The remarkable Wengu site does a good job of explaining itself, so I’ll quote the welcome page:

This site allows you to read some Chinese classic texts in original language and with some translations. Your browser must display Chinese correctly. If you can’t or don’t want to get Chinese font, you can visit this site in No-Chinese mode. (A link at the foot brings you back to normal mode.) To help you reading these texts, each character is linked to a short on-line dictionary and a small pop-up appears if you stay a moment on a character. This site has a version française.
Now, see intro, general table of contents or go directly to the Book of the Odes (Shi Jing), the Analects of Confucius (Lunyu), the Book of Changes (Yi Jing, I Ching), the Book of the Way and its Power (Daode Jing, Tao-te King) attributed to Lao-tse or the 300 Tang Poems anthology.

When you go to one of the books, you have to click on a chapter number to get the text; here, for instance, is the start of the Analects. It’s really amazing to have not only the Chinese text but the mouseover to show you the reading and meanings of each character. (Via MetaFilter.)


  1. Victor Latrine says

    Is that Arsene Wengu? Or another Wengu altogether?

  2. Jimmy Ho says

    There sure are some great people at the AFPC.

  3. Excellent site for language teachers. The Three Character Classic is ideal for grade school kids – obviously – but I mean little foreign kids learning Chinese.

  4. Jimmy Ho says

    Since they don’t explain it on the “Welcome” page, I thought I’d point out that the site’s name (溫故) is a clever reference to a well-known sentence of the Lunyu, II.11: wengu zhixin 溫故知新 (well-known because it has become a chengyu/quadrisyllabic expression).

  5. Taeyoung says

    For anyone who doesn’t already know it, http://www.popjisyo.com is useful resource with a similar rollover thing for vocabulary. It’s imperfect, since it’s actually parsing the webpages, and sometimes gets the compounds wrong, but it’s a useful tool for language-learners nevertheless. Has Japanese, Chinese, and Korean dictionaries implemented.

  6. Thanks! Ez rendered the passage “If a man keep alive what is old and recognize novelty, he can, eventually, teach.” (Wengu part bolded.)

  7. Jimmy Ho says

    “Keep warm” would have been better, but I don’t know if it’d be correct English.

  8. Doc Rock says

    Unfortunately the first line of Chapter I of the _Analects_ displays a shortcoming of the rollover meanings–the tenth character of the fist line brings up a gloss “shui” or “shuo” meaning “to persuade politically” or “to say;” however, if one reads the translation, one discovers “Is it not delightful. . .” as the translation. The character in question, also had the reading of “yueh” and the meaning of “to be a joy/delight/pleasure.” This is a fairly obscure pronouniation and reading, except it is in the famous beginning of the _Analects_! Doc Rock

  9. Tsk. Thanks for pointing that out.

  10. Jimmy Ho says

    Tsk, indeed. There is a comments feature (which I don’t like, because it is confusing on a non-blog), so you could suggest to them to add the usual “說 is to be read as yue 悅” glose (none of these readings is “obscure”, though).

  11. Jimmy Ho says

    I guess it should be “suggest that they add…”.

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