Three Character Classic
(三字经) 3/5

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【Simplified】凡训蒙,须讲究。详训诂,名句读。
【Traditional】凡訓蒙,須講究。詳訓詁,名句讀。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】为学者,必有初。小学终,至四书。
【Traditional】為學者,必有初。小學終,至四書。
【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
【English】
Those who are learners,
must have a beginning.
The "little learning" finished,
they proceed to the four books.

【Simplified】论语者,二十篇。群弟子,记善言。
【Traditional】論語者,二十篇。群弟子,記善言。
【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
【English】
There is the Lun Yu,
in twenty sections.
In this, the various disciples
have recorded the wise sayings of Confucius.

【Simplified】孟子者,七篇止。讲道德,说仁义。
【Traditional】孟子者,七篇止。講道德,說仁義。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】作中庸,子思笔。中不偏,庸不易。
【Traditional】作中庸,子思筆。中不偏,庸不易。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】作大学,乃曾子。自修齐,至平治。
【Traditional】作大學,乃曾子。自修齊,至平治。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】孝经通,四书熟。如六经,始可读。
【Traditional】孝經通,四書熟。如六經,始可讀。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】诗书易,礼春秋。号六经,当讲求。
【Traditional】詩書易,禮春秋。號六經,當講求。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】有连山,有归藏。有周易,三易详。
【Traditional】有連山,有歸藏。有周易,三易詳。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】有典谟,有训诰。有誓命,书之奥。
【Traditional】有典謨,有訓誥。有誓命,書之奧。
【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
【English】
There are the Regulations, the Counsels,
the Instructions, the Announcements,
the Oaths, the Charges;
these are the profundities of the Book of History.

【Simplified】我周公,作周礼。著六官,存治体。
【Traditional】我周公,作周禮。著六官,存治體。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】大小戴,注礼记。述圣言,礼乐备。
【Traditional】大小戴,註禮記。述聖言,禮樂備。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】曰国风,曰雅颂。号四诗,当讽咏。
【Traditional】曰國風,曰雅頌。號四詩,當諷詠。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】诗既亡,春秋作。寓褒贬,别善恶。
【Traditional】詩既亡,春秋作。寓褒貶,別善惡。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】三传者,有公羊。有左氏,有彀梁。
【Traditional】三傳者,有公羊。有左氏,有彀梁。
【Mandarin】 Mandarin san1 chuan2 zhe3, you3 gong1 yang2, you2 zuo3 shi4, you3 gou4 liang2
【Cantonese】 Cantonese saam7 zyun6 ze2, jau5 gung1 joeng4, jau5 zo2 si6, jau5 gau3 loeng4
【English】
The three commentaries upon the above
include that of Gong-Yang,
that of Zuo
and that of Gu-Liang.

【Simplified】经既明,方读子。撮其要,记其事。
【Traditional】經既明,方讀子。撮其要,記其事。
【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
【English】
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.

【Simplified】五子者,有荀杨。文中子,及老庄。
【Traditional】五子者,有荀楊。文中子,及老莊。
【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
【English】
The five chief philosophers
are Xun, Yang,
Wenzhongzi,
Laozi and Zhuangzi.

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