Friday, February 12, 2010

The End of the Ch'ing Dynasty

J.K. Baltzersen (who else?) reminds us of the sad events "[t]wo years short of a century ago today" — Chinese Abdication. And today, Puyi's Manchu language has "fewer than 70 native speakers."

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Blogger Constantine said...

Puyi himself was said to only have known one Manchu word, that is - the word for "arise".

As much as I like to blame modernism for the disappearance of the Manchu language, I'd say the Manchus themselves (particularly the ruling Aisin Gioro family) willingly gave up their culture in favour of the Chinese one. Take for example the personal names of the Qing emperors: the first two Nurhai and Hungtaiji, had Manchu names, but the rest that came after had distinctively Chinese names: Fulin, Xuanye (the Kangxi Emperor), Yinzhen, Hongli, etc

2:33 PM  

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