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© 1997 by University ofHawai'i Press Reviews 279 3.For example, both die University ofHong Kong and the Chinese University ofHong Kong have produced their own ambitious series ofscholarlypublications that analyze Hong Kong in die final stages ofthe transition to Chinese sovereignty. 4.Steve Yui-sang Tsang, Democracy Shelved: Great Britain, China, and Attempts at Constitutional Reform in HongKong, 1945-1952 (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1988). 5.Lanxin Xiang, Recasting the Imperial Far East: Britain and America in China, 1945-1950 (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), p. 101. 6.The background to corruption in Hong Kong is given by H. J. Lethbridge, Hard Graft in Hong Kong: Scandal, Corruption, the ICAC (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1985). For an accessible review ofthe problems ofboth Hong Kong and China, see T. Wing Lo, Corruption andPolitics in HongKongand China (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1993). Paul U. Unschuld. Learn to Read Chinese. 2 volumes. Brookline, Massachusetts : Paradigm Books, 1994. Volume 1, ix, 444 pp. Paperback $30.00, isbn 0-912111-46-1. Volume 2, 427 pp. Paperback $30.00, isbn 0-912111-47-x. Many people wül be surprised to discover tiiat a textbook tided Learn to Read Chinese draws its material not from Tang poetry or Renmin ribao but from a specialized field luce Chinese medicine. The hiatus between fhe generality of the tide and the specificity of the content reflects the fact that since the 1960s, Chinese medicine has been fhe greatest focus ofpopular Western interest in China—ifwe discount wok-frying. Chinese-language textbooks hitherto have provided instruction mainly in the spoken language and to a lesser extent in classical Chinese, sadly neglecting the technical forms, in particular the technical language ofa major Chinese cultural export. Professor Paul U. Unschuld's Learn to Read Chinese complements his Introductory Readings in Classical Chinese Mediane, but is more suitable for those unfamiliar with Chinese medicine, for newcomers to the Chinese language, and for those with a more general interest in technical Chinese. The text is in two volumes. The first contains sixty-four Chinese medical texts in fhe modern simplified characters ofthe PRC, each with fuU pinyin transcription , English translation, and vocabulary lists. It can be tackled by any student who has a rudimentary knowledge of Chinese. The second volume is mostly taken up with selections from the texts highlighting sentence patterns for those unfamüiar wifh Chinese grammar. This format is ideaUy suited to fhe presentation of a language fhat, having no declensions and conjugations, relies whoUy on syntax to express grammatical relationships. This grammar section is foUowed by analyses ofcommonly used characters showing the direction and order in which 28o China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 the component strokes are written, fhus serving the needs ofthe student who is completely unfamüiar with the Chinese script. The two volumes together are, as the author says himself, suited to beginners as well as to those who have an advanced mastery oflay Chinese. For the student wishing to study Chinese medicine through original texts, the choice ofmaterial could not be better, in terms ofboth content and language. The texts, taken from the Zhongyi rumen by the eminent scholar Qin Bowei, offer a simple, systematic introduction to Chinese medicine. The language ofthe texts, luce that ofmost Chinese medical writing, is a unique mixture of classical, literary, and modern Chinese spanning more than two thousand years ofthe development of the language. Much ofthe basic terminology and technical description come from the Huangdi neijing, the first major extant medical work compüed nearly two mUlennia ago, and from the works oflater generations ofhealers, whüe the general lay expression in which the traditional concepts are explained is ofthe modern vernacular style seen in any modern technical discourse. For students not interested in Chinese medicine, the book may appear less attractive, since the task oflanguage learning may be complicated by difficulties in dealing with the content. Nonetheless, they should not underestimate its utility . The technical content is unlikely to create any inteUectual overload, and given the multifaceted nature ofthe language of Chinese medicine, it provides useful material for the study ofliterary Chinese and modern technical expression, two forms of Chinese that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 279-281
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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