HRazan wrote:Hi everyone,
Apologies if this is a silly question, but something I've been slightly puzzled about: I've noticed that a lot of kyobon don't have any annotation whatsoever, if I wanted to learn to read and at least mostly understand that type of document, exactly what language should I be studying besides modern Japanese? Are most kyobon in Japan "just" Classical Chinese with technical vocabulary unique to Buddhism?
Indrajala wrote:My suggestion would to become literate in Japanese first and then proceed to Classical Chinese. You don't need to learn Mandarin, though it wouldn't hurt. Japanese scholars read Classical Chinese without knowing a word of modern Chinese.
From what I understand, as you advance in reading of Classical Chinese, there is a wall at which knowing Mandarin will greatly ease learning more. This is simply because the resources available in Mandarin for understanding Classical Chinese are far more plentiful and advanced than anything available in English. I suppose the same might also hold true for resources available in Japanese, I just don't personally know.
HRazan wrote:Oh this is exactly what I was wondering, thank you both for the information! One clarification regarding the Japanese readings of Classical Chinese texts- once I start getting marginally competent in Classical Chinese, how large of a hurdle is becoming proficient in the Japanese rendering thereof? Is it like learning another language entirely, or more a matter of exposing myself to a lot of documents and getting used to the eccentricity of the system?
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