Arnoldus Montanus, Atlas Chinensis (1671)
John Ogilby Note: 12/10/2005
Atlas Chinensis: Being a Second Part of A Relation Of Remarkable Passages In Two Embassies From The East-India Company Of The United Provinces, To The Vice-Roy Singlamong And General Taising Lipovi, And To Konchi, Emperor Of China and East-Tartary. With A Relation of the Netherlanders Assisting the Tartar against Coxinga, and the Chinese Fleet, who till then were Masters of the Sea. And A more exact Geographical Description than formerly, both of the whole Empire of China in general, and in particular of every of the fifteen Provinces
Hard-word, term-of-art, and dialect dictionaries, glossaries, and definitions
"Characters and Languages," pp. 718-23
D 242, M 2484
The Chineses (saith Trigaut) express not with any Letters of the Alphabet their Language in Writing, as almost all other People on the Earth, but draw as many Figures or Characters as there are Words and Things to signifie; so that if any one would Translate a Dictionary out of English into their Language, he would need as many several Characters as there are Words. As to what concerns the number of these Characters, though according to the greatness of any Subject, the more of them are requir'd, yet they have brought them all within the compass of seventy or eighty thousand; all which stand written in order in a Book call'd Haipien: besides which there is another much shorter (which teaches to Read, Write, and Understand their Books) which at most contains not above eight or ten thousand. If in their Reading they chance to meet with a Word which they understand not, then they turn to their great Dictionary, like one who learns the Latine or French Tongue; by which we may conclude, that the more Characters the Chineses know, the more Learned they are accounted: therefore it must be one of an exceeding Memory, that will be reckon'd a Scholar amongst them. (p. 718)
Ian Lancashire, Editor.
Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
We welcome your comments and questions.