A reader’s e-mail got me digging around for an online version of the Tao Te Ching (or, if you prefer, Dao De Jing), and I wound up at an amazing site, Zhongwen.com: Chinese Characters and Culture. Its primary focus is on the characters:
Alone among modern languages, Chinese integrates both meaning and pronunciation information in its characters. Zhongwen.com deciphers this rich information to help students understand, appreciate and remember Chinese characters, one of humanity’s greatest and most enduring cultural achievements…
EVERY CHARACTER on this site is “CLICKABLE”.
Click to see its definition, etymology, and relation to other characters.
Click on “+” to hear it, see it drawn, and see its entry in other dictionaries.
But along with the dictionary and the lists of dynasties, surnames, names of Chinese-Americans (if you’ve ever wondered about the characters for Connie Chung, Michelle Kwan, I.M. Pei, or Yo-Yo Ma, here’s where you can find them), and the like, it has a Readings section with not only the Dao De Jing but the Analects of Confucius, the 300 Tang Poems, Lu Xun’s Diary of a Madman, and other classic texts (not to mention speeches by Deng Xiaoping and Bill Clinton [!]). A tremendous amount of work has obviously gone into this site, which is a treasure-trove to set alongside the Russian ones I blogged yesterday; it’s been quite a weekend for foreign literature here at Languagehat.