Month: July 2018

Historical Text: Chinese Students’ Monthly, Vol. 4 No. 1, pg. 24 (Nov. 1908)

Today’s Historical Text comes from the Chinese Students’ Monthly of November 1908. The paragraph, on page 24 of the issue, addresses something that has been a difficulty of Chinese peoples for thousands of years: the diversity of languages among the different regions of China. What many in the US think of as “Chinese” is typically either Mandarin – a northern dialect – or Cantonese – a southern dialect – but in fact there are dozens of other languages within the borders of China. Although these languages all use the same Chinese characters, many are not mutually intelligible when spoken. Much like the solution the current People’s Republic of China has come up with, the CSA suggests using Mandarin as a lingua franca among the students of different dialects.

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Y. L. Chin (金岳霖)

Today I cover another Boxer Indemnity Scholar, and indeed another famous Chinese scholar in general: Yueh Lin Chin (金岳霖, pinyin Jīn YuèLín), who attended Tsing Hua University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University, and was one of the principal founders of the study of Western logic in China. He is still famous in China today, not only for his books on philosophy, which are still read in schools, but for his interesting personal life.

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