Shen Qiliang’s Manchu works

To celebrate the fact that the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin recently digitized Shen Qiliang’s Manju bithei jy nan, I thought I would post a list of his works, together with links to a digital copy (if known to me).

Shen lived in the second half of the 17th c. and despite not being Manchu he developed an interest in the Manchu language and published several works aimed at making its study easier. For more about him, see the article published in the 2014 issue of Saksaha by Mårten Söderblom Saarela mentioned below.

Manju bithei jy nan (清書指南), an introduction to Manchu with syllabary, dialogues and grammar
Daicing gurun i yooni bithe (大清全書), the “oldest preserved Manchu lexicon” (see here for more details)
Ioi jy be giya sing (御製百家姓滿漢合集), a commented edition of the Hundred Family Surnames
Sy šu tuwara oyonggo bithe (四書要覽), extracts of the Four Books
Shier zitou jizhu, not a full publication but a detailed presentation of this work dedicated to the Manchu script

Shen Qiliang also published bilingual editions of the Thousand Character Classic but I haven’t been able to locate a copy online. Instead here is a version kept at the Waseda University Library: 歴朝聖賢篆書百体千文.


The 小兒 論: a(nother) Manchu-Korean primer


Following from an earlier post on the 八歲兒 (P’alsea/Eight-year-old Child), a Manchu-Korean primer, here is the transcription of the 小兒論 (Soaron/Conversation with a Little Child).

Like the P’alsea, this short book is another of the “Four books of Qing Studies”(1) and also features a child prodigy. The difference is that this time the child is only three years old and gets to be tested by Confucius himself.

小兒論 (2)

julgei han gurun i fonde
fudz gurun boo be dasame
abkai fejergi
geren golo de šurdeme yabuhai
jiyang giyang hecen de isinambi
fudz genere jugūn de
ajige ilan juse kame ilifi
hecen sahafi efimbihe
fudz be tuwafi
efirakū baibi tehebi
fudz hendume
ere jui si ainu efirakū bio
ilan se jui jabume
hafan niyalma efin de amuran oci
gurun i weile facuhūn
irgen niyalma efin de amuran oci
usin nimalan be we bargiyambi
tuttu ofi hafan irgen bodorakū
efire be buyerakū
fudz hendume
ajige jui si ainu tuttu ambula sambi
si mini fonjire weile be
gemu sain jabumbio
ilan se jui jabume
fudz i fonjire gisun be
sain jabumbi
fudz fonjime
ajige jui si donji
den alin be akū obuki
šumin bira be akū obuki
hafan niyalma be akū obuki
tuttu oci
neigen ojorakūn
ilan se jui jabume
den alin be akū obuci
tasha lefu
ai daniyan de banjimbi
šumin bira be akū obuci
aihūma nimaha
ai daniyan de bi
hafan niyalma be akū obuci
fafun doro be adarame tacime
irgen niyalma wede hūsun bahambi
abka fejile
neigen ojoro be boljoci ojorakū
fudz hendume
ajige jui si ainu tuttu
gemu weile be sambi
bi geli emu weile be fonjimbi
ilan se jui
amasi bederefi
juwe gala joolafi hendume
ai weile be fonjimbi
fudz hendume
ai niyalma de
sargan akū
geli ai hehe de
eigen akū
geli ai niyalma de
gebu akū
geli ai hecen de
hafan akū
geli ai sejen de
hude akū
geli ai muke de
nimaha akū
geli ai tuwa de
šanggiyan akū
geli ai ihan de
tukšan akū
geli ai morin de
unahan akū
geli ai temen de
deberen akū nio
ere gese weile be sambio
ilan se jui jabume
fucihi de
sargan akū
enduri hehe de
eigen akū
teni banjiha jui de
gebu akū
untuhun hecen de
hafan akū
kiyoo de hude akū
juciba tuwa de
šanggiyan akū
moo morin de
unahan akū
boihon ihan de
tukšan akū
ufa temen de
deberen akū
hūcin muke de
nimaha akū kai
fudz hendume
ajige jui si tuttu saci
bi geli fonjimbi
sishe ninggude
ungge banjimbi sere be sambio
booi juleri ulhū banjimbi sere be sambio
coko ulhūma ubaliyambi sere be sambio
indahūn ini ejen be
gūwambi sere be sambio
ilan se jui jabume
ungge serengge
sishe de sektere narhūn jijiri
ulhū serengge
fudasihūn ilibuha hida
coko ulhūma ubaliyambi serengge
giranggi adali ofi
tuttu kai
adarame ini ejen be gūwambi serengge
baibi geren antaha be acafi
gūwambi kai
fudz hendume
ajige jui si ainu tuttu ambula sambi
si minde jai fonji
ilan se jui
uttu hendure be donjifi jabume
bi ai gisun fonjire sain
fudz i fonjirakū bade adarame sain
te mujilen de gūniha weile fonjiki
geren moo i dorgi de
jakdan moo adarame
tuweri juwari akū niowanggiyan
garu niongniyaha
muke de niyerere sain
kekuhe guwendere jilgan amba nio
fudz hendume
jakdan moo mailasun moo
dolo fili ofi
tuweri juwari akū niowanggiyan
garu niongniyaha
bethe onco ofi
muke de niyerere sain
kekuhe monggon golmin ofi
guwenderengge amba kai
ilan se jui jabume
jakdan moo mailasun moo
dolo fili ofi
tuweri juwari akū niowanggiyan seci
cuse moo ai dolo fili ofi
tuweri juwari akū niowanggiyan
garu niongniyaha
bethe onco ofi
muke de niyerere sain seci
aihūma nimaha ai bethe onco ofi
muke de niyerere sain
kekuhe monggon golmin ofi
guwendere jilgan amba seci
ajige waksan ai monggon golmin ofi
guwendere jilgan amba sembi
fudz hendume
bi simbe cendeme jortai fonjiha bihe
sini sarangge umesi getuken seme ambula saišambi
tere fon i donjihala niyalma
ilan se jui be
mujakū sain seme hendumbi
ere dahame wajiha


(1) The four books that were used to learn Manchu in Korea. On these, see Choe Y., “Manchu Studies in Korea“, Journal of Cultural Interaction in East Asia, Vol. 3, 2012, p. 89-101.

(2) Images of the book can be found on the website of the Kyujanggak Insitute for Korean Studies, together with the 三譯總解/Samyeok Chonghae (selected chapters from the Ilan gurun i bithe/三國志, which, to the best of my knowledge, is not available elsewhere on the internet.

Manchu Jin Ping Mei online

The Manchu translation of the Jin Ping Mei, the Gin ping mei bithe, can now be found online here, on the website of the Documentation and Information Center for Chinese Studies, Kyoto University, (see under 滿文金瓶梅 一百回)(1). Despite being a translation, the language of the Manchu Gin Ping Mei has been hailed as the finest of all Manchu literature by no less than Erich Haenisch: “Die Übersetzungssprache, die noch das lebendige Idiom verrät, leicht und flussig, wird von keinem anderen Werk der Mandschuliteratur erreicht” (2).


(1) If you use Firefox, the pictures may not appear. Using Internet Explorer should take care of it.

(2) Haenisch E., Mandschu-Grammatik, 1961, p. 149. Cf. also Laufer B., ‘Skizze der Mandschu Literatur’, Revue Orientale IX, 1908, p. 32.

Manchu poems in a Mongolian manuscript

Manchu texts sometimes pop up where you would not really expect them. Among the Mongolian manuscripts of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Mongol. 48 is peculiar in that three poems(?) written in Manchu have found their way onto the inside cover.

The spelling of some words is quite peculiar (asihota, šowayan, boya…) while there are some I can not read confidently (ki/i, geyei…). The translation is thus only tentative.

Cod. Mongol. 48

tai šan alin i majige boigon be waliyarakū.
ajige be isabuhai ci den amba ombi.
asihota urse uru(i?) šaraga sengge be ume basure
ilha ilafi i? udu erin i fulgiyan bimbiheni.

Not leaving the small property of the Tai Shan mountain,
Since the young have been gathered, they have grown up.
Young people, do not constantly deride your white-haired elders,
Once the flower has blossomed, how long will it remain red?

yadahūn niyalma geyei? de tecibe fonjire niyalma akū.
bayan niyalma šumin alin de tehebi goroki niyalma bi…
aikabade niyalma de tusa ararakū oci.
nomun tarani udu hūlaha seme gemu untuhun.

Even if a poor man lives in ?, no one asks (for him).
When a rich man lives in a deep mountain, nobody is far.
If someone does not act for the benefit of others,
It doesn’t matter how much sutras and prayers he has read.

cang giyang ni cioi nu kūi lang.
j’in loo ge hūi dzai šo niyan.

emu hergen de šowayan aisin oci hūda labdu akū.
bithe coohai erdemu bici wen? duleci ombiheni.
boya niyalma koimali jalingga ofi niyaman tumen ehe.
ambasa saisa tondo necin bime abka be hukšembi.

If there is yellow gold in a hergen, no price is too high.
If there is literary and military virtue, can civilization go away?
When commoners are wicked, hearts are ten thousand evils,
Wise men being loyal and calm, one thanks Heaven.

l. 1 Not sure about majige used as an adjective here.
l. 3 I take šaraga as šaraka.
l. 4 ki seems clearly written but what would it mean ?
l. 5 Or “he has no one to ask to” i. e. “no one to rely on”?
The word which seems to be spelled geyei could be a form of giyai “street”, this would fit the overall meaning of the text.
l. 6 I cannot read the end of the line.
l. 11 What does hergen stand for here ?

The 八歲兒 : a Manchu-Korean primer

palseaFor a short time this month, the BNF had put online a copy of the P’alsea (八歲兒), a Manchu-Korean primer and one of the “Four books of Qing studies” (1). It seems to have now been removed from their website but here is a transcription of the text. Designed to teach basic Manchu, it features a child prodigy from the Han dynasty who leaves his parents to attend a meeting of 5000 scholars summoned by the emperor. There he answers every question the emperor asks him and is granted a title.

(The division of sentences follows the printed edition)

julgei han gurun i fonde
duin mederi gemu genggiyen
jakūn hošo ini cihai elhe
tere fonde
han bithe arafi hendume
abka fejile gurun i dorgi de
bayan yadahūn bodorakū
geren bade bithe ulhire šusai sebe
abka duka de bithe cendeme jio
erdemu mergengge be
sain gebu be bumbi sehe
tere fonde
cing mu hiyan hecen de tehe
ulin yadara limu sere niyalma i jui
jakūn se de
ama eme de
dosime fakcara doro arafi
jeterengge akū
muke ihan i jibca etufi
ududu inenggi yabume
jiyang giyang hecen de isinafi
sunja minggan šusai sonjoro ton de
jakūn se jui dosime
sunja minggan šusai amala ilihabi
han tuwafi fonjime hendume
tere amala iliha
ajige jui si ainaha niyalma
jakūn se jui hanci genefi
wesimbume hendume
ajige niyalma seibeni inenggi
enduringge han genggiyen hese wasimbure dahame
bithe cendeme jihe
han donjifi
dembei injefi hendume
ajige jui si se ajigen
ai weile be sain jabumbio
jakūn se jui hanci genefi
wesimbume hendume
ajige niyalma enduringge han
fonjire weile be sain jabumbi dere
han gūnifi baibi niyalma waka seme hendume
abka de uju bio
jakūn se jui jabume
abka de uju bi
han fonjime hendume uju bi seme adarame sambi
jakūn se jui jabume
šun dergi ici dekdefi
wargi ici tuhembi
tuttu ofi
uju bi seme saha
han geli fonjime hendume
abka de šan bio
jakūn se jui jabume
abka fejile de
bulehen gasha wesihun jilgan i guwembi
dergi abka wesihun jilgan seme urgunjeme donjihabi
tere fonde
abka šan akū oci
ai šan i donjimbi
han geli fonjime hendume
abka de angga bio
jakūn se jui jabume
julgei fonde emu niyalma
abka de wesiki seme
ilan jergi tafukū be sahafi
tafame deribure de
tafukū de gidafi bucehebi
tere fonde
abka angga akū oci
ai angga i injembi
han geli fonjime hendume
abka de bethe bio
jakūn se jui jabume
abka de bethe bi
han fonjime hendume bethe bi seme adarame sambi
jakūn se jui jabume
julgei julesi gūsin ilan abka be dendere fonde
bethe akū oci
ai bethe i feliyeme
dendeci ombihe
han geli fonjime hendume
julergi geneci
ai golo seme bio
jakūn se jui jabume
julergi geneci
mederi golo seme bi
han fonjime hendume mederi golo bi seme adarame sambi
jakūn se jui jabume
wargi geneci
wargi ergi mederi wargi de
dabsun hecen seme bi
tere be dabsun i sahabiheo
adarame dabsun hecen sembi
dergi geneci
dergi ergi mederi dergi de
menggun hecen seme bi
tere be menggun i sahabiheo
adarame menggun hecen sembi
amargi geneci
amargi mederi amargi de
tugi hecen seme bi
tere be tugi i sahabiheo
adarame tugi hecen sembi
han gisun akū tehebi
jakūn se jui
han i juleri ilifi
amba jilgan i hūlafi hendume
isaha sunja minggan šusai dorgi de
erdemungge niyalma bici
hūdun tuci
han i juleri gisun cendeki seme
ilan mudan hūlaci
sunja minggan šusai dorgi de
emu niyalma inu tucifi
gisun cendere de
erdemungge niyalma akū
tuttu ofi
jakūn se jui be
amba mergen arafi
abka fejile gurun i dorgingge
amba golo ejen seme tukiyembi
han še bithe selgiyefi
tumen weihun i sui be gemu guwebume
dasara be sain
ice niyengniyeri de
aga silenggi erileme wasimbi
edun dacibe
mooi dube bijarakū
jugūn de yabure niyalma
beri sirdan jafarakū
hecen duin duka yooselarakū
abka fejile taifin ojoro dahame
jakūn se jui i
wesihun han gurun i gisun be ere dahame wajiha

(1) About these, see Choe Y., ‘Manchu Studies in Korea‘, p. 91-94.

Anatomy in Manchu


This is maybe old news but I just found that the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle has digitalized a complete copy of the Ge ti ciowan lu bithe, Parrenin’s translation of a 18th (end of the 17th) c. European anatomical treaty.

The BNF also has a copy of this work available for download but it does not seem to be complete. Readers interested in this text can now read it in its entirety.

The two copies seem to sometimes differ in wording as well as in how the content is organized.

The Jun gar campaigns in Manchu

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin goes on with the digitalization of its Manchu collection. They have now started putting online the Beye dailame wargi amargi babe necihiyeme toktobuha bodogon i bithe, i. e. the official history of the Kangxi campaigns against the Jun gar leader Galdan.This is a welcome addition to the Jun gar i ba be necihiyeme toktobuha bodogon-i bithe published by the Qianlong emperor and avalaible on the French National Library’s website.

Those who are interested in the Jun gar campaigns may also consult the memorials written by Funingga from 1717 to 1724, while he was in charge of the campaign against Tsewang Rabtan.

This is quite an exciting time for readers of Manchu!

Qianlong’s dedication stela of the fragrant concubine’s mosque

Yesterday I read T. G. Brown’s article on Qianlong’s understanding of Islam (1). Its starting point is the text of the quadrilingual stela erected in the mosque built near the Imperial Palace in the 1760’s. Brown points several times to the fact that he could not use the Manchu text of the inscription since the rubbing published in Broomhall’s Islam in China is not legible enough. For readers who may be interested in this text, there is in fact a fairly good reproduction of the rubbing in a 1897 article by G. Devéria (2). It may also be worth pointing that a transcription of the stela can be found in Onuma Takahiro’s 250 Years History of the Turkic-Muslim Camp in Beijing (3).

(1) T. G. Brown, “Towards an Understanding of Qianlong’s Conception of Islam: A Study of the Dedication Inscriptions of the Fragrant Concubine’s Mosque in the Imperial Capital”, Journal of Chinese Studies 53, 2011 (here).
(2) G. Devéria, “Musulmans et Manichéens chinois”, Journal Asiatique nov.-déc. 1897 (here).
(3) See here.