Chinese Etymology


--- the map of Chinese word genealogy
Copyright © 2006 by Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

In this workbook, over 7,500 Chinese written words are listed. This, however, is not a dictionary, as the meaning and the pronunciation of each word is not provided. With the logic of this course, reader should be able to decode the meaning of all those words by dissecting them anatomically first and then decoding them syntactically. In this sense, it is a dictionary after all.

How to use this workbook?

  1. In addition to providing a genealogy map of 7,500 words, it points out a very important knowledge -- which words need not to be memorized or learned as they are the descendant words of horizontal roots or modules. They can be picked up by learning only that root or that module. They can be picked up when they appear without any effort of learning them. At least 4,000 words are in this category. That is, 4,000 words less are needed to be memorized and studied by reader. However, reader should glance the entire map a few times to get an idea about the map.
  2. When reader encounters an unknown word, he should first find it in the map, then, After doing this 300 times, the database and the skill which acquired by reader will reach a critical mass, and reader can decode any unknown word with a glance. This post-critical mass state is unreachable by native Chinese college graduates in their lifetime with their traditional way of learning the Chinese language.

the Map of Chinese word genealogy

Note: this workbook has 157 pages in the paperback.