The Chinese Languages
Light Green Marks Mandarin, Dark Green Marks Cantonese. Small red numbers are used to mark Mandarin Dialects and Fujian languages

Zhuangzi Dreaming Of A Butterfly - Lu Zhi

18-09-16 Weekly Links

Three Friends of the Winter - Zhao Mengjian

18-08-12 Weekly Links

From the Temple Complex in Confucius' Family Cemetery

18-08-05 Weekly Links

Yi Jing Translation Ratio

The Chinese tradition has interpreted the Yi Jing/I Ching in a number of different ways: as a fortune telling book, as a book on metaphysics, as a general guide for living your life. The first way is the most common in the west by a long shot.

Like a lot of Chinese books before the fourth century BCE, the Yi Jing writers placed a lot of value on eloquence, preferring to lightly imply things rather than state things outright, which is a translator's nightmare. The Yi Jing in particular has the worst source-to-target word ratio I have ever seen.

謙: 六二:鳴謙,貞吉。

Qian: The second SIX, divided, shows us humility that has made itself recognised. With firm correctness there will be good fortune. - 1/3


The trigram (representing) a mountain, and in the midst of it that (representing) heaven, form Da Xu. - 6/17


Xian indicates that, (on the fulfilment of the conditions implied in it), there will be free course and success. Its advantageousness will depend on the being firm and correct, (as) in marrying a young lady. There will be good fortune. - 7/40 or 0.175 Chinese words for every English word.

Xu Wei - Bamboo

Tributaries of the Yellow River
Click to Enlarge

The Wei River (渭河), and the lower part of the Yellow River (黄河) were the cradles of Chinese civilzation. The elevation on this map also hints at the importance of geography in early Chinese history.

By the by, if you zoom in you'll see a small river valley south of the Wei. That is the Han (汉/漢) river, and the origin of the name "Han" for ethnic Chinese people. Indirectly, it is where the words 'Hanzi' and 'Kanji' come from.