三國 - Three Kingdoms

Discussion in 'Chinese Language' started by FrancoisTaipei, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Just curious if anyone here has read books (or series?) about the Three Kingdoms.
    Fun? Difficult? Exciting? Good material for learning Chinese?

    I am able to read normal books in Chinese but books about this topic seem incredibly difficult. There are a lot of Chinese characters that my Taiwanese friends couldn't read in 三國演義, however they could guess the meaning based on the radicals.
    In the end, they advised me to try to read this version https://www.kingstone.com.tw/book/book_page.asp?kmcode=2018570565834 which seem to be an easier version with diagrams and presentation of the important characters of the stories. Hopefully I won't give up half way!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
    Catherine von D. likes this.
  2. pdwalker

    pdwalker 榜眼

    I read a (bad) English translation years ago. Difficult with all the characters and relationships.
     
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  3. Shun

    Shun 状元

    I've read part of Shuihu Zhuan, a closely related work, also in English. Loved it, it's chock-full of adventure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
    Catherine von D. likes this.
  4. Is the text approachable for an HSK2-3 student? Or should I wait until . . . mastering HSK4?
     
  5. Hi Catherine,
    I would say that the Three Kingdoms is incredibly difficult to be read in Chinese, even for HSK 6.
    I have read the following books, with increasing difficulty (in my opinion) this year:

    九把刀 - 哈棒傳奇
    乙一 - 寂寞的頻率
    乾胡桃 - 愛的成人式
    藤井樹 - 貓空愛情故事
    他是玩真的!伊隆馬斯克 傳記
    馬雲的瘋狂創業心法
    我們如何走到今天?
    為了活下去
    小王子
    你不勇敢,沒人替你堅強
    七秒打動聽眾
    做自己的生命設計師

    And to me, the Three Kingdoms was an absolute blocker. I read two chapters and that was it, I realized there was no way for me to understand.
    Two reasons for that:
    - way too many characters, with Chinese names that I always had to look up in the dictionary before realizing this was a name. Then, you need to remember who is who to follow the story, but that's a lot to take in
    - usage of ancient words and things that are not taught at school.

    That said, nothing is impossible with time and a good dictionary.
     
    Catherine von D. likes this.
  6. Shun

    Shun 状元

    Well, what you need is knowledge of Old Chinese. But of course, there are translations into Modern Chinese, also for children. You should be able to find something that’s suitable for HSK4.
     
    Catherine von D. likes this.
  7. How naive of me . . . Of course . . . Yes, a children version, maybe in about a year. In the meantime, I should humbly stick with The Chairman Bao online, an excellent tool with a great variety of texts at many HSK levels. Thank you for your list and your kind reply!
     
  8. Old Chinese . . . Absolutely NOT my level. However, I noticed that I'm starting to mix Traditional and Simplified when I am reading, with not much strain yet.... not when I am writing, though. Thank you!
     
    Shun likes this.
  9. Complex adventures, I like that! Went to Youtube to see whether there could be a movie/video version, found this as a starting point:

    and

    where the Chinese/Vietnamese clip takes 3-1/2 minutes to introduce, one by one, the 100+ names, and their respective roles . . .
     
  10. Shun

    Shun 状元

    Agree, but I guess reading it will transport you into that world better. For $3.50 you can get a good English translation for Amazon Kindle. (by searching for „water margin“) That way you’ll know more when you tackle the Chinese version.
     
    Catherine von D. likes this.
  11. So, English translation first, an excellent idea . . . . It brings back memories of reading Absalom, Absalom (Faulkner) in French first, being utterly intimidated by the original English version. The French version made no sense, none. I then turned to the English version, and everything became crystal clear . . . Go figure . . . PS: I watched, about a year ago, the crazy 2014 movie "The Other Margin", a weird comedy supposed to spoof the Water Margin original story. A mess of a so-called comedy.
     
    Shun likes this.
  12. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    See if you can read this or not.
     

    Attached Files:

    Catherine von D. likes this.
  13. Yes, it is very clear, I can read each character. I recognize instantly maybe one in 6 or 7 . . . can string a few together, and I'm still not sure the meaning I know is the one that applies to the context . . . I'm not discouraged, though. Ten months ago, I could hardly read anything, and write nothing . . . thank you for your attached files!
     

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