Welcome to the Wikibook of The Analects of Confucius.
This book is to help students gain a deeper understanding of Chinese writing, philosophy and thinking through exposure to the sayings and dialogues of Confucius. The Analects was one of the compulsory texts for Chinese students studying for the imperial examinations of ancient China. A student's ability to write Chinese essays can be rapidly improved through such exposure.
Structure of the Wikibook
The Analects is presented in two forms, namely, simplified Chinese and Chinese pinyin (transliteration). The original text was written in traditional Chinese, but is now rendered in simplified Chinese, as it is widely used today. The Chinese pinyin form helps in the pronunciation and understanding of the text. The original text did not include pinyin, and since Chinese is not a phonetic language (i.e. not based on an alphabet), there is no guide to pronunciation in the source text. (Incidentally, there is also no punctuation in the original text.) Even simple words can have various pronunciations, as well as different associated meanings. For example, the word 乐 can be read as yuè (which means "music") or lè (which means "happiness"). As many Chinese words sound alike, but are written differently with different meanings, homophones are used to evoke imagery or meanings that cannot be easily accessed otherwise.
Knowledge of some basic Chinese characters before starting this course is preferred. If you do not have some knowledge of basic Chinese, an online or offline dictionary will be helpful.
On the other hand, this book can help those who can speak but not write Chinese. The pinyin form is spoken Chinese, rendered in an accessible phonetic form. The pinyin form can therefore help one to learn how to read and write Chinese, if one is already familiar with the spoken word.
The Analects (traditional Chinese: 論語; simplified Chinese: 论语; pinyin: Lún Yǔ), also known as the Analects of Confucius, are a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held.
- http://librivox.org/lun-yu-or-analects-of-confucius-read-in-chinese/ (Audio archive in mp3 format)