (left to right) as in English. One reason for this is that modern Chinese writing often includes English words which have to be rotated 90 degrees and written sideways to fit into the traditional pattern! The traditional way also causes problems when writing scientific papers because equations could become very confusing!

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