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Chinese Language Forums - Chinese Etymology Institute • View topic - How about the zhongwen.com?

How about the zhongwen.com?

How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby david » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:01 pm

In Calista’s thread (What is Chinese etymology? asking-questions/what-is-chinese-etymology-t39.html ), the fact that Richard Sears’ website is not about Chinese etymology is a consensus now. How about the zhongwen.com? Is this a site discussing about Chinese etymology?

This zhongwen.com is managed by Dr. Richmond Harbaugh (Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University). His personal website is http://www.bus.indiana.edu/riharbau/
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:40 am

david wrote:In Calista’s thread (What is Chinese etymology? asking-questions/what-is-chinese-etymology-t39.html ), the fact that Richard Sears’ website is not about Chinese etymology is a consensus now. How about the zhongwen.com? Is this a site discussing about Chinese etymology?


The page of zhongwen.com has three columns (frames).

The first frame is an introduction on the new developments of Chinese etymology. It is a good article. But, it does not give out the references on where those new developments came about. With the academic standard, it is a plagiarism.

The second frame is a dictionary. It is as good as any web dictionary, but no better.

The third frame is the genealogy of the character listed in the 2nd frame. With this frame, the site is about etymology. But, I looked only three simple characters, all three genealogy charts are wrong. They are wrong etymologies. By saying this on the Internet, I must be responsible for my saying. So, I did save those three frames (in gif files). As those genealogy charts are in gif files, I cannot post them there. If any of you are able to upload one chart here, I can point out the errors on it. There are almost some errors on every genealogy chart. However, Dr. Richmond Harbaugh does have a disclaimer which says, “ I offer no guarantee, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of the information on this site. “ Most of his genealogy charts are wrong on etymology.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby david » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:37 pm

Tienzen wrote:The first frame is an introduction on the new developments of Chinese etymology. It is a good article. But, it does not give out the references on where those new developments came about. With the academic standard, it is a plagiarism.


Plagiarism, this is a very strong charge. You must provide some strong evidences to support this charge.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:04 pm

david wrote:
Tienzen wrote:The first frame is an introduction on the new developments of Chinese etymology. It is a good article. But, it does not give out the references on where those new developments came about. With the academic standard, it is a plagiarism.


Plagiarism, this is a very strong charge. You must provide some strong evidences to support this charge.


Dr. Harbaugh wrote, “Despite these unparalleled achievements, many people in the last century viewed Chinese characters as inferior to the more purely phonetic writing systems of Western languages. As a result, China nearly decided to abolish characters in the 1950s and even now most Chinese are not taught the rich tradition behind their writing system. This website counters the simplistic myth of character inferiority by translating traditional Chinese character etymologies into English to show how Chinese themselves have used and understood the symbols they created.

While Chinese characters are often thought of as overly complex, in fact they are all derived from a couple hundred simple pictographs and ideographs in ways that are usually quite logical and easy to remember. …”

In this writing, he pointed out the following facts.
1. In the last century, Chinese characters was viewed as inferior to the Western languages.
2. In the 1950s, China nearly decided to abolish this traditional character system.
3. Even now, most Chinese are not taught the rich tradition behind their writing system.

He also made the following claims in this writing.
a. He possesses the knowledge that Chinese character system is quite logical and easy to remember.

Note: The difference between this new knowledge and the old school understanding is mammoth and monumental , truly revolutionary. If this is his own discovery, he should show his publications. If he learned this from others, he should provide those sources. In this writing of his, it can mislead the readers to get an impression that he is the one who discovered the new knowledge (as only a rich tradition) while even now most of Chinese themselves are not taught by this new knowledge.

b. His website counters the simplistic myth of character inferiority by translating traditional Chinese character etymologies into English to show how Chinese themselves have used and understood the symbols they created.

Note: “How Chinese themselves have used and understood the symbols they created” has led to the 1950s movement in China of despising Chinese character system. With those old knowledge, no one in China during the past 2,000 years view the Chinese character system as an axiomatic system.

In his website, Dr. Harbaugh tries to counter the simplistic myth of character inferiority … by showing how Chinese themselves have used and understood the symbols they created.

No, with the old school way, he cannot get an understanding any different from those great Chinese philologists in the 1950s. He is either making a claim of new knowledge without a new understanding or is speaking about someone else’s work without giving the credit to the source.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Calista » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:26 pm

Tienzen, you have pointed out four points on Dr. Richmond Harbaugh's works.

Tienzen wrote:In this writing, he pointed out the following facts.
1. In the last century, Chinese characters was viewed as inferior to the Western languages.
2. In the 1950s, China nearly decided to abolish this traditional character system.
3. Even now, most Chinese are not taught the rich tradition behind their writing system.


He knows the status quo, the old school way.

Tienzen wrote:He also made the following claims in this writing.
a. He possesses the knowledge that Chinese character system is quite logical and easy to remember.


He made a claim for a new knowledge.

Tienzen wrote:b. His website counters the simplistic myth of character inferiority by translating traditional Chinese character etymologies into English to show how Chinese themselves have used and understood the symbols they created.


He supports his claim of new knowledge by using the old and known understanding, how Chinese themselves have used and understood the symbols they created. So, he does not give credit to anyone else for his new knowledge but claims the credit for himself.

Tienzen wrote:As those genealogy charts are in gif files, I cannot post them there. If any of you are able to upload one chart here, I can point out the errors on it. There are almost some errors on every genealogy chart.


You insist that Dr. Richmond Harbaugh are wrong on most of his etymology charts. You also said that you are unable to paste his charts here. The first word on his home page http://zhongwen.com/ is 中, can you make your point on the etymologies of that genealogy chart?

If he is wrong on the chart on his home page, then he does not have the knowledge to support his claim.

If he cannot support his claim, then he is lying or is a plagiarist.

If you cannot show that the etymology of the word 中 is wrong, you should delete your posts on this thread.
Last edited by Calista on Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:19 pm

Calista wrote:You insist that Dr. Richmond Harbaugh are wrong on most of his etymology charts. You also said that you are unable to paste his charts here. The first word on his home page http://zhongwen.com/ is 中, can you make your point on the etymologies of that genealogy chart?

If he is wrong on the chart on his home page, then he does not have the knowledge to support his claim.

If he cannot support his claim, then he is lying or is a plagiarist.

I you cannot show that the etymology of the word 中 is wrong, you should delete your posts on this thread.



Dr. Richmond Harbaugh said that 中 has the radical 囗 (an enclosure), and this is correct. In his genealogy chart for 囗, he lists the following words.

A. (回, 困, 囚, 四, 國, 圍, 圓, 園, 圖), these are correct. As 囗 is an enclosure, it will not have any part outside of it. When it is a part of another word, it must also be a standalone word, such as, 菌 or 棞.

B. The follwoings are all wrong.

1.豆 itself is a root, as "meat cooking pot".


2.凹 and 凸 have the root 凵, cooking pan, having nothing to do with 囗 (an enclosure).


3. The 囗 in 高 and 韋 is mouth, not an enclosure.


4. 用 has the root 卜. In fact, there is no 囗 in 用 at all. Again, nothing should stick out of 囗 (being an enclosure).


5. The shared radical of (肅, 淵) is a root itsefl. Again, there is no 囗 in it at all. How can such a gross error ever happen?


This genealogy chart is on his home page ( http://zhongwen.com/ ), the 69.gif. I have saved it (69.gif) on the date of June 30, 2011.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Calista » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:47 am

Tienzen wrote:B. The follwoings are all wrong.

1.豆 itself is a root, as "meat cooking pot".


2.凹 and 凸 have the root 凵, cooking pan, having nothing to do with 囗 (an enclosure).


3. The 囗 in 高 and 韋 is mouth, not an enclosure.


4. 用 has the root 卜. In fact, there is no 囗 in 用 at all. Again, nothing should stick out of 囗 (being an enclosure).


5. The shared radical of (肅, 淵) is a root itsefl. Again, there is no 囗 in it at all. How can such a gross error ever happen?


This genealogy chart is on his home page ( http://zhongwen.com/ ), the 69.gif. I have saved it (69.gif) on the date of June 30, 2011.


I am shocked by the fact that Dr. Richmond Harbaugh (Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University) are so terribly wrong on the etymology of the word 囗 (an enclosure), the one on his home page.

For the benefit of the doubt, can you review one more chart? The word 日 (Sun, 76.gif) is one of the simplest word. If he is wrong on this simplest word, then the verdict is clear.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:28 am

Calista wrote:I am shocked by the fact that Dr. Richmond Harbaugh (Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University) are so terribly wrong on the etymology of the word 囗 (an enclosure), the one on his home page.

For the benefit of the doubt, can you review one more chart? The word 日 (Sun, 76.gif) is one of the simplest word. If he is wrong on this simplest word, then the verdict is clear.


日 (Sun), the simplest Chinese word indeed. In that etymology chart (76.gif, viewed on July 1, 2011), it is sickening wrong. I am listing only the most obvious errors below.

曹 (a juror), 者 (a person), 耆 (an old person) have the root 曰 (intelligent speaking), not 日 (Sun). Dr. Richmond Harbaugh does not even know the difference between 日 (Sun) and 曰 (speaking).


In the words 申 (reaching out), 退 (back off) and 重 (heavy), there are no 日 (Sun) in them. Just by the meaning of those words, 日 (Sun) cannot play a part for the word meanings.

The above mistakes are not funny but are sickening. They cannot be excused with a disclaimer (I offer no guarantee, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of the information on this site.). Those sickening errors will grossly mislead the public who read them.


I reviewed about 15 his word genealogy charts, and there are some sickening errors on every chart.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby votusa » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:00 am

Tienzen wrote:The above mistakes are not funny but are sickening. They cannot be excused with a disclaimer (I offer no guarantee, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of the information on this site.). Those sickening errors will grossly mislead the public who read them.


I reviewed about 15 his word genealogy charts, and there are some sickening errors on every chart.



Shocked, shocked and stocked. How can a Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University be ignorant to such an extent? Now I begin to understand the phrase 誤 人 子 弟 (wrong to young students).

Can you make more corrections on his etymology charts? Public will appreciate your kindness.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby david » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:06 pm

votusa wrote:Can you make more corrections on his etymology charts? Public will appreciate your kindness.


I am looking forward to this too.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:35 am

david wrote:
votusa wrote:Can you make more corrections on his etymology charts? Public will appreciate your kindness.


I am looking forward to this too.


I should not and will not fix other's errors.

For every third grader in China or Taiwan, she/he will know the difference between 囗 (mouth) and 囗 (an enclosure). In general, there is nothing inside the 囗 (mouth), and there is always something inside 囗 (an enclosure).


Again, although the shape of 日 (Sun) and 曰 (speaking) are somewhat similar, their semantic difference are huge. When a word is about a person, the radical 日 must be 曰 (speaking). When a word is about Sun, the radical 曰 must be 曰 (Sun). There cannot be any confusion when the word shape is misprinted.

With these two genealogy charts, there is no need of reviewing any more other charts to reach a verdict about the claim of a new knowledge. That claim is a joke with this level of understanding.
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby mariaC » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:27 am

Tienzen wrote:
For every third grader in China or Taiwan, she/he will know the difference between 囗 (mouth) and 囗 (an enclosure). In general, there is nothing inside the 囗 (mouth), and there is always something inside 囗 (an enclosure).


Again, although the shape of 日 (Sun) and 曰 (speaking) are somewhat similar, their semantic difference are huge. When a word is about a person, the radical 日 must be 曰 (speaking). When a word is about Sun, the radical 曰 must be 曰 (Sun). There cannot be any confusion when the word shape is misprinted.


In his article "Help: Genealogical Charts", Dr. Richmond Harbaugh wrote, "... Branching off from the first character are all characters which derive immediately from it. Note that some of these characters are grouped together following an arrow, indicating that the primary listing is in a different table.
...

Character etymology as suggested by character shape sometimes differs from actual etymology. In such cases the character is listed under both its actual components and any apparent components. In cases where an apparent component is particularly suggestive relative to the actual components, the primary listing is made under that component. In these cases a vertical bar in the chart before the character signifies deviation from the actual etymology.
Since the tables attempt to show the full sequence of character evolution, ..."

Did you read this article of his?
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:53 am

mariaC wrote:...
Character etymology as suggested by character shape sometimes differs from actual etymology. In such cases the character is listed under both its actual components and any apparent components. In cases where an apparent component is particularly suggestive relative to the actual components, the primary listing is made under that component. In these cases a vertical bar in the chart before the character signifies deviation from the actual etymology.
Since the tables attempt to show the full sequence of character evolution, ..."

Did you read this article of his?


I did read it.

For two different roots, when they have a similar or an identical shape, the job of etymology is to distinguish them, not to mix them up. We cannot put a cat and a dog into the same genealogy chart regardless of how much they look alike externally. No, his note is wrong and cannot be accepted.

Furthermore, those two charts are still wrong even if his note were accepted.

For 囗 (an enclosure), there is no vertical bar in front of the words 豆 (meat cooking pot), 用 (using), 高 (high) and 韋.


For 日 (Sun), there is no vertical bar in front of the words 曹 (a juror), 耆 (an old person), 申 (reaching out), 退 (back off) and 重 (heavy).
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Calista » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:31 am

Over two months have passed since the last post. Any reaction from zhongwen.com?
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby bennylatrell » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:54 pm

I heard zhongwen is an one of the best sites for understanding the ideas and pictures behind Chinese words. Clicking on any character in the Zhongwen frame will open a new window to zhongwen.com where components of the word being studied can be researched. Could you please produce some more attachments regarding the topic.

help with homework
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Re: How about the zhongwen.com?

Postby Tienzen » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:33 pm

Tienzen wrote:But, I looked only three simple characters, all three genealogy charts are wrong. They are wrong etymologies. By saying this on the Internet, I must be responsible for my saying. So, I did save those three frames (in gif files). As those genealogy charts are in gif files, I cannot post them there. If any of you are able to upload one chart here, I can point out the errors on it. There are almost some errors on every genealogy chart. However, Dr. Richmond Harbaugh does have a disclaimer which says, “ I offer no guarantee, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of the information on this site. “ Most of his genealogy charts are wrong on etymology.


I looked more characters, and all (each and every one) are wrong, as Dr. Richmond Harbaugh looks the characters via topology only without truly knowing the etymology. I now uploaded 8 gif files somewhere and now am able to pull them over here. You could zoom out the gif to see them better. I Just point out the ‘Wrongs’ without explanation, as the true experts will know the better.

Image

The 立 in (龍, 辛, 妾, 音, 章, 童) is not the 立 of 'standing'. In 吳, it has no 天.


Image

No 中 in 用. {豆, 凹, 凸, 淵} have nothing to do with 囗 (the enclosure)


Image

No 土 in {徒, 巠, 青, 毒, 責, 邦, 夆, 奉, 王, 寺, etc.}


Image

No 日 (Sun) in {白, 者, 明, 洒, 申, etc.}


Image

No 木 (wood, tree) in 麻. No 朿 in {帝, 責}.


Image
No 户 in {卯,卵, etc.}

Image

No 月 (Moon) in {服, 前,俞}.


Image
年 has nothing to do with 禾. The left radical of 稽 is not 禾 (although look-alike).
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