Three Character Classic
(三字经) 2/5

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【Simplified】首孝弟,次见闻。知某数,识某文。
【Traditional】首孝弟,次見聞。知某數,識某文。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin shou3 xiao4 di4, ci4 jian4 wen2, zhi1 mou3 shu4, shi5 mou3 wen2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese sau2 haau3 dai6, ci3 gin3 man4, zi1 mau5 sou3, sik1 mau5 man4
【English】
Begin with filial piety and fraternal love,
and then see and hear.
Learn to count,
and learn to read.

【Simplified】一而十,十而百。百而千,千而万。
【Traditional】一而十,十而百。百而千,千而萬。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin yi1 er2 shi2, shi2 er2 bai3, bai3 er2 qian1, qian1 er2 wan4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese jat1 ji4 sap6, sap6 ji4 baak3, baak3 ji4 cin1, cin1 ji4 maan6
【English】
Units and tens,
tens and hundreds,
hundreds and thousands,
thousands and tens of thousands.

【Simplified】三才者,天地人。三光者,日月星。
【Traditional】三才者,天地人。三光者,日月星。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin san1 cai2 zhe3, tian1 di4 ren2, san1 guang1 zhe3, ri4 yue4 xing1
【Cantonese】 Cantonese saam1 coi4 ze2, tin1 dei6 jan4, saam1 gwong1 ze2, jat6 jyut6 sing1
【English】
The Three Forces
are Heaven, Earth and Man.
The Three Luminaries
are the sun, the moon and the stars.

【Simplified】三纲者,君臣义。父子亲,夫妇顺。
【Traditional】三綱者,君臣義。父子親,夫婦順。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin san1 gang1 zhe3, jun1 chen2 yi4, fu4 zi3 qin1, fu1 fu4 shun4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese saam1 gong1 ze2, gwan1 san4 ji6, fu6 zi2 can1, fu1 fu5 seon6
【English】
The Three Bonds
are the obligation between sovereign and subject,
the love between father and child,
the harmony between husband and wife.

【Simplified】曰春夏,曰秋冬。此四时,运不穷。
【Traditional】曰春夏,曰秋冬。此四時,運不窮。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin yue1 chun1 xia4, yue1 qiu1 dong1, ci3 si4 shi2, yun4 bu4 qiong2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese joek6 ceon1 haa6, joek6 cau1 dung1, ci2 sei3 si4, wan6 bat1 kung4
【English】
We speak of spring and summer,
we speak of autumn and winter.
These four seasons
revolve without ceasing.

【Simplified】曰南北,曰西东。此四方,应乎中。
【Traditional】曰南北,曰西東。此四方,應乎中。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin yue1 nan2 bei3, yue1 xi1 dong1, ci3 si4 fang1, ying4 hu5 zhong1
【Cantonese】 Cantonese joek6 naam4 bak1, joek6 sai1 dung1, ci2 sei3 fong1, jing3 fu4 zung1
【English】
We speak of North and South,
we speak of East and West,
These four points
respond to the requirements of the centre.

【Simplified】曰水火,木金土。此五行,本乎数。
【Traditional】曰水火,木金土。此五行,本乎數。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin yue1 shui2 huo3, mu4 jin1 tu3, ci2 wu3 xing2, ben3 hu5 shu4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese joek6 seoi2 fo2, muk6 gam1 tou2, ci2 ng5 hang4, bun2 fu4 sou3
【English】
We speak of water, fire,
wood, metal and earth.
These five elements
have their origin in number.

【Simplified】曰仁义,礼智信。此五常,不容紊。
【Traditional】曰仁義,禮智信。此五常,不容紊。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin yue1 ren2 yi4, li3 zhi4 xin4, ci2 wu3 chang2, bu4 rong2 wen3
【Cantonese】 Cantonese joek6 jan4 ji6, lai5 zi3 seon3, ci2 ng5 soeng4, bat1 jung4 man6
【English】
We speak of charity of heart and of duty towards one's neighbour,
of propriety, of wisdom, and of truth.
These five virtues
admit of no compromise.

【Simplified】稻粱菽,麦黍稷。此六谷,人所食。
【Traditional】稻粱菽,麥黍稷。此六谷,人所食。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin dao4 liang2 shu1, mai4 shu3 ji4, ci3 liu4 gu3, ren2 suo3 shi2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese dou6 loeng4 suk6, mak6 syu2 zik1, ci2 luk6 guk1, jan4 so2 sik6
【English】
Rice, spiked millet, pulse,
wheat, glutinous millet and common millet.
These six grains
are those which men eat.

【Simplified】马牛羊,鸡犬豕。此六畜,人所饲。
【Traditional】馬牛羊,雞犬豕。此六畜,人所飼。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin ma3 niu2 yang2, ji1 quan2 shi3, ci3 liu4 chu4, ren2 suo3 si4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese maa5 ngau4 joeng4, gai1 hyun2 ci2, ci2 luk6 cuk1, jan4 so2 zi6
【English】
The horse, the ox, the sheep,
the fowl, the dog, the pig.
These six animals,
are those which men keep.

【Simplified】曰喜怒,曰哀惧。爱恶欲,七情具。
【Traditional】曰喜怒,曰哀懼。愛惡欲,七情具。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin yue1 xi3 nu4, yue1 ai1 ju4, ai4 e4 yu4, qi1 qing2 ju4
【Cantonese】 Cantonese joek6 hei2 nou6, joek6 oi1 geoi6, ngoi3 wu3 juk6, cat1 cing4 geoi6
【English】
We speak of joy, of anger,
we speak of pity, of fear,
of love, of hate, and of desire.
These are the seven passions.

【Simplified】匏土革,木石金。与丝竹,乃八音。
【Traditional】匏土革,木石金。與絲竹,乃八音。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin pao2 tu3 ge2, mu4 shi2 jin1, yu3 si1 zhu2, nai3 ba1 yin1
【Cantonese】 Cantonese paau4 tou2 gaak3, muk6 sek6 gam1, jyu5 si1 zuk1, naai5 baat3 jam1
【English】
The gourd, earthenware, skin,
wood, stone, metal,
silk, and bamboo,
yield the eight musical sounds.

【Simplified】高曾祖,父而身。身而子,子而孙。自子孙,至玄曾。乃九族,人之伦。
【Traditional】高曾祖,父而身。身而子,子而孫。自子孫,至玄曾。乃九族,人之倫。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin gao1 zeng1 zu3, fu4 er2 shen1, shen1 er2 zi5, zi5 er2 sun1, zi4 zi3 sun1, zhi4 yuan2 zeng1, nai2 jiu3 zu2, ren2 zhi1 lun2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese gou1 zang7 zou2, fu6 ji4 san1, san1 ji4 zi2, zi2 ji4 syun1, zi6 zi2 syun1, zi3 jyun4 zang1, naai5 gau2 zuk6, jan4 zi1 leon
【English】
Great great grandfather, great grandfather, grandfather,
father and self,
self and son,
son and grandson,
from son and grandson
on to great grandson and great great grandson.
These are the nine agnates,
constituting the kinships of man.

玄 : Originally read: "元". 避諱。

【Simplified】父子恩,夫妇从。兄则友,弟则恭。长幼序,友与朋。君则敬,臣则忠。此十义,人所同。
【Traditional】父子恩,夫婦從。兄則友,弟則恭。長幼序,友與朋。君則敬,臣則忠。此十義,人所同。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin fu4 zi3 en1, fu1 fu4 cong2, xiong1 ze2 you5, di4 ze2 gong1, zhang3 you4 xu4, you5 yu3 peng2, jun1 ze2 jing4, chen2 ze2 zhong1, ci3 shi2 yi4, ren2 suo3 tong2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese fu6 zi2 jan1, fu1 fu5 cung4, hing1 zak1 jau5, dai6 zak1 gung1, zoeng2 jau3 zeoi6, jau5 jyu5 pang4, gwan1 zak1 ging3, san4 zak1 zung1, ci2 sap6 ji6, jan4 so2 tung4
【English】
Affection between father and child,
harmony between husband and wife,
friendliness on the part of elder brothers,
respectfulness on the part of younger brothers,
precedence between elders and youngers,
as between friend and friend,
respect on the part of the sovereign,
loyalty on the part of the subject.
These ten obligations,
are common to all men.

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