Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

The place to discuss alphabets and other writing systems.

Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby VROOR » Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:57 am

Image
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby VROOR » Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:07 pm

Image
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby VROOR » Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:07 pm

Image
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby imbecilica » Mon 23 Nov 2009 8:21 am

I have been learning Chữ Nôm on and off for just over a year now and have accumulated at least 1000 characters. I use Chữ Nôm to practise writing all my Vietnamese articles, short stories and poems etc. From the lists you have presented, I have learnt each of those characters but I also use alternatives or even my own invented characters (especially for characters that didn't exist).

For the numbers, I just revert to the simple Chinese characters 一二三... since the sino-Vietnamese numbers are often relegated to other uses.

For the word là, I use 羅.
For the word tôi, I replace the stone radical with a man radical.
For the word khoẻ, I use 劸.

1 thing I find absolutely fascinating about Chinese characters is how they are adapted to other languages especially to the CJKV languages. The Japanese not only borrowed Chinese characters, they even created their own Hanzi and their two syllabaries Hiragana and Katakana from Chinese characters. The Koreans also used systems of writing such as Idu and to some extent use Chinese characters for distinguishing between homophones, but mostly now use Hangeul which although looks nothing like Hanzi, you can see the influence in the way the syllable stacks into a block. Vietnamese is the odd one out since it completely turned its back on characters preferring a Romanisation of the language instead of using Chữ Nôm.

There are only a few thousand people in the world who can read and write Chữ Nôm to a decent extent, even fewer who can fluently utilise it. There are, however, numerous organisations dedicated to preserving the script which was never truly standardised and only officially used for 14 years during the Tây Sơn (西山) Dynasty. I am fortunate enough to have a multitude of resources from which to learn Chữ Nôm. There are even plans to start teaching Chữ Nôm as part of overseas Vietnamese studies curricula and plans to introduce a Chữ Nôm curriculum in Vietnam itself. I think that this would be a great idea since it would not only NOT affect the usage of Chữ Quốc Ngữ as the official script, but it would allow younger generations of Vietnamese to have a tangible link to their forefathers. In the process, it would mean that more people would have knowledge of Chinese characters.

I just ordered a complete Chữ Nôm dictionary a few days ago called "The Dictionary of Nôm Characters with Excerpts" (Tự Điển Chữ Nôm Trích Dẫn). It costs $75 + $25 P&H ($USD100) so it's probably the most expensive publication that I've ever bought!

Tự điển in trên giấy đẹp, tốt, trình bày mỹ thuật, bìa cứng, với hơn 1700 trang, và ‎có trên mười ngàn mục từ với trích dẫn phong phú và giải thích cách cấu tạo chữ rõ ràng.‎


"The dictionary is printed upon paper that is beautiful, of good quality, with a beautiful layout, hardcover, with over 1700 pages, and over ten thousand entries with an abundance of excerpts and clear explanations of how to properly use the word(s)."

Image

Oh boy! I'm probably gonna go blind soon! Anyway, I believe that the Chữ Nôm script was and is an invaluable source of historical and cultural significance to the Vietnamese. I believe that had it not been for the romanisation of Vietnamese by the European missionaries, that a form of Chữ Nôm would probably have still been used to this very day. Also, it was the first official script (albeit officially used for just 14 years) that the Vietnamese themselves created to express their native tongue.

I mean, if the elites had been educated in Classical Chinese for years and years, then why not just stick to the Classical Chinese language? Why even bother creating Chữ Nôm at all? And sure Chữ Nôm looks like a cheap copy of Chinese, but wasn't the Chinese script all the elites were known to have used? Had they been exposed to other scripts of the world, who knows what type of script Vietnamese people would be using, or even if we would be calling them Vietnamese at all?
Clicky > My BLOG
imbecilica
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 8:37 am

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby VROOR » Mon 23 Nov 2009 12:11 pm

imbecilica wrote:The Koreans also used systems of writing such as Idu and to some extent use Chinese characters for distinguishing between homophones, but mostly now use Hangeul which although looks nothing like Hanzi, you can see the influence in the way the syllable stacks into a block.


The Hangeul was designed by taking Ancient Japanese Writing forms and, made what it is the Hangeul today. The Ancient Japanese Writing has not been fully deciphered but, the Koreans claim the Koreans were the ancient rulers of Japan (and those undeciphered writings are original Korean writings); thus, the Koreans took the shape and forms of Ancient Japanese Writing and, created Hangeul. The funny thing is, no matter how many Koreans believe this self-proclaimed ancestory, Hangeul only matches the Ancient Japanese Writing is shape (only barely), not a single Korean can honestly understand the Ancient Japanese Writing.

imbecilica wrote:I just ordered a complete Chữ Nôm dictionary a few days ago called "The Dictionary of Nôm Characters with Excerpts" (Tự Điển Chữ Nôm Trích Dẫn). It costs $75 + $25 P&H ($USD100) so it's probably the most expensive publication that I've ever bought!


Thank you for informing me of this dictionary. I will order it as soon as possible.

imbecilica wrote:I mean, if the elites had been educated in Classical Chinese for years and years, then why not just stick to the Classical Chinese language? Why even bother creating Chữ Nôm at all? And sure Chữ Nôm looks like a cheap copy of Chinese, but wasn't the Chinese script all the elites were known to have used? Had they been exposed to other scripts of the world, who knows what type of script Vietnamese people would be using, or even if we would be calling them Vietnamese at all?


Perhaps it was the nationalism in them that motivated the creation of Chữ Nôm.
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby imbecilica » Mon 23 Nov 2009 12:40 pm

The dictionary is rather expensive, I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you're really into it.

I have never heard of this theory that Korean Hangeul comes from ancient Japanese writing. I do, however, know of a theory that the 5 basic consonants of Hangeul were inspired by the Phagspa writing.

Image

If you look at the top 5 symbols, ㄱ, ㄷ, ㅂ, ㅈ, and ㄹ - they seem to match that of the Phagspa symbols for roughly the same sounds. Coincidence? Of course the block design was influenced from Chinese characters. Hence, if the theory is true, the basic consonants and the block design is not at all Korean.

Anyway, of the CJKV I prefer the Chinese and Vietnamese Chữ Nôm characters. Korean Hangeul is ok except that the circles are quite weird looking and the Japanese system is rather messy.

1.
人人生而自由, 在尊嚴和權利上一律平等。他們賦有理性和良心, 並應以兄弟關係的精神互相對待。
(人人生而自由, 在尊严和权利上一律平等。他们赋有理性和良心, 并应以兄弟关系的精神互相对待。)

2.
Image

3.
모든 인간은 태어날 때부터 자유로우며 그 존엄과 권리에 있어 동등하다. 인간은 천부적으로 이성과 양심을 부여받았으며 서로 형제애의 정신으로 행동하여야 한다.

4.
すべての人間は、生まれながらにして自由であり、かつ、尊厳と権利とについて平等である。人間は、理性と良心を授けられてあり、互いに同胞の精神をもって行動しなければならない。

I know that many Chữ Nôm characters are already encoded into Unicode and can be typed and viewed, but there's still no proper typing font which is quite frustrating. However, there are dedicated people working on creating a functional typing font - so one day in the near future I can type Chữ Nôm just using Quốc Ngữ just like Chinese can be typed using Pinyin.
Clicky > My BLOG
imbecilica
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 8:37 am

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby VROOR » Mon 23 Nov 2009 1:07 pm

imbecilica wrote:The dictionary is rather expensive, I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you're really into it.


The price of the book is not really an issue with me.

imbecilica wrote:I have never heard of this theory that Korean Hangeul comes from ancient Japanese writing. I do, however, know of a theory that the 5 basic consonants of Hangeul were inspired by the Phagspa writing.


The Ancient Japanese Writing is known as 神代文字, you can check on that and will see the Hangeul basically stole the inscriptional style of 神代文字 (however, the Hangeul only took the shapes, the Koreans never understood the phonologies and meanings of 神代文字). Of course, there are some influences from Phagspa; however, the entire Hangeul was designed to look-like 神代文字, in order to support Koreans claim of "as the ancient rulers of Japan".

The following is the proof that Hangeul stole the inscriptional shapes of 神代文字 (阿比留文字/物部文字) without knowing the language itself:
Image
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby imbecilica » Mon 23 Nov 2009 2:19 pm

Well King Sejong and his subjects were known to have been exposed to various scripts of neighbouring kingdoms. If what you say is true, then it could be that King Sejong used 神代文字 as a base and then took the basic consonants from Phagspa. From just 神代文字 and Phagspa you would accumulate most of the symbols found in Hangeul. Then again it could just be a coincidence.

By the way I did a bit of searching and found this:

Image
Clicky > My BLOG
imbecilica
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 8:37 am

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby VROOR » Mon 23 Nov 2009 2:32 pm

imbecilica wrote:Well King Sejong and his subjects were known to have been exposed to various scripts of neighbouring kingdoms. If what you say is true, then it could be that King Sejong used 神代文字 as a base and then took the basic consonants from Phagspa.


Hence, the Koreans stole the wirting-systems of the ancient Japanese of which was alright until, the Koreans started to call the ancient writings their own, and then, started to claim the entire Manchuria and Japan belonged to the Koreans...THAT was not alright.

imbecilica wrote:By the way I did a bit of searching and found this:

Image


Yes, those are also part of the ancient writing known as 言霊文字/水茎(ミヅクキ)文字. All of these writings predated the creation of Hangeul.
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Chữ Nôm ‧字喃

Postby Jeisuke » Mon 23 Nov 2009 8:55 pm

Hi,
I hope you did not have any theories based on the accuracy of Jindaimoji. With the exception of a few fringe scholars, most serious linguists (especially Japanese) dismiss the historicity of Jindaimoji. The main treatises on these are Hibumi-den by Hirata Atsutane, and another who's title excapes me at the moment (both accessable at the 国会図書館 in Tokyo) both written in the late 17th / early 18th centuries. There are a few modern books on the subject (I will dig up their titles when I return home), but even they are only written for the Koshintoists who still actually believe in Izanami/Izanagi/Amaterazu-Oomikami, etc.
The (short) reasons why Jindaimoji cannot be authentic are:
1. No demonstrable use before the late 1700s (which is after the Imjin invasion of Korea). King Sejong had produced the Hunmin Jeong'eum in the mid 1400s
2. By the late 1700s, the Japanese language had changed from that used in the Man'youshu. The Man'yougana used to write names, places and gramatical parts seems to indicated that Japanese at that time had 7 vowels instead of 5 as is recorded in ALL the so-called Jindaimoji scripts (Moritsune, Iyo, Hizin, Ahiru, Awa, etc). If the Jindaimoji was of such antiquity, we would expect to have the alternate "o" and alternate "e" indicated as well. The now-archaic ゐ、ゑ are indicated as would be expected of something produced in the 17~18 century
3. Starting from a syllabry to logographs and then back to a syllabry is not known in any other script evolution.

That being said, I personally think Kaminomoji are cool and do like collecting them. I just wish they weren't so tied to the ultra-nationalist lunatic fringe in Japan. I'll write more later tonight.
Jeisuke
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 3:21 pm
Location: SoCal (Formerly: Yokohama, JPN)

Next

Return to Writing systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron