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Bibliography for the San Zi Jing and Related Chinese Texts

Translations Ordered by Date:

Horæ sinicæ:  translations from the popular literature of the Chinese. Includes San tzu ching, Da xue and Extract from the Ho-kiang.  Translation by Robert Morrison.  London:  Printed for Black and Parry by C. Stower, 1812.

Wang, Ying-lin.  Lehrsaal des Mittelreiches:  enthaltend die Encyclopädie der chinesischen Jugend und das Buch des ewigen Geistes und der ewigen Materie.  Translated and edited by Karl Friedrich Neumann.  München:  C. Wolf, 1836.

Wang, Ying-lin.  The three-fold San-Tsze-King:  or, the triliteral classic of China. as issued I. by Wang-Po-Keou, II. by Protestant Missionaries in that country; and III. by the rebel-chief, Tae-Ping-Wang.  Translated and annotated by Solomon Caesar Malan & Hung Hsiu-ch'üan.  London:  D. Nutt, 1856.

Wang, Ying-lin.  Primary instruction of the Chinese Language:  San-tsze-king:  The three character classic, composed towards the end of the XIIIth century by Wang-Pih-How; published in Chinese and English, with the table of the 214 radicals.  Edited and translated by Stanislas Julien.  Paris:  B. Duprat, 1864.

If that wasn't enough, Julien put it into Latin. Giles mentions that Père Zottoli, S. J. also did a Latin translation in 1879:

Wang, Ying-lin.  San-tseu-king:  trium litterarum liber a Wang-Pe-heou, sub finem XIII saeculi compositus; sinicum textum adjecta 214 clavium tabula.  Translation into Latin with commentary by Stanislas Julien.  Parisiis:  Apud B. Duprat, 1864.

Wang, Ying-lin.  Le livre classique des trois caractères de Wang Peh-Héou en chinoise et en francais accompagné de la traduction complète du commentaire de Wâng Tcin-Ching.  Translation into French and comments by Guillaume Pauthier.  Paris:  Challamel ainé, 1873.

Wang, Ying-lin.  The san tzǔ ching:  or three character classic, and the ch'ien tsǔ wên, or thousand character essay.  By Chou Hsing-Ssu.  Metrically Translated by Herbert A. Giles.  Shanghai:  A. H. de Carvalho, 1873.

Wang, Ying-lin.  San-tseu-king:  le livre de phrases de trois mots en chinois et en français, suivi d'un grand commentaire traduit du chinois et d'un petit dictionnaire chinois-français du San-tseu-king et du Livre des mille mots par Stanislas Julien; deux traductions du San-tseu-king et de son commentaire, résponse à un article de la Revue critique ... par le Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys.  Two independent translations into French by Stanislas Julien and Hervey de Saint-Denys.  Genève:  H. Georg, 1873.

Wang, Ying-lin.  Il libro delle tre parole secondo la versione mangese di Tooghe.  Estratto dagli Annali delle Università de Toscane, t. XVIII. Emilio Teza.  Pisa:  1880.

Wang Ying-lin.  Tam tu kinh: ou, Le livre des phrases de trois caractères.  Translated and annotated by Abel des Michels.  Paris:  E. Leroux, 1882.

Wang Ying-lin.  Le commentaire du San-ze-king:  le recueil des phrases de trois mots, version Mandchoue.  Translation into French and comments by François Auguste Turrettini.  Genève:  H. Georg, 1892-94.

Wang, Yinglin.  Elementary Chinese:  san tzu ching.  Translated and annotated by Herbert A. Giles.  Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1900.

Wang, Ying-lin.  Elementary Chinese:  san tzu ching.  2nd ed., rev.  Translated and annotated by Herbert A. Giles.  Shanghai:  Kelly & Walsh, 1910.

Wang, Yinglin.  San tzu ching:  Elementary Chinese.  2nd ed., rev.  Translated and annotated by Herbert A. Giles.  New York:  Ungar, 1963.

Wang, Ying-lin.  San tzu ching:  Elementary Chinese.  2nd ed., rev.  Translated and annotated by Herbert A. Giles.  Taipei, Taiwan:  Literature House, 1964.

Legge, James.  The Chinese classics:  with a translation, critical and exegetical notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes.  5 Volumes.  Taipei:  Southern Materials Center, 1985.

Wang, Ying-lin.  San tzu ching. English & Chinese.  Translated by S. T. Phen, illustrated by Ng, Edwn & Zhou, Songsheng.  Singapore:  EPB Publishers, 1989.

Wang, Ying-lin.  San tzu ching. English & Chinese.  Three character classic in pictures.  Translated by S. T. Phen; edited by Xu Chuiyang; illustrated by Sheng Liangxian.  Singapore:  EPB Publishers, 1990.

Legge, James.  The Chinese classics:  with a translation, critical and exegetical notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes.  4 Volumes.  Taibei Shi:  SMC Publishing, 1991.

Bischoff, Friedrich Alexander.  San tzu ching explicated:  the classical initiation to classic Chinese couplet I to XI.   Beiträge zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens; Nr. 45.   Wien:   Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2005.

Internet Sites:

San Zi Jing English and Chinese. This is the translation on this site and has streaming sound so you can hear it while you read.

San Zi Jing. Translation by Louis Smogor, Professor of Mathematics, DePauw University.

Herbert Giles (1845-1935) served in the British consular service in several Chinese cities from 1867 to 1893. He held a professorship in Chinese at Cambridge from 1897 to 1932. He modified Wade's romanization method to produce the Wade-Giles system of romanization.

Elementary Chinese: San Tzu Ching. This page is in Simplified characters with Giles' English translation next to each line. Very easy to read. By Charles Aylmer.

San Zi Jing. Translated into English by Herbert Giles and into French by Michel Deverge. Traditional characters with mouse-over dictionary. By Association Française des Professeurs de Chinois.

A Chinese Biographical Dictionary. London: Bernard Quaritch, Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1898. Scan from Google with pdf download.

China and the Manchus. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912. In .pdf format with Chinese characters. Project Gutenberg.

Chinese without a Teacher: Being a Collection of Easy and Useful Sentences in the Mandarin Dialect with a Vocabulary. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1901. This book is just what it says it is, but be careful. Ten, 十 shi2, is symbolized as "shirt." You only pronounce what is in italics. Try it yourself. Scan by Google/Stanford University, pdf version available for download.

China and the Chinese, 1902. The first chapter on the Chinese language is particularly good for both the beginner and advanced student of the language. In html from Project Gutenberg.

Chinese Sketches, 1875. A series of short descriptive essays, including descriptions of dentistry, women, gambling, superstition and opium smoking. When you read this last remember that opium was widely used in Britain at the time and that they were the primary importers of opium to China. Britain outlawed opium in 1916.

Religions of Ancient China, 1906. Brief summaries of Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, with paragraph notes about Nestorianism, Manichaeanism, Judaism, etc. From Project Gutenberg.

The Civilization of China, 1911. From the feudal age to 1911, interesting chapter on "Chinese and Foreigners". In html from Project Gutenberg.

China and the Chinese. A series of lectures given by Giles at Columbia in mp3 format, read by David Barnes. Again, the chapter on the Chinese language is excellent. See above for the text version. From LibriVox.

Herbert Allen Giles. Short biography of Giles by Charles Aylmer. From Cambridge University.

San Zi Jing in Chinese Only:

San Zi Jing. Chinese edition from 1853. Digital Book from the National Library of Australia. Traditional characters in .jpg format.

New San Zi Jing. Chinese only. This one has been modernized. Many new lines were added and some deleted. There are errors on the pinyin, but there are pictures to make up for it.

General Reference:

James Legge (1815-1897) was appointed in 1876 to the first professorship of Chinese at Oxford. Prior to that he spent over thirty years in China, primarily in Hong Kong. His translation of the Chinese classics comprised 50 volumes.

The Shih King or Book of Poetry: All the Pieces and Stanzas in it Illustrating the Religious Views and Practices of the Writers and Their Times. Translated by James Legge. The Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 3. From Project Gutenberg.

The Confucian Analects. Translation, James Legge. In The Chinese Classics: With A Translation, Critical And Exegetical Notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes. Volume One of Five. Published from 1861-1872. From Project Gutenberg.

The Texts of Taoism, Part 1: The Tâo Teh King (Tâo Te Ching) of Lâo Dze (Lao Tsu), The Writings of Kwang-dze (Chuang-tse). Translation James Legge. The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 40. F. Max Müller. 1891. From Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

The Texts of Taoism, Part 2: The Writings of Kwang-dze (Chuang Tzu), The T'ai Shang Tractate of Actions and Their Retributions. Translation James Legge. The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 40. F. Max Müller. 1891. From Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

Stanislas Julien (~1797-1873) began by becoming a professor of Greek and but expanded his language skills so that in 1824 he came out with his first translation of Mencius. He studied Sanskrit and its relationship to Chinese.

Stanislas Julien. Short biography in French with links to several more facsimiles of his original work in French. From Les Classiques des Sciences Sociales.

Stanislas Julien. Longer biography in English. From 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Tao Te King Translated into French by Stanislas Julien.

sur les TOU-KIOUE (TURCS) (1912) by Stanislas Julien. From Les Classiques des Sciences Sociales.

Chinese Classical Literature. A list of the major ancient works of history, philosophy, religion and military science. Includes the Four Books and Five Classics. Nice place to start if you are trying to familiarize yourself with classical Chinese culture.


Last update: July 2007
Marilyn Shea, 2007