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數風流人物 還看今朝

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by idialegre, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    Hi Everybody,

    In Mao Zedong's poem 沁园春•雪, the last three lines are:


    I have two questions: In the second line, I think that 數 is shu4, but it seems to me that I have heard some people read the poem using shu3. Which is correct? Or do shu3 and shu4 both have the same meaning?

    In the last line, I have heard 還 read as both huan2 and hai2. Which is correct? Most of the time I have heard huan2, but then I don't really understand the meaning. The dictionary translates huan2 as "return, pay back," which doesn't make any sense to me.

  2. Hihowareyou Junior Member

    数 is pronounced shu3 when used as a verb, meaning "to count", and is pronounced shu4 when used as a noun, meaning "number". As in the poem, it should be pronounced shu3. There's a bit special when it comes to the pronunciation of 还 in this poem. In ancient time 还 is always pronounced huan and the use of hai as one of its pronunciations is a quite recent occurrence. Thus in literatural works written in the classic froms, such as a classic poem, 还 could still always be pronounced huan as a regard of the ancient. If the poem was written in the modern form with 还 in the same meaning, then 还 should be pronounced hai.
  3. Ben pan Senior Member

    Many people insists that the pronounciation of this 还 is huan, whereas its meaning is the same with the 还 in 还行,还要,which are pronounced as hai. This is a little bit pretentious. Because why we should read it in its ancient sound? Do your teacher told you to read other characters that way? I suppose we donot have to read it as huan. That is only an option suiting to the need of an enthusiast of ancient language.
  4. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    My teacher read it with huan. I don't have a preference, and of course I am no expert on ancient Chinese, but I suppose the correct way to read any poem is the way the author himself would have read it. So I wonder if Mao Zedong would have said huan or hai?

    In any case, could you tell me exactly what the meaning is? Does it mean "still?" Or something else?
  5. tarlou Senior Member

    The author himself had a heavy accent and was completely unable to speak standard mandarin. :D All words are pronounced differently (in both tones and consonants/vowels) in dialects. People will only read the poem in their own accent, just like we don't read 唐诗 in ancient Chinese of Tang dynasty.

    I prefer hai2. The sentence means "数风流人物,还是得看今天啊", 还 means something like "it's better to" or "it turns out that". In modern standard Chinese, the correct pronunciation is hai2.

    BTW, strictly speaking, reading huan2 is not because that's an ancient sound. I think this is something like 文白异读 or 上口. In poems or operas, certain words are pronounced differently, for example 白 sounds like bo2 and 贼 sounds like ze2. This does have something to do with the ancient sound. But actually, this is also a part of the modern language. In poem readings, this is completely unnecessary and I never do it.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  6. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    Tarlou, Ben pan and Hihowareyou, thank you for the quick answers! They're very helpful!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  7. Johnny519 Senior Member

    hai2 is what i was taught

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