Three Character Classic
(三字经) 3/5

【Mandarin】 Mandarin fan2 xun4 meng2, xu1 jiang3 jiu1, xiang2 xun4 gu3, ming2 ju4 dou4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese faan4 fan3 mung4, seoi1 gong2 gau3, coeng4 fan3 gu2, ming4 geoi3 dau6
In the education of the young,
there should be explanation and elucidation,
careful teaching of the interpretations of commentators,
and due attention to paragraphs and sentences.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin wei2 xue2 zhe3, bi4 you3 chu1, xiao3 xue2 zhong1, zhi4 si4 shu1
【Cantonese】 Cantonese wai4 hok6 ze2, bit1 jau5 co1, siu2 hok6 zung1, zi3 sei3 syu1
Those who are learners,
must have a beginning.
The "little learning" finished,
they proceed to the four books.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin lun2 yu2 zhe3, er4 shi2 pian1, qun2 di4 zi3, ji4 shan4 yan2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese leon6 jyu5 ze2, ji6 sap6 pin1, kwan4 dai6 zi2, gei3 sin6 jin4
There is the Lun Yu,
in twenty sections.
In this, the various disciples
have recorded the wise sayings of Confucius.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin meng4 zi2 zhe3, qi1 pian1 zhi3, jiang3 dao4 de2, shuo1 ren2 yi4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese maang6 zi2 ze2, cat1 pin1 zi2, gong2 dou6 dak1, syut3 jan4 ji6
The works of Mencius
are comprised in seven sections.
These explain the way and the exemplification thereof,
and expound charity and duty towards one's neighbour.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin zuo4 zhong1 yong1, zi5 si1 bi3, zhong1 bu4 pian1, yong1 bu2 yi4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese zok3 zung1 jung4, zi2 si1 bat1, zung1 bat1 pin1, jung4 bat1 jik6
The Zhong Yong was written
by the pen of Zi-si;
Zhong (the middle) being that which does not lean towards any side,
Yong (the course) being that which cannot be changed.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin zuo4 da4 xue2, nai3 zeng1 zi5, zi4 xiu1 qi2, zhi4 ping2 zhi4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese zok3 daai6 hok6, naai5 zang1 zi2, zi6 sau1 cai4, zi3 ping4 zi6
He who wrote The Great Learning
was the philosopher Zeng.
Beginning with cultivation of the individual and ordering of the family,
it goes on to government of one's own State and ordering of the Empire.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin xiao4 jing1 tong1, si4 shu1 shu2, ru2 liu4 jing1, shi2 ke3 du2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese haau3 ging1 tung1, sei3 syu1 suk6, jyu4 luk6 ging1, ci2 ho2 duk6
When the Classic of Filial Piety is mastered,
and the "Four books" are known by heart,
the next step is to the "Six classics",
which may now be studied.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin shi1 shu1 yi4, li3 chun1 qiu1, hao4 liu4 jing1, dang1 jiang3 qiu2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese si1 syu1 jik6, lai5 ceon1 cau1, hou6 luk6 ging1, dong1 gong2 kau4
The Books of Poetry, of History and of Changes.
The Rites of the Zhou Dynasty, the Book of Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals,
are called the Six Classics,
which should be carefully explained and analysed.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin you3 lian2 shan1, you3 gui1 cang2, you3 zhou1 yi4, san1 yi4 xiang2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese jau5 lin4 saan1, jau5 gwai1 cong4, jau5 zau1 jik6, saam7 jik6 coeng4
There is the Lian Shan system,
there is the Gui Zang,
And there is the system of Changes of the Zhou Dynasty;
such are the three systems which elucidate the Changes.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin you2 dian3 mo2, you3 xun4 gao4, you3 shi4 ming4, shu1 zhi1 ao4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese jau5 din2 mou4, jau5 fan3 gou3, jau5 sai6 ming6, syu1 zi1 ou3
There are the Regulations, the Counsels,
the Instructions, the Announcements,
the Oaths, the Charges;
these are the profundities of the Book of History.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin wo3 zhou1 gong1, zuo4 zhou1 li3, zhu4 liu4 guan1, cun2 zhi4 ti3
【Cantonese】 Cantonese ngo5 zau1 gung1, zok3 zau1 lai5, zyu3 luk6 gun1, cyun4 zi6 tai2
Our Duke of Zhou
drew up the Ritual of the Zhou Dynasty,
in which he set forth the duties of the six classes of officials;
and thus gave a settled form to the government.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin da4 xiao3 dai4, zhu4 li3 ji4, shu4 sheng4 yan2, li3 yue4 bei4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese daai6 siu2 daai3, zyu3 lai5 gei3, seot6 sing3 jin4, lai5 ngok6 bei6
The Elder and the Younger Dai
wrote commentaries on the Book of Rites.
They published the holy words,
and Ceremonies and Music were set in order.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin yue1 guo2 feng1, yue1 ya3 song4, hao4 si4 shi1, dang1 feng2 yong3
【Cantonese】 Cantonese joek6 gwok3 fung1, joek6 ngaa5 zung6, hou6 sei3 si1, dong1 fung3 wing6
We speak of the Guo Feng,
we speak of the Ya and the Song.
These are the four sections of the Book of poetry,
which should be hummed over and over.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin shi1 ji4 wu2, chun1 qiu1 zuo4, yu4 bao1 bian3, bie2 shan4 e4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese si1 gei3 mou4, ceon1 cau1 zok3, jyu6 bou1 bin2, bit6 sin6 ngok3
When odes ceased to be made,
the Spring and Autumn Annals were produced.
These Annals contain praise and blame,
and distinguish the good from the bad.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin san1 zhuan4 zhe3, you3 gong1 yang2, you2 zuo3 shi4, you3 gou4 liang2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese saam7 zyun6 ze2, jau5 gung1 joeng4, jau5 zo2 si6, jau5 gau3 loeng4
The three commentaries upon the above
include that of Gong-Yang,
that of Zuo
and that of Gu-Liang.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin jing1 ji4 ming2, fang1 du2 zi5, cuo1 qi2 yao4, ji4 qi2 shi4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese ging1 gei3 ming4, fong1 duk6 zi2, cyut3 kei4 jiu3, gei3 kei4 si6
When the Classics are understood,
then the writings of the various philosophers should be read.
Pick out the important points in each,
and take a note of all facts.

【Mandarin】 Mandarin wu3 zi3 zhe3, you3 xun2 yang2, wen2 zhong1 zi3, ji2 lao3 zhuang1
【Cantonese】 Cantonese ng5 zi2 ze2, jau5 seon1 joeng4, man4 zung7 zi2, kap6 lou5 zong1
The five chief philosophers
are Xun, Yang,
Laozi and Zhuangzi.

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