A Manchu Grammar

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A Manchu Grammar with Analysed Texts
by Paul Georg von Möllendorff

I started with a quite imperfect scanned version of this book (a Google Books scanned PDF, scanned by the University of Viginia, that doesn't seem to be accessible anymore), but later I found two other scans that I have used to amend the first electronic version. Please correct any errors that you find! If you want to contact me, email per DOT stromdahl AT gmail DOT com.

[Beginning of Book]

Chinese Customs Service.

Printed at the Amercian Presbyterian Mission Press

[Page Break]

Table of contents

  1. Alphabet (Table.) Pronunciation
  2. Harmony of Vowels
  3. Diphtongs and Triphtongs
  4. Word-changes and Foregin Words
  1. Nouns and Adjectives. Terminations. Plural. Case Affixes; i, ni, de, be, ci
  2. Pronouns
  3. Numerals
  4. Verbs. Derivation. Moods and Tenses. Irregularities. Negation.
  5. Adverbs
  6. Postpositions
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Interjections
III. - Syntax
  Manchu texts with Translation and Analysis
  Index of Affixes and Terms
  Appendix: European Literature treating on Manchu

[Page Break]


There is as yet no grammar of the Manchu language in English. Wylie's translation of
Tsing Wan Ki Mung (清文啟蒙), Shanghai, 1855, a kind of Manchu hand-book for the use of
Chinese, though useful and full of interest, is by no means a grammar.
   The general interest taken in ever language will, of course, be also extended to Manchu;
still a few words seem necessary to show the particular usefulness of its study.
   There exist in all about 250 works in Manchu, nearly all of which are translations from the
Chinese. They consist of translations from the Classics, some historical and metaphysical works,
literary essays, collections of famous writers, novels. poetry, laws and regulations, Imperial
edicts, dictionaries, phrase books, etc. Most of these translations are excellent, but they are all
literal. Executed under the eyes of intelligent princes, they form a reliable expression of the
meaning of the Chinese text and have therefore a right to acceptance equal to that enjoyed
by commentaries of good writers. Manchu being infinitely easier to learn than Chinese, these 
translations are a great help towards obtaining a clear insight into Chinese syntax, and scholars
like Stanislas Julien, who owed the remarkable precision in his renderings to his knowledge of
Manchu, have repeatedly pointed this out. In a letter addressed to Dr. Legge he alludes to
the study of Manchu as being of great assistance in translating the Classics. Dr Legge, however,
in the preface to his translation of the Shuking, pronounced himself against it. The reasons
advanced by this great scholar are not very cogent, and, in fact, not knowing the language,
he was hardly competent to judge. Bet, even if he were right, others mat be in a different
position. Dr. Legge was perhaps more fortunate or more gifted than most people and had a
thorough mastery of Chinese at the time when St Julien wrote to him. Those who find Chinese
more difficult will be inclined to consider the Manchu translations a great help.
   This grammar being intended[*] for the practical purpose of guiding the student in learning
to read Manchu works, not of translating into Manchu, everything foreign to the aim is left out,
especially all information which properly belongs to the sphere of the dictionary.
   Shanghai, February, 1892.
   P.G. von Möllendorff.

[* = iutended in the printed version]
["The Alphabet" table omitted]

[Page 1]

I. Phonology

1. Alphabet.
Manchu writing consists of 34 elements, viz., 6 vowels, 18 essentially Manchu consonants
and 10 marks specially intended for rendering of Chinese syllables (vide Table).
The 6 vowels are a, e (ä), i, o, u, ū, (not ō as generally represented).{1}
The 18 consonants are k, g, h, n, b, p, s, š, t, d, l, m, c, j, y, r, f, w.
The 10 marks are k', g', h', ts', ts, dz, ž, sy, c'y, jy. {2}
k, g, h, t, d have two forms, one when followed by a, o, ū, the other when followed by
e, i, u.
o in the middle or at the end of words may be doubled and then stands for oo or ao.
If u or ū is followed by a or e, w is placed between them: juwe (two) pronounced jue. 
If a vowel is followed by i, the latter is doubled, except at the end of a word.
No word commences with r, nor with two or more consonants.
t after a vowel and before a consonant, or at the end of a word, is written like on.
To distinguish f from w, the rule is: at the beginning of a word w occurs only when followed
by a or e. F before a and e has an additional stroke at the right.
Manchu is written from top to bottom, the lines following from left to right.*

Many of the Manchu words are now pronounced with some Chinese peculiarities of pronunciation,
so k before i and e=ch', g before i and e=ch, h and s before i=hs, etc. H before a, o,
u, ū, is the guttural Scotch or German ch.
n is the ordinary sonorous liquid; only as initial, when followed by iya, iye, iyo, io, it
is pronounced like ny: e.g. niyalma man=nyalma; niyengniyeri spring=nyingnyiri; niolhon
smooth=nyolhon (Radloff, Phonetik, p. 162)
š=sh; c=ch in Chinese; j=j in judge; y when initial=y in yonder.
a, i, o, u, ū as in German.
e=ä, ö; e.g. ejen master, Tungusic äjän; inenggi day, Tung. inägî; elgembi to lead, Tung.
ölgöjäm; edun wind, Tung. ödyn.
i=i, y (=Russian ы); hali meadow=Tung. kowyr.
y with an e before and after, is not pronounced: beye bod=bee (bēö). Nor is it heard
between i and a, or i and e.
ž=j in jardin.
The accent lies always on the last syllable, the same as in Mongolian.
2. Harmony of Vowels.
Manchu writing distinguishes 6 vowels; there are, however, in reality eight, which all occur
in stem syllables: a, ä, o, ö, y, i, u, ü. As regards long and short vowels u only has two
separate signs. 
1) The name of the Emperor 舜 shun is given in Manchu as šūn.
2) The y in these 3 Chinese syllables represents the vowel transcribed by Wade with ŭ as in tzŭ and ssŭ, with
ih as in chih and shih.
* This alphabet was adopted by the Uigurs from a Syriac or Mandaic source, thence adapted to the Mongolian
language and in 1599 slightly altered to suit the pronunciation of Manchu. Unfortunately 3 vowels were left 

ö, ü, y. By comparing the Tungusic dialects these vowels can be partly restored.

[Page 2]

These 8 vowels are divided* into the following groups: --
4 guttural       | aoyu
4 palatal        | äöiü
4 dental         | aäyi
4 labial         | ouöü
2 dento-guttural | ay
2 labio-guttural | ou
2 dento-palatal  | äi
2 labio-palatal  | öü
4 wide vowels    | aouä  } according to the degree of widening or 
3 narrow vowels  | yuiiü } narrowing in inner organs of speech

The harmony of vowels consists in a certain attraction of vowels physiologically related
to each other; in accordance with it a vowel can only be followed by a corresponding one. All
the Altaic languages show this peculiarity, the Turkish dialects the most, the Tungusic and 
Manchu the least. Within stems this harmony of vowels is of interest only to the philologist,
but as most of the affixes in Manchu offer the choice between 2 or even 3 vowels (e.g. ha, ho,
he; la, le; hon, hun, hūn), a few rules are necessary to show which vowels should be used.

1. Stems terminating in a, e or o, take the same vowel in the affix: sula-ha left behind;
mute-re being able to; tokto-ko fixed. Exceptions are given under "Verbs."
For affixes in on, un, ūn (hon, hun, hūn): stems in which a or o occurs twice, or those
having i and a, take sometimes ū: yada-hūn poor; soyos-hūn folded.

2. Stems of one syllable, terminating in i or u, take mostly e: bi-he was; ku-he rotten.
With one of the affixes on, un, ūn: his-hūn bashful.

3. Stems of several syllables terminating in i or u, with a, u, ū, or oo preceding, take mostly
a: mari-ha returned; jabu-ha answered; tumi-kan somewhat frequent; gūni-ha thought; kooli-ngga
customary. An exception appears to be: ashū-re will refuse. Of affixes in on, un, ūn: tali-hūn
doubtful; miosi-hūn or hon wrong.

4. Stems of several syllables terminating in i or u, with e preceding, take e: julesi-ken a
little forward; tebu-ngge laying down; of affixes in on, un, ūn: wesi-hun upper; etu-hun strong.

5. Stems having u repeated, take mostly e, but sometimes a: uku-he accompanied; ulu-ken
a little wrong; but usu-kan a little uncommon.

6. Stems terminating in u with i preceding, take mostly a: bišu-kan a little smooth; but
also e: kiru-re will be in heat.

7. Stems in u and ū, take mostly a: mukū-ha breathed in.

8. Stems with two i, take mostly a: ili-ha stood; but also e: iji-re will weave.
The exceptions for the verbal affixes ha, ra, will be given in extenso under "Verbs."
If two or more affixes are used, the vowel of the first determines the vowels of the others.
The difference between wide and narrow vowels is also used to express the difference of
gender, e.g.:---
a male principle (陽 yang) | e female principle (陰 yin).
ama father. | eme mother.
amha father-in-law. | emhe mother-in-law.
haha man. | hehe woman, etc.
* I follow J. Grunzel, Die Vocalharmonie der Altaischen Sprachen, Sitz. Ber. der Kais. Ak. der Wiss. Wien,
1888, which is based on Radloff's eminent work: Phonetik der Nördlichen Türksprachen. Leipzig, 1883.

[Page 3 (This page lacks several of the rightmost characters. This page may contain many errors.)]

3 Diphtongs and Triphthongs.
In these the rules of vowel harmony are not perceptible:
a may be followed by i, o: ai, ao; e by i,o: ei, eo; i by a, e, i, o, u: ia, ie, ii, io, iu; o by
i, o: oi, oo; u by a, e, i, o: ua, ue, ui, uo; ū by a, e, i, o: ūa, ūe, ūi, ūo.
Triphthongs are ioa, ioo, io(w)an, io(w)en, ioi, i(y)ao.
Of the above oo stands for ao or ū; ioo for Chinese yao (要); io(w)an, io(w)en for uan,
üan; ioi for ü, i(y)oo for iao.

4. Word-changes and Foreign Words.
Vowels are often dropped:
a. in the middle of words: tofohon fifteen, pronounced tofhon; ilha flower from ilaha;
utha hun--hutaha; hojhon son-in-law--hojihon; ufhi part--ufuhi; gelhun fear--gelehun; narša
niggard--naraša; cirku pillow--ciruku from cirumbi; forgon or forhon season--forohon, etc.

b. in combination of two words: ertele till here--ere tele, emderi at the same time - emu
derei; emursu simple --emu ursu; erse such--ere se; ergi this side --ere gi; inenggishūn noon--
inenggi sahūn; dergi upper--dere gi; baitahū unemployed--baita akū; memema step-father--
meme ama; aba where?--ai ba; amargi behind --ama ergi, alimbaharakū inexpressible--alime
baraha akū.

A final n, not being part of the root, is dropped in combinations: kumuda musician--
kumun da; ilase three years--ilan se; daniyartu a mythological animal--daniyan artu, or
transformed in m before b: dulimba middle--dulin ba.

K and h, g and h sometimes interchange: emeke--emhe mother-in-law; julge--julehe formerly

Foreign words in Manchu are mostly Chinese and Mongol. The latter, like gobi desert, sain
good, have been taken over without change and are difficult to recognize as foreign.
In the beginning of Manchu literature Chinese words were:--

a. borrowed without chamge, new words for new idea: ging(京, 經, 更), gung (公, 宮,
攻, 工), wang (王) even when an original Manchu word existed: liyo hūwang (硫黃 liu huang
sulphur) instead of hurku; funghūwang (鳳凰 fêng huang phœnix) instead of garudai. It has
been calculated that one-third of the Manchu dictionary consists of Chinese words thus borrowed.

b. with slight change in the termination: ging-gulembi to honour from 敬 (ching).

c. with an addition explanatory of the meaning: gin liyan ilha (金蓮 chin lien lotus,
ilha flower) lotus; ingturi or ingtoro cherry from  櫻 ying cherry and turi bean or toro (桃
t'ao) peach.

Other similarities seem to point to more ancient loans: fi brush (筆 pi), fafun law (法 
fa); dulefun degree (度 tu); kemun measure (刻 k'e). These may, however, originally spring
from the same root (compare e.g. kemun with Jakutic käm measure).

Manchu words cannot begin with r (Buddhist works contain some transliterated Sanscrit
words commencing with r) or ū (ūlet is Mongol). They generally terminate in vowels or n.
Final r, k, and s is only found in onomatopoetic words like kacar kicir, kafur, kalar kilir, etc.;
cik cak , tok, katak kitik, kas kis. Words with final m, l, or t, are foreign: serim name of a
place, serekul town in Turkestan, mandal Mongol word, a place where scared rites are practiced
ūlet is a Mongol name.

Some few words terminate in b: tob right; cob mountain peak, kab kib, cib cab. The
ending ng, if not onomatopoetic as in ang, cing cang, cung, etc., shows Chinese origin.

[Page 4]

II. Etymology.

The words of Manchu language may be divided into: 1. nouns and adjectives, 2.
pronouns, 3. numerals, 4. verbs, 5. adverbs, 6. postpositions, 7. conjunctions, 8. interjections.

1. Nouns and adjectives I treat together, as they have many terminations in common and as
many adjectives may be used as nouns and vice versa.

The terminations for nouns are :---
a. vowels: abka heaven, muke water, kesi favour, olo hemp, kuncu sledge, boo house, buhū stag.
b. n: morin horse, banin nature.
c. ka, ko, ku, kū, ho, indicating mostly names of instruments and utensils: ujika, bow case;
oboko washing basin; hujuku bellows; forikū drum; corko? funnel; but also tacikū school.
d. ha, he, ge, han, hen, gan, gen, gon: sujaha tent peg; suhe, suhen commentary, nedege
news; hūsikan petticoat; hūrgan large net; turigen wages; bodogon intention.
e. ba: kondoba whip lash; dulimba middle.
f. bun: ulabun tradition.
g. si, ci, cin: yafasi gardener; aduci herdsman; jacin second of two brothers.
k. ra, re, ri, ro, ru, ran, ron: jamaran quarrel; tohoro circle, wheel; heturen cross beam.
The terminations for nouns and adjectives are :---
a. nggi: inenggi day; etenggi strong.
b. hiyan, hiyen: acuhiyan slander, calumnious.
c. hon, hun, hūn, shun, shūn: etuhun power, mighty; ijishūn compliance, compliant.
d. sun: hūwaliyasun harmony, peaceful.
e. tu, tun: iletu appearance, clear; iletun sign.
f. ki, hi, hin: jabšaki luck, lucky; hūlhi stupid; aduhi leather trowsers; lekerki, lekerhi,
leherhin seal.
g. cu, cun: suilacun anxiety, anxious.
h. la, lo, le, lan, lon, len: fangkala low; dorolon ceremony.
i. ju, ji: boihoju terrestiral, spirit of the earth; jiduji quite right; boigoji landlord.
The terminations for adjectives are:---
a. ngga, nggo, ngge, nggū: moringga riding, doronggo regular; ambalinggū (o) earnest.
b. (n) ingge: niyalmaingge human.
c. su, da, do, de: gelesu timid; ubiyada hated.
d. buru, cuka, cuke: hataburu, hatacuka odious; ferguwecuke wonderful.
e. saka: ekisaka silent.

Diminutives and augmentatives are formed with the affixes kan, kon, ken, gan, gen, liyan,
liyen, cen, si: ambakan somewhat large; biragan a small river; olhokon a little dry; gelfiyeken
a little pale; adaliliyan somewhat similar; ambakaliyan a little big; isheliyen rather narrow;
suhecen a small axe; ambakasi somewhat big.
Adjectives are transformed into nouns by adding urse (者): tacire urse (學者) the students, 
the scholars; or by adding ba (place): amba ba greatness.
The plural of nouns (adjectives remain unchanged) is formed: ---
a . by the affixes sa, se, si, so, ta, da, te, ri. These are simply added to the word; a final 
n (not being part of the root) is dropped (hafan-hafasa); but han emperor-- hansa. Jui loses
final i: juse; omolo final lo: omosi. Thus šabi--šabisa; age, agese; aha--ahasi; monggo--
monggoso; ama--amata; eme--emete; mafa--mafari.

[Page 5]

Some nouns use several affixes: urun--urusa and uruse; agu---agusa and aguse; nakču--
nakčusa, nakčuse, and nakčuta; gioro or gioru---gioroso and gioruse; sargan--sargata and sargada.
b. by repeating the noun: se se years.
c. by adding numeral terms or words denoting plurality. These are:
Place before the noun: tanggū hundred, e.g. tanggū hala (百姓) the hundred family names,
the people; tumen ten thousand (萬), e.g. tumen jaha things, all things; geren all, e.g. geren
niyalma all men; the latter is also used in combination with plural forms: geren ambasa hafasa
the officials.
Placed after the noun: gemu all, e.g. bayan gemu the rich; tome all, e.g. niyalma tome men,
all men; jergi (等), e.g. gurgu jergi the animals; urse (者) follows chiefly adjectives or
participles, e.g. bayan urse the rich; tacire urse the scholars, but does not always denote plurality.

Combinations of nouns with other affixes: i, ni; de; be; ci.
1. I, ni. I is placed after words terminating in a vowel or in n; ni follows words terminating
in a consonant other than n. After words ending in i (words of Chinese origin excepted) the i
may be left out.
This affix denotes:
a. the genitive case or possession, origin, habitation, part, intention with which a thing
is done (之), e.g. boo i ejen the master of the house; abkai ejen the Lord of Heaven, God (天主);
irgen i urse those of the people; urgun i doro the ceremony of congratulation.
b. instrumentality (以), e.g. suhe i with an axe.
c. an adverbial expression (然), e.g. fafun i legally.
Sometimes the i is left out, e.g. gūnin sukdun the spirit of thought, i.e. energy; siden haha a
supernumerary. The first noun is in such cases employed like an adjective.
Of several nouns dependent on one, only the last of the dependent nouns takes the affix, e.g.
ama jui i boo the house or houses of the son and of the father. Ama i jui i boo means the houses of
the son of the father.

2. De denotes the situation (in, at), the direction (towards, upon, on), the address (to), the
remaining with, according to, the locative and the dative: gurun de in the empire, towards the
empire; hoton de in or to the town; doron de according to custom, solemnly; na de on earth; ere
niyalma de bumbi to give to this (ere) man (niyalma); tere niyalma de henduhe he spoke with that
man; dere de sindambi to place on the table; si aibide genembi where (aibide) are you (si) going to?
tuware de ja gojime yabure de mangga though (gojime) easy (ja) to look at (tuware de), it is difficult
(mangga) to perform (yabure de); niyalma de it is for man to; abka de it is for heave to (hominis est,
cœli est); juwe de gemu sartabure de isinambi to come to (isinambi) delaying (sartabure de) altogether
(gemu) in either (juwe de)  "雨下裡都至於躭攔" ; gemu like thi Chinese 都 tu is here expletive.
3. Be denotes the direct complement of the verb, the accusative, e.g. baita de gaimbi to take
a thing; erdemui beyebe dasambi by virtue we cultivate the body (beye be ourselves). Be is
sometimes used as an expletive, e.g. hūwasabukū mutebukū tacikū tacihiyakū be ilibufi tacibume.
hūwasabukū serengge ujire be tacihiyakū serengge tacibure be mutebukū serengge gabtabure be,
establish (ilibufi) colleges, academies, schools and gymnasia for the instruction (tacibume) of the
people. A college is for nourishment, an academy (and a school) for instruction, a gymnasium for
archery (Mencius, Gabelentz p. 90, Legge p. 118). This use of be might be explained as an
ellipsis, a verb like to give (bumbi) or to teach (tacimbi) being understood. It may be left out,
if the sentence is otherwise clear, e.g. bithe arambi to write a lietter.

[Page 6]

4. Ci is the sign of the ablative case (from, out of), denotes separation and is used in
comparisons, e.g. ereci amasi henceforward; daci dubede isitala from beginning to end; ubaci goro
akū not far from this; ama eniye ci fakcafi, booci aljafi inenggi goidaha taking leave of his fater
and mother, he was long separated from his family; yaci nenenme jihe bihe which came first?
It serves to form the comparative, e.g. minci amba bigger than myself.

2. Pronouns
a. Personal pronouns.
bi I, si thou, i he (tere that), be we, muse we, suwe you, ce they. Muse means (like the
Pekingese 咱們 tsa men) we that are speaking together, we that belong to one family, one clan, 
one nation. The above are declined as follows:--
nom.        bi I         be we        muse we       si thou      suwe you       i he, she, it   ce they
gen.        mini         meni         musei         sini         suweni         ini             ceni
dat.        minde        mende        musede        sinde        suwende        inde            cende
acc.        mimbe        membe        musebe        simbe        suwembe        imbe            cembe
abl.        minci        menci        museci        sinci        suwenci        inci            cenci.
For I, myself, etc., beye is added to the genitive: mini beye, sini beye, etc. For he himself
ini beye or gūla beye is used.
b. Possessive Pronouns. These are formed by adding ngge to the genitive of the personal
pronouns: miningge mine, siningge thine, etc. Often the genitive without ngge is thus employed:
meni morin our horse. Ere this, tere that frequently stand for the third person: terei gūnin his
opinion; eseingge theirs, belonging to them.
c. Demonstrative Pronouns. These are ere this, tere that:---
nom.        ere this       ese these    tere that      tese those
gen.        erei, ereni    esei         terei          tesei
dat.        ede, erede     esede        tede, terede   tesede
acc.        erebe          esebe        terebe         tesebe
abl.        ereci          eseci        tereci         teseci
If used as adjectives, ere and tere do not add the case affixes. Sometimes uba this and 
tuba that are used, but always alone, not in combination with nouns.
d. Interrogative Pronouns. These are we (gen. wei, dat. wede, acc. webe, abl. weci) who? ai
(acc. aimbe, abl. ainci) what? which? ya who? what? With we are formed weingge, weike which?
of what nature? With ai: aibi, ai gese, aiba what? ai yadare how much? aba where? etc. With
ya: yaci who? what? yaka how?
At the end of interrogative sentences it is common to append ni or o, e.g. marimbio shall I
back out? When following the future participle in ra (re, ro) o sometimes implies a request: minde
hūlabureo do cause me to study! (hūlambi to study, hūlabumbi passive or causative, hūlabure future
e. Indefinite Pronouns: aika, aimaka somebody, ya everybody, yamaka whoever, etc.
3. Numerals
a. The cardinal numbers are:---
1 emu, emke      6 ninggun
2 juwe           7 nadan
3 ilan           8 jakūn
4 duin           9 uyun
5 sunja          10 juwan

[Page 7]

11 juwan emu            70 nadanju
12 " juew               80 jakūnju
13 " ilan               90 uyunju
14 " duin               100 tanggū
15 tofohon              101 tanggū emu
16 juwan ninggun, etc   200 juwe tanggū
20 orin                 300 ilan tanggū, etc.
21 orin emu, etc        1000 minggan
30 gusin                10000 tumen
40 dehi                 100000 juwan tumen
50 susai                1000000 tanggū tumen
60 ninju

The higher numerals (up to 100 trillions buju baja) are not originally Manchu, but were
introduced into Buddhist works in imitation of Tibetan numerals which again were originally

b. The Ordinal Numerals are formed by adding ci to the cardinals, dropping a final n except
in juwan ten and tumen ten thousand, in which two the n is part of the root:
The first uju, ujui, ujuci, tuktan, emuci, the very first ujui uju, niongnio, bonggo.
The second jai, jaici, juweci.
The third ilaci        The ninth uyuci
The fourth duici       The tenth juwanci
The fifth sunjaci      The eleventh juwan emuci
The sixth ningguci     The hundredth tanggūci
The seventh nadaci     The thousandth minggaci
The eighth jakūci      The ten thousandth tumenci.
For the days of the month and for the months and years other expressions are in use: the
first day of the month ice; the first month tob biya (正月); the first year (of an emperor's reign)
sucungga aniya (元年); the 3rd day of the 3rd moon ilangga inenggi; the 7th day of the 7th month
nadangga inenggi; the 16th day of the 1st moon niohun; the 11th moon omšon biya; the 12th month
jorgon biya.
The first of 2 or 3 sons is udan, the second jacin.
d. Distributive Numerals are formed by adding ta, te, to, to the cardinals, final n being
dropped as with the ordinal numerals (except in juwan 10 and tumen 10000).
one by one emte (for emute)   by 8 jakūta      by 50 susaita.
by twos juwete                 " 9 uyute        " 60 ninjute.
" by threes itata              " 10 juwanta     " 70 nadanjuta (te).
" fours duite                  " 15 tofohoto    " 80 jakūnjute.
" fives sunjata                " 20 orita       " 90 uyunjute.
" sixes ninggute               " 30 gūsita      " 100 tanggūta.
" sevens nadata                " 40 dehite      " 1000 minggata.
                                                " 10000 tumente.
                                                " several udute.
e. Fractional numerals: dulin, dulga, andala, tubi, dulimba, hontoho half; 1/4 duin ci emu;
1/3 ilan ci emu.
f. Multiplicative Numerals are formed by adding ubu or rsu (ursu) to the cardinals with
elision of final n (except as above in juwan and tumen):
single emursu, emu ubu;
double jursu, juwe ubu, ubui: ubui fulu (twice as much), juru, bakcin;

[Page 8]

threefold ilarsu ilan ubu;
ninefold uyursu;
hundredfold tanggūrsu.
With reference to textile fabrics ri is used: ilari threefold, sunjari fivefold, jakūri eightfold.
Other numeral expressions are: gemu both, durbejengge square, with four angles.

4. Verbs.
There are in Manchu pure verbal stems of one and more syllables lite o to be, ara to write,
and verbs derived from nouns and adjectives.
The more common syllables used in case of such derivations are:
ta, to, te, da, do, de: gosin humanity--gositambi (also without any insertation: gosi-mbi); jali
crafty--jalidambi to cheat.
na, no, ne: abdaha a leaf --abdahanambi to leaf; acan union--acanambi to meet.
la, le: hiyoošun (孝順)  filial piety--hiyoosulambi to treat with filial piety; aba a hunt--
abalambi to hunt 
du, ndu: hiyoošun filial piety--hiyoosundumbi
ra, ro, re: gisun word--gisurembi to speak
ša, šo, še: injeku merry--injekušembi to laugh at; ddali similar--adalisambi to be similar.
[misprint: ddali should be adali] 
In some cases it is doubtful whether the verb is derived from the noun or whether the latter
is of verbal derivation: isan a meeting, isambi to meet; iren the track of fish, irenembi to ruffle
the water (as fish do).
There are further syllables which, when added to the stem of verbs form new verbs. These
ja, mostly reflexive: gūninambi to think, gūninjambi the same; isambi to meet, isamjambi
to collect.
nu, ndu, mostly cooperative: injembi to laugh, injendumbi to laugh together (injenumbi);
arambi to do, arandumbi to do together.
ca, co, ce, cooperative and frequentative: injembi to laugh, injecembi to laugh together;
dedumbi to sleep, deducembi to sleep together.
ji: wambi to kill, wajimbi to die; arambi to do, aranjimbi to come to do.
na, no, ne: isimbi to come near, isinambi to arrive.

An accumulation fo these syllables frequently occurs: ijumbi--ijurambi--ijursambi to 
besmear: abalambi to hunt, abalanambi to go hunting, abalanjimbi to come to the hunt, abalandumbi
to hunt together; acambi to meet, acalambi to agree upon, acamjambi to collect, acanambi to meet,
acandumbi to meet together, acanjimbi to come to meet.

Moods and Tenses. To express the moods and tenses the Manchu verb has 23 forms.
1. The stem; the moods and tenses are produced by adding the following affixes to the stem
of the verb:--
2. mbi, 3. me, 4. ha (he, ho, ka, ke, ko, ngka, ngke, ngko), 5. ra (re, ro, ndara, ndere), 6. ci,
7. ki, 8. fi (pi, mpi), 9. mbihe, 10. habi (hebi, hobi, kabi, kebi, kobi), 11. habihe (hebihe, hobihe, kabihe,
kebihe, kobihe), 12. habici (hebici, hobici, kabici, kobici); 13. cibe, 14. cina (cun), 15. kini, 16.
mbime, 17. mbifi, 18. nggala (nggele, n?ggolo), 19. mbumbi, 20. mbubumbi, 21. ngge, 22. le (lengge),
23. leme (lame).*
* Whenever hereafter any of these affixes is referred to, its number as here given will be quoted in brackets.

[Page 9 (This page lacks several of the rightmost characters. This page may contain many errors.)]

Of these ha (4), ra (5), habi (10), habihe (11), habici (12), and nggala (18) are subjected to
the laws of vowel harmony.
Taking in order the parts of the paradigm arambi to write I will now explain each form.
1. The stem is ara which at the same time seves as the Imperative: ara write!
2. By adding mbi we obtain the Present Tense: ara--mbi I write (there being no distinction
of persons, this stans for I, thou, he, we, you, they write).
3. Me added to the stem makes the Infinitve: ara--me to write; this form is also an
Indefinite Gerund: writing
4. The affix ha forms the preterite: ara--ha I wrote. It is also a past participle: written,
having written.
5. The affix ra forms the Future: ara--ra I shall write; it is also a participle: writing,
going to write.
6. Ci makes a Conditional Tense: ara--ci I should write, if I wrote, should I write, some-
times to be translated by the present tense implying a doubt.
7. Ki forms a Subjunctive of the present: ara--ki may he write.
8. Fi forms a past Gerund: ara--fi having written, after having written.
The above eight are the fundamental forms; the 15 orthers are formed by adding affixes to
them, Those which are added to the stem are:--
9. Mbihe forming an Imperfect Tense: ara--mbihe I was writing.
10. Habi forming an Indefinite Past: ara--habi I have written.
11. Habihe forming a Pluperfetc: ara--habihe I had written.
12. Habici forming a Past Conditional Tense: ara--habici if I had written.
13. Cibe forming an Adversative: ara--cibe although I may write, even if I write.
14. Cina forming a Concessive: ara--cina may he write if he likes, may he write what he
likes. An old fomr cun (ara--cun) is found in a translation of the Shiking (Book of Odes).
15. Kini forming an Optative: ara--kini would that he wrote! Cina and kini are also used in
an imperative or passive sense.
16. Mbime forming a Gerund: ara--mbime whilst writing.
17. Mbifi forming a Gerund: ara--mbifi having written.
18. Nggala denotes that at thing has not yet been done: ara--nggala before I wrote, before
19. Mbumbi formin the Passive or Causative Mood: ara--mbumbi is written, causes to write.
This then becomes a new verb, which as an independent stem (arambu) takes all the other affixes.
20. Mbubumbi forming a Causative of the Passive: ara-mbubumbi causes to be written.
The following affixes are added to the forms in ha (4) and ra (5) :--
21. Ngge forming Verbal Nouns and Adjectives: ara--ha--ngge, ara--ra--ngge that which is
written, the writing; that which he has written; he is writing; he who is writing.
22. Le adds an indefinite meaning: ara--ha--le, ara--ra--le whoever writes, whatever is
written. This affix is originally ele (whoever) and the Chinese-Manchu Grammar Tsing Wen Ki
Mung (vol. II, fol. 32 b) is wrong in giving two forms le and la, subjecting them to the law of
harmony. This form also takes the affix ngge: ara--ha--le--ngge, ara--ra--le--ngge--whosoever
is writing.
23. lame (leme) added to the future in ra (5) renders the meaning adverbial: ara--ra--lame
in the manner of writing.

[Page 10]

1. Imperative              ara                   write!
2. Present Tense           arambi                I write.
3. Infinitive              arame                 to write.
4. Preterite               araha                 I wrote.
5. Future                  arara                 I shall write.
6. Conditional             araci                 should I write.
7. Subjunctive Present     araki                 may he write.
8. Past Gerund             arafi                 having written.
9. Imperfect               arambihe              I was writing.
10. Indefinite Past        arahabi?              I have written.
11. Pluperfect             arahabihe             I had written.
12. Past Conditional       arahabici             if I had written.
13. Adversative            aracibe               although he may write.
14. Concessive             aracina               may he write.
15. Optative               arakini               would that he wrote.
16. Gerund I.              arambime              whilst writing.
17. " II.                  arambifi              having written.
18. " III.                 aranggala             before writing.
19. Passive                arambumbi             it is written.
20. Causative or Passive   arambubumbi           I cause to be written.
21. Verbal Noun            arahangge, ararangge  the writing, the writer.
22. Indefinite             arahale, ararale      whoever writes.
23. Adverbial              araralame             in the manner of writing.

1. The following verbs have an irregular Imperative:--
baimbi      to request  --baisu.
bimbi       to be       --bisu.
gaimbi      to receive  --gaisu.
jembi       to eat      --jefu.
jimbi       to come     --jio, ju.
ombi        to become   --oso.
tucimbi     to go forth --tusinu
wasimbi     to fall     --wasinu
wesimbi     to rise     --wesinu
2. The sign of the Past Tense ha, he, ho, ka, ke, ko, ngka, ngke, ngko, and the sign of the
Future ra, re, ro, ndara, ndere, ndoro are subject to the laws of vowel harmony. The general rules
a. verbs with the stem in a have ha (ka) and ra. Exceptions with ha, re: buktalambi,
cihalšambi, cilcilambi, maimašambi, manjurambi, miyoocalambi, nionggalambi, niyakurambi, tungni-
gambi. With he, ra: derakulambi, faishalambi, sosambi. With ho, ro: morilambi.
b. verbs with the stem in e have he (ke) and re. Exceptions: siderilembi (ha, re);
giyoloršembi (ho, ro).
c. verbs with the stem in o have ho (ko) and ro. Exceptions: doombi (ha, re); fombi (ha, re);
gombi, goha, gondoro; joombi (ha, re); leombi or loombi (ha, re); neombi (he, re); niyaniombi (ha, re);
šombi (ha, re); tungniombi (ha, re); yombi, yoha, yoro, yondoro.

[Page 11 (This page lacks several of the rightmost characters. This page may contain many errors.)]

d. verbs in u with a preceding have ha (ka), ra (re). Exception: niyanggumbi (he, re).
e. verbs in i with a preceding have ha (ka), ra (re). Exception: alanggimbi (he, re).
f. verbs in i with e preceding have he (ke), re. Exception: kesimbi (ha, re).
g. verbs in u with e preceding have he (ke), re. Exception: feksimbi (ha, re).
Dakambi forms daha (instead of dahaha), bahambi forms baha.
A number of verbs, however, contrary to the above rules, take ha, ra; ha, re; he re; ho
ro; ka, ra; ka, re; ke, re; ko, ro; ha and ka, ra; ha and ka, re; ha and ke, re; ha and he, re; ha
and ko, ro; ke and ho, ro; he and ke, re; ho and ko, ro; ke and ko, ro. It would be to no purpose
to give the long lists of these verbs, Sakharoff's Dictionary gives the affixes used by each verb.
The following verbs are only used in the Indefinite Past: abulikabi, abšakabi, bemberekebi,
delerekebi, farakabi, feherekebi, giegerekebi, genggerekebi, giyabsarakabi, gūwasakabi, ilmerekebi,
jakjarakabi, jerekebi, joholikabi, juyekebi, laifarakabi, lebderekebi, lukdurekebi, werukebi.
The following verbs are found only as participles in ka, ke and ko: fuseke, niyekseke, oyoko,
sureke, uldeke, undarako.
Certain verbs form the Preterite in ngka, ngke, ngko, the future in ndara, ndere, ndoro.
Other form the Past Gerund in pi, mpi instead of in fi The following liste gives the vergs with
these irregualarities, incluyding the verbs already mentioned with irregular Imperatives.

Verb.                Imperative.        Preterite.            Future.              Past Gerund.

bahambi                                 baha
baimbi               baisu              baiha                 baire
bambi                                   bangka                bandara
bimbi                bisu               bihe                  bisire
bisarambi                                                                          bisarapi
bombi                                   bongko                bore, bondoro        infin. bonme
cambi                                   caha, cangka          cara                 cafi
colgorombi                              colgoroko             colgororo            colgoropi
dahambi                                 daha
deserembi                                                                          deserepi
duksembi                                                                           duksepi
dulembi                                                                            dulepi
eldembi                                 eldeke                eldere               eldepi
eyembi                                                                             eyepi
falarambi                                                                          falarapi
farambi                                 faraha, faraka        farara               farapi
febumbi (fembi)                         febuhe                febure               fempi
fombi                                   foha                  fore                 fompi, condit. fomci
fosombi                                                                            fosopi
fumbi                                   fungke                                     fumpi
gaimbi               gaisu              gaiha                 gaire
gajimbi              gaju
gerembi                                gerehe, gereke        gerere, gerendere
gombi                                  goha                  gondoro
guwembi                                guwengke              guwendere             guwempi, cond. guwen
gūmbi                                  gūha                  gūndere
gūwaliyambi (hū)                       gūwaliyaka            gūwaliyara            gūwaliyapi, hūwaliyapi

[Page 12]
Verb.                Imperative.        Preterite.            Future.              Past Gerund.

hafumbi                                 hafuka                hafundere            hafupi
hatambi                                 hataha                hatara, hatandara
juilambi                                jailaha               jailara, jailandara
jaksambi                                                                           jaksapi
jalambi                                 jalaka                jalara, jalandra     jalapi
jalumbi                                 jaluka                jalura               jalupi
jembi                jefu               jeke, jengke          jetere, jendere      jempi
jimbi                jio, ju            jihe                  jidere
jombi                                   jongko                jondoro              jompi, cond. jonci, opt. jongki
jumbi                                   jungke                jure                 jumpi, opt. jubki
jurambi                                                                            jurapi
juwambi                                 juwangka, juwaka      juwara, jore         juwampi
niorombi                                                                           nioropi
ombi, oombi          oso                oho                   ojoro
sambi                                   sangka                sara                 sampi
sembi                                   sengke                sere
sosombi                                 sosoko                sosoro               sosopi
sumbi                                   sungke, suhe4?        sure
šahūrambi                               šahūraka              šahūrara             šahūrapi
šambi                                   šangka, šaha          šara
šarambi                                                                            šarapi
šumbi                                   šungke                šure                 šumpi
teyembi                                 teyehe                teyere, teyendere
tucimbi              tucinu             tucihe, tucike        tucire
ukambi                                  ukaha, ukaka          ukara, ukandara
wasimbi              wasinu             wasika, ha            wasire
wembi                                   wengke                were, wendere        wempi, inf. weme
wesimbi              wesinu             wesike                wesire               wesipi
yombi                                   yoha                  yoro, yondoro
yumbi                                   yungke                yudere, yundere      yumpi

The verb in the Negative.

Negation is expressed by akū not, is not (無, 不, 未, 沒有), waka not, no (不是), ume (莫)
do not, unde not yet, umai not, not at all.
When joined to the Present Tense akū simply follows: bi gisurembi akū I do not speak.
With other verbal forms akū loses its a: araha--kū he has not written, genehe--kū he did not go.
Joined to the Future the a of akū remains: arar--akū he will not write, gener--akū he will not go.
The affixes ci, fi, and ngge follow akū: generakūci if he does not go, akūfi not existing, bisirakūngge
those who are not present (不在的). When alone akū takes the regular affixes: bi akūmbi I am 
not. A double negation often occurs, akūngge akū (無不): serakungge akū nothing unsaid, he
says everything.
In interrogative sentences akū adds an n: si sembi akūn will you eat or not?
Wdha [borde vara "waka"] not, no, is either employed like akū, but without taking the affixes, or stands at the
beginning of a sentence and then means no: manju bithe hūlambi wakao do you not study Manchu?
Ume followed by the verb in the Future Tense (ra) expresses prohibition: ume fusikūsara
do not despise; ume gunire do not think.
Unde is preceded by the verb in the Future Tense (ra): bi sabure unde I have not yet seen.

[Page 13]

5. Adverbs.
Manchu adverbs are either primitive or derived from nouns, pronouns, numerals or verbs.
a. Primitive Adverbs are indeclinable words like inu yes, coro after to-morrow, etc., of which
there are a great number.
b Nouns are transformed into Adverbs by the affix i: an-i according to custom; de: doron
de solemnly; ci: daci from the beginning, naturally; dari: biyadari monthly. Many adjectives,
especially those ending in saka, cuka, cuke may be used as Adverbs.
c. The Pronouns furnish a great number of Adverbs: aid where?, aibaci wherefrom?, etc.
d. Most of the Numerals may be used as Adverbs. To the Ordinal Numerals de is added:
jaide secondly. Others are formed by adding geri, nggeri, jergi, mudan, mari: emgeri once;
ilanggeri thrice; emu mudan, emu mari once. Leme forms multiplicative Adverbs: tumenleme
10000 fold.
e. The verbal forms in me (arame), mbime (arambime), leme, lame preceded by the verb in the
Future Tense (araralame) may all be used as adverbial expressions.
f. Many Adverbs are formed by adding the negation akū: erin akū never; hercun akū

6. Postpositions.
These are either simple or compound.
a. The Simple Postpositions are the case affixes i, de, ci: i with, with the help of: suhe i
with the axe; de in, at, on, towards, upon, to: hoton de in or to the town; ci from, out of: boo ci
from the house.
b. The Compound Postpositions follow the noun without any case affix or are preceded by i,
de, be, or ci: omoi jakade near the pond; alin de isitala as far as the mountain; fafun be
dahame in accordance with the law; julge ci ebsi from antiquity.

7. Conjunctions.
Beside several postpositions being used as Conjunctions like jakade when, because, isitala as
soon as, turgunde as, because, etc., there are primitive Conjunctions like uthai therefore, damu but,
and derivatives of verbs like cohome consequently, tuwame with regard to, oci (from ombi) if, ocibe
although, ofi because, of nouns like fonde at the time when, bade when, of pronouns like aibe.....
aibe as well as, and of numerals like emgeri....emgeri now....now.

8. Interjections.
There is a great variety of Interjections in Manchu: ai ah, ara alas, yaha ah, adada bravo,
cibse hush, takasu stop, cu off, etc. A number of onomatepoetic interjections are used as verbs
when followed by sembi (to speak): kab snap, kab sembi to snap at; kanggūr kinggur helter-skelter,
with sembi to fall with a great noise.

III. Syntax

The position of words in a sentence is governed by the general rule, that every word precedes
that by which it is governed. Thus the genitive stands before the noun on which it depends, e.g.
boo i ejen the master of the house.
The adjective, participle, or demonstrative pronoun precedes its noun, e.g. nikan mudan the
Chinese pronunciation; mutere baita a thing which can be done; tere niyalma that man.
The object stands before its governing verb, e.g. bithe arambi I write a letter.

[Page 14]

The verb stands last in the sentence and can only be followed by a conjunction. The
sentence "when I had given that thing to my father yesterday" would be rendered in Manchu:
sikse (yesterday) bi (I) mini ama de (to my father) tere (that) baita be (thing) buhabike (pluperfect of
bumbi to give) manggi (when)
Subordinate verbs precede the conclusive verb and thake the form of the Past Gerund in fi or
the Conditional in ci, e.g. cooha be gaifi amasi bederehe he took (gaifi, Past Gerund of gaimbi) the
army (cooha be) and retreated (bederehe, Preterit of bederembi ) backwards (amasi); having collected
his army he retreated.
Coordinate verbs standing first in the same sentence take the form of the Infinitive (or
Gerund) in me and only the last verb takes the tense affix required, e.g. muse niyalma jalan de
banjifi inenggidari jabošome seoleme, beye dubentele kiceme faššame dulekengge be amcame aliyara
gosihon babi, we men (muse niyalma) having been born (banjifi, Past Gerund of banjimbi) into the
world (jalan de), are daily (inenggidari) afflicted (jobošome, Gerund of jobošombi) and vexed
(seoleme, Gerund of seolembi), till the end (dubentele) we fatigue (kiceme, Gerund of kicembi) and
exert (faššame, Gerund of faššambi) ourselves (beye), expecting (aliy ara, Future Participle of
aliyambi) again and again (amcame) that which is past (dulekengge be) we are really (babi) miserable
The following pages will serve as reading lessons and as exercises for the elucidation of
Manchu syntax. The text is taken from the "Tanggū meyen" (Hundred Chapters) a book of
Manchu-Chinese dialogues, v. page 10 of my "Essay on Manchu Literature" in Journal of C. B.
or R. A. S. vol. xxiv (1890). The Chinese version of these dialogues is familiar to every student
of Chinese, as it forms the "Hundred Lessons" in the Tzū-êrh-chi of Sir Thomas Wade, of whose
classical English translation I have availed myself. By comparing the Chinese of these dialogues
the interesting fact will be noticed that certain peculiarities of Pekingese are Manchuisms foreign to
ordinary "Mandarin."

[Page 15]
[Here begins the example text. All text written in the Manchu alphabet has been omitted
 in this version, but it can be easily reconstructed from the word-for-word explanation.
 The layout of this section of the book has been greatly altered.]

donjici, Condit. tense (6) of donjimbi to hear: I hear, but I am not sure, whether it is so
si thou
te now
manju Manchu
bithe book
tacimbi Present Tense (2) to learn
sembi (2) to say, here merely closing the report he heard
umesi very
sain good
manju Manchu
gisun word, speech
serengge Future Part. of sembi to say, namely
musei we, with genitive affix i, of us
manjusai Manchus, gen. plur. sa-i
ujui first, with genitive affix } the first of
uju first } the first
oyonggo important
baita thing, matter
uthai therefore, it is as
nikasai, pl. of nikan Chinese (nikasa) with gen. affix i of the Chinese
meni meni every
ba place
i genitive affix
gisun word, speech
i genitive affix
adali alike, similar to
bahanarakūci Fut. (5) of bahanambi comprehend, with negation akū and 
             oci Conditional (6) of ombi to be, you should know
ombio Pres. Tense (2) of ombi to be, with interrogative o, will that do?

Senior. So I hear you are studying Manchu, eh? that's right. Manchu is with us Manchu the first
and foremost of essentials; it is to us, in short, what the language spoken in his own part of the
country is to a Chinese; so it would never do to be without a knowledge of Manchu, would it?

[Page 16]

inu yes, indeed
waka not
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be, it may
ai what?
bi I
juwan ten
aniya year
funceme Inf. (3) of funcembi to exceed, coordinate definite verb followed by taicha: I have exceeded and learned
nikan Chinese
bithe book
taciha Pret. (4) of tacimbi to learn: I have learned
tetele from te now and tele till; up to the present, still
umai not at all
dube point, end, extreme
da beginning dube da the very beginning
tucirakū Fut. (5) of tucimbi to appear, with akū not: it does not appear
jai second, further
aikabade if
manju Manchu
bithe book 
hūlarakū Fut. (5) of hūlambi to read, to study, with akū not: shall not study
ubaliyambure Fut. partic. (5) of ubaliyam-bumbi to translate
be accusative affix
tacirakū Fut. (5) of tacimbi to learn with akū not
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
juwe de two, with postpos. in
gemu both, alike
sartabure Fut. (5) of sartabumbi to be delayed
de postpos. to
isinambi to arrive

Junior. To be sure not. I have been studying Chinese for over ten years, but I
am still as far as ever from seeing my way in it. Then if I can't master Manju and
learn to translate, I shall have broken down at both ends of the line.

[Page 17]

uttu thus
ofi Past Gerund (8) of ombi to be: having been
emude firstly
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
age elder brother, sir
be accusative affix
tuwanjiha Pret. (4) of tuwanjimbi to call (composed of tuwambi to see and jimbi to come)
jaide secondly
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
geli also
sakda old, experienced
ahun elder brother
de dative affix
baire Fut. Participle (5) of baimbi to request
babi from ba place, occasion and bi there is
damu but
baibi only
angga mouth
juwara Fut. Part. (5) of juwambi to open
de in
mangga difficult
ede so, then
aibi (from ai what and bi is) what?
gisun word, speech
bici Cond. (6)  of bimbi to be: if there are words
uthai then
gisure Imp. (1) of gisurembi to speak
mini (gen of bi I) my
mutere Fut. Part. (5) of mutembi to be able to do
baita matter
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
sinde dative of si thou
bi I
geli too
marimbio to turn the head away, to back out, with interrogative o.

So I am come to-day, sir, in the first place, to pay my respects to you, and, in the next, to ask a favour of you.
I find it not so easy to open the subject, however.
Senior. What's your difficulty? pray say what you have got to say. If it's anything that I can do for you, do you
suppose that, with the relations existing between us, I shall try to back out?

[Page 18]

mini my
bairengge Fut. Part. (21) of baimbi to request: that which I shall request
age elder brother, sir
gosici Cond. (6) of gosimbi to be kind to
šadambi Present (2) to be (get) tired
seme Inf. or Ger. (3) of sembi to say: saying
ainara Fut. (5) of ainambi to do what?
šolo leisure
šolo leisure
de in
udu several, some
meyen chapter
manju Manchu
gisun word, speech
banjibufi Past Ger. (8) of banjibumbi to create, prepare: having prepeared
minde dat. for me
hūlabureo Future (5) of causative of hūlambi to read, to study with o implying a request:
     please cause me to study
deo younger brother
bi I
bahafi Past Ger. (8) of bahambi to obtain, to succeed
hūwašaci Cond. (6) of hūwašambi to increase, to prosper
gemu entirely
age elder brother, sir
i genitive affix
kesi grace
kai is (final particle).

Junior. What I have to ask, then, is this: that you will so far take an interest in me as to put yourself to a litte
trouble on my account; I will tell you how. Find time, if you can, to compose a few phrases in Manchu for
me to study, and if I manage to succeed at all, I shall regard it entirely as your work.

[Page 19]

ainaha seme certainly
baili kindness
be accusative affix
onggorakū Fut. (5) of onggombi to forget, with akū not
urunakū must
ujeleme Ger. (3) of ujelembi to make heavy, to increase: increasingly
karulaki Subj. (7) of karulambi to repay
ainu why?
uttu thus
gisurembi to speak
si thou
aika perhaps
gurun empire }
gūwao other } foreigner, with interrogative o
damu only
sini gen. of si thou
tacirakū Fut. (5) of tacimbi to learn, with akū not.
be accusative affix
hendumbi to speak
dere final particle expressing a doubt
taciki Subj (7) of tacimbi to learn
seci Cond. (6) of sembi to say, to be willing
tetendere supposing
bi I
nekulefi Past Ger. (8) of nekulembi to be useful
simbe acc. of si thou
niyalma man
okini Opt. (15) of ombi to make
sembikai to say, with kai, final particle

Sir, I shall never forget your kindness, and shall not fail to repay it handsomely. 
Senior. What are you talking about? you are one of us, are you not? My only fear would have been that you
were not anxious to learn; but, since you are willing, I shall be only too glad to contribute to your success.

[Page 20]

karulaki Subj. (7) of karulambi to repay
serengge Verbal Noun (21) of sembi to say: that which you said
ai what?
gisun word, speech
musei gen. of muse we, we two
dolo interior, in the family
gisureci Cond. (6) of gisurembi to speak
ombio to be, can, may, with interrogative o: will that do?
tuttu thus
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
bi I
hukšehe Pret. (4) of hukšembi to be thankful
seme Inf. or Ger. (3) of sembi to say
wajirakū Fut. (5) of wajimbi to end, with akū not: infinitely
damu only
hengkišeme Inf. or Ger. (3) of hengkišembi to prostrate oneself
baniha thanks
bure Fut. (5) of bumbi to give
dabala only
geli besides
ai what?
sere Fut. (5) of sembi to say

Talk of handsome return, indeed! people as intimate as you and I are should never use such language to one another.
Junior. Well, sir, if that's the way of it, I ams sure I feel extremely obliged. I have only to make you my best bow, 

and I shall say no more.

[Page 21]

age elder brother, sir
sini thy
manju Manchu
gisun word, speech
ai what?
šolo leisure
de in
taciha Pret. (4) of tacimbi to learn
mudan pronunciation
gairengge Verbal Noun (21) of gaimbi to take, to obtain
sain good
bime Ger. (3) of bimbi to be
tomorhon clear
mini my
manju Manchu
gisun word, speech
be accusative affix
ai what?
dabufi Past. Ger. (8) of dabumbi to count
gisurere Fut. Part. of gisurembi to speak
babi from ba place and bi it is
age elder brother, sir
gosime Ger. (3) of gosimbi to love
ofi Past Gerund (8) of ombi to be
uttu thus
dabali excessively
maktara Fut. (5) of maktambi to praise
mini my
emu one
gucu friend
i genitive affix
manju Manchu
gisun word, speech
sain good

II. Senior. Why, when did you find, time to learn all the Manchu you know sir? 
Your pronunciation is good and you speak quite intelligibly.
Junior. Oh, sir, you are too complimentary. My Manchu does not amount to anything. 
There's a friend of mine who really does talk well;

[Page 22]

getuken intelligible
bime Ger. (3) of bimbi to be
dacun quick, fluent
majige little
nikan Chinese
mudan pronunciation
akū not
umesi very
urehebi Indef. Past (10) of urembi to be ripe, proficient
tuttu thus
bime Ger. (3) of bimbi to be
šan ear
geli further
fe old, the meaning is: he has heard much old language
tere he
teni high, with adverbial affix i
mangga difficult, qualified
seci Cond. (6) of sembi to say, to call
ombi to be
tere he
sinci from si thou and ci from, to express the comparative
antaka how?
bi I
adarame how?
inde dat. of i he: to him
duibuleci Cond. (6) of duilembi to compare
ombini to be, with interrogative ni: would that do?
fuhali altogether
tede dat. of tere he
bakcin rival, match
waka not

He is thoroughly at home in the language--intelligible, fluent, and speaks without a particle of Chinese accent,
he is quite proficient. Then, besides, he has such a stock of words and phrases. Now, that is what one may
call a good scholar, if you please
Senior. How does he compare with you?
Junior. Me! I should never venture to compare myself with him; I am as far from being his match

[Page 23]

abka heaven
na earth
i genitive affix
gese equal
sandalabuhabi Ind. Past. (10) of sandalabumbi to be separated.
turgun reason
ai what?
seci Cond. (6) of sembi to say, call
ini his
tacihangge verbal noun (21) of tacimbi to learn
šumin deep
bahanahangge Verbal Noun (21) of bahanambi to comprehend
labdu much
bithe book
de in, for
amuran having a passion for
tetele till now
hono also
angga mouth
ci from
hokoburakū Fut. (5) of hokobumbi to leave off, with akū not
hūlambi to read, study
gala hand
ci from
aljaburakū Fut. of aljabumbi to separate, with akū not
tuwambi to see, to look
imbe him
amcaki Subj. (7) of amcambi to reach
seci Cond. of sembi to say
yala certainly
mangga difficult

as the heavens are from the earth.
Senior. What is the reason of that?
Junior. Oh, he has been much longer at it, and knows a great deal more. Then he is very studious; 
he has been committing to memory steadily ever since he began, without stopping; the book is
never out of his hand. I should have trouble enough to come up to him.

[Page 24]

age elder brother, sir
sini thy
ere this
gisun word, speech
majige little
tašarabuhakū Pret. (4) of tašarabumbi to cause an error, with akū not
semeo Inf. or Ger. (3) of sembi to say, to think, with terrogative o
danjici Cond. (6) of donjimbi to hear
hing with sembi to he careful, constant
sere Fut. (5) of sembi to say
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be: if
hada rock
de in
hafumbi to penetrate
sehebi Indef. Past (10) of sembi to say
tere he
inu yes, also
tacifi Past Ger. (8) of tacimbi to learn
bahanahangge Verbal Noun (21) of bahanambi to comprehend
dabala only
umai not at all
banjinjigi Past Ger. (8) of banjinjimbi to come into life
bahanahangge Verbal Noun (21) bahanambi to comprehend
waka not
kai is, final particle
muse we (two)
tede dat. of tere he: to hime
isirakūngge Verbal Noun (21) of isimbi to arrive, with akū not
ya whatsoever
ba place

Senior. Nay, my young friend, I think you are making a slight mistake. Don't you remember what the proverb says:
"If you are constant, you will penetrate a rock"? What he knows he knows only because he has learnt it; it has not
come to him by intuition. And are we in any way otherwise constituted? not at all!

[Page 25]

i he
ai what?
hacin kind
i genitive affix
bahanaha Pret. (4) of bahanambi to comprehend
urehe Pret. (4) of urembi to be proficient
okini Opt. (15) of omb to be, may
muse we
damu only
mujilen heart
be accusative affix
teng with sembi to be firm
seme Ger. (3) of sembi to say
jafafi Past Ger. (8) of jafambi to take
gūnin thought
girkūfi Past Ger. (8) of girkūmbi to exert
tacici Cond. (6) of tacimbi to learn
udu although
tere that
ten hight
de to, at
isiname Ger. (3) of isinambi to arrive
muterakū Fut. (5) of mutembi to be able, with akū not
bicibe Advers. (13) of bimbi to be
inu yes, certainly
urunakū without doubt
haminambi to come near
dere final particle expressing a presumption.

Well, then, no matter how exact or practised a speaker he may be, all we have to do is to make up our mind and
apply ourselves to the language; and if we don't quite reach the point he has attained, we shall not be very
far behind him, I suspect.

[Page 26]

si thou
nikan Chinese
bithe book
bahanara Fut. Part. (5) of bahanambi to comprehend
niyalma man
kai is, final particle
ubaliyambure Fut. (5) of ubaliyambumbi to translate
be accusative affix
tacici Cond. (6) of tacimbi to learn
umesi very
ja easy
dabala only
gūnin thought
girkūfi Past Ger. (8) of girkūmbi to exert
giyalan interval
lakcan interruption
akū not
emu one; emu anani one after the other without interruption
tacime Ger. (3) of tacimbi to learn
ohode supposing, if
juwe two
ilan three
aniya year
i genitive affix
siden middle
de in

III. Senior. As to becoming a translator of Manchu, you are a Chinese scholar, and you can have no difficulty in
learning to translate. All you need is an exclusive devotion of your mind to the one subject. Don't let anything 
interfere with your studies, and let these be progressive; and in two or three years,

[Page 27]

ini cisui as a matter of course
dube point, end, extreme
da beginning, dube da the very beginning
tucimbi to come out
aika if
emu one
inenggi day
fiyakiyara Fut. (5) of fiyakiyambi to glow
juwan ten
inenggi day
šahūrara Fut. (5) of šahūrambi to be cold
adali like, similar to
tacici Cond. (6) of tacimbi to learn
utahi then
orin twenty
aniya year
bithe book
hūlaha Pret. (4) of hūlambi to read, study
seme Ger. (3) of sembi to say
inu yes, truly
mangga difficult
kai is, final particle
age elder brother, sir
mini my
ubaliyambuhangge Verbal Noun (21) of ubaliyambumbi to translate
be accusative affix
tuwafi Past Ger. (8) of tuwambi to look at
majige little
dasatarao Fut. (5) of dasatambi to correct with o implying a request.

as a matter of course, you will be well on your way. If you glow for one day and are cold for ten days in your study,
you may read for 20 years, but it will come to nothing.
IV Junior. Will you do me the favour to look over these translations, sir, and make a few corrections?

[Page 28]
sini thy
tacihangge Verbal Noun (21) of tacimbi to learn
labdu much
nonggibuha Pret. (4) of nonggibumbi to make progress
gisun word, speech
tome all
ijishūn proper
hergen letter
aname singly
tomorhon clear
majige little
cilcin fault
akū not
simneci Cond. (6) of simnembi to be examined
seferehei Past Part. (4) of seferembi to take in the hand, with i, which makes the word an adverb
bahambi to obtain.
ere this
mudan time
ubaliyambure Fut. Part. (5) of ubaliyambumbi to translate
be accusative affix
simnere Fut. Part. (5) of simnembi to be examined
de in
gebu name
alibuhao Pret. (4) of alibumbi to offer, with interrogative o
akūn or not?
simneci Cond. (6) of simnembi to be examined
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
esi certainly
sain good
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be

Senior. Oh, come, you really have made very great progress; every sentence runs as it should; every word is clear;
I have not a fault to find. If you go up for your examination, success is in your own hands. 

V. Senior. Have you returned yourself as a candidate at these examinations that are coming off now? 

Junior. I should be glad enough to stand, 

[Page 29]

damu only
bithei book, with gen. affix i (文 wén)
šusai B. A. (秀才 hsiu t'sai)
ainahai how should it?
ombini to be, it will do, with interrogative particle ni
wei whose?
kooli custom
sini thy
gesengge similar
jakūn eight
gūsa banner
gemu all
simneci Cond. (6) of simnembi to be examined
ombime Ger. I (16) of ombi to be, may
sini thy
beye body, self
teile only
simneburakū Fut. Pass. (5) of simnembi to be examined, with akū not: will not be allowed to be examined
doro rule
bio is, with interrogative o
tere that
anggala not only
jurgangga public (義 i)
tacikūi school, with gen. affix. i
juse plural of jui son, child, scholar
gemu all
ojoro Fut. (5) of ombi to be, may
bade when

but I am afraid that, being a B. A., I am not qualified. 

Senior. What? when any bannerman can go up, do you mean to say that a man of your attainments 
would not be allowed to? Nonsense! why, even the boys from public schools may stand;

[Page 30]

šusai B. A.
be accusative affix
ai what?
hendure Fut. (5) of hendumbi to speak
simneci Cond. (6) of simnembi to be examined
ome Inf. (3) of ombi to be, may
ofi Past Ger. (8) of ombi to be, because
mini my
deo younger brother
ere this
siden interval
de to, in
teni highly
hacihiyame Ger. (3) of hacihiyambi to exert oneself
manju Manchu
bithe book
hūlambikai to read, with kai final particle
hūdun quickly
gebu name
yabubu Imp. Pass. (1) of yabumbi to go: cause to go, forward
nashūn opportunity
be accusative affix
ume do not
ufarabure Fut. (5) of ufarabumbi to neglect

and if so, how should a B. A. not be qualified? my younger brother is now working as hard as he can at Manchu
for the little time that remains before he has to go up. Don't you throw away the opportunity. Add your name
to the list at once.

[Page 31]

sini thy
manjurarangge Verbal Noun (21) of manjurambi to speak Manchu
majige little
muru appearance
tucikebi Indef. Past (10) of tucimbi to come forth
aibide how?
bi I
niyalmai man, with gen. affix i
gisurere Fut. Part. (5) of gisurembi to speak
be accusative affix
ulhire Fut. (5) of ulhimbi to understand
gojime only
mini my
beye body, self
gisureme Ger. (3) of gisurembi to speak
ohode when
oron interval, place
unde not yet, oron unde not yet time, too early
gūwai other, with gen. affix i
adali like, similar
fiyelen chapter, piece, fiyelen fiyeleni connectedly
gisureme Inf. (3) of gisurembi to speak
muerakū Fut. (3) of mutembi to be able, with akū not
sere Fut. (5) of sembi to say
anggala not only
emu one
siran continuation
i adverbial particle, emu sirani uninterruptedly
duin four
sunja five
gisun word

VI. Senior. Well, I hear that you have made such way in Manchu, that you are beginning to speak it quite correctly.
Junior. Nonsense! I understand it, certainly, when I hear it spoken, but it will be sometime yet before I can speak it
myself. It is not only that I can't go right through with a piece of conversation of any length like other people,
but I can't even string half a dozen sentences together.

[Page 32]

gemu all
sirabume Inf. (3) of sirabumbi to connect
muterakū Fut. (5) of mutembi to be able, with akū not
tere that
anggala not only
hono further
emu one
aldungga extraordinary, strange
babi place, with bi is
gisurere Fut. Part (5) of gisurembi to speak
onggolo before
baibi in vain
tašaraburakū Fut. (5) of tašarabumbi to make mistakes, with akū not
calaburakū Fut. (5) of calabumbi to err, with akū not
seme Inf. (3) of sembi to say
tathūnjame Inf. (3) tathūnjambi to doubt, to be incertain, to be alarmed
gelhun akū without fear, to dare
kengse lasha constantly
gisurerakū Fut. (5) of gisurembi to speak, with akū not
uttu thus
kai it is
mimbe acc. of I
adarame how?
gisure Imp. (1) of gisurembi to speak
sembi to say, to call
bi I
inu yes, indeed
usaka in despair

Then there is another odd thing I do: whenever I am going to begin, without being the least able to say why,
I become so alarmed about mistakes that I dare not go on without hesitating; now, so long as this continues
to be the case, how am I to make a speaker? Indeed, so far from considering myself one, I quite despair.

[Page 33]

gūnici Cond. (6) of gūnimbi to think
ai what?
hacin kind
i genitive affix
taciha Pret. (4) of tacimbi to learn
seme Inf. (3) of sembi to say
inu indeed
ere this
hūman ability
dabala only
nonggibure Fut. (5) of nonggibumbi to make progress
aibi how could?
ere this
gemu all
sini thy
urehekū Pret. (4) of urembi to practice, with akū not
haran reason
bi I
sinde dat. of si thou
tacibure Fut. (5) of tacibumbi to teach
yaya whoever
webe acc. of we who
seme Inf. (3) of sembi to say
ume not, do not
bodoro Fut. (5) of bodombi to consider
damu only
ucaraha Pret. (4) of ucarambi to meet
ucaraha Part. Pret. (4) of ucarambi to meet
be sign of accusative
tuwame Ger. (3) of tawambi to try
amcatame Ger. (3) of amcatambi to address one against his will
gisure Fut. (5) of gisurembi to speak

of ever learning to speak. I say to myself that if with all my studying I have not got farther than this,
I shall certainly never be a proficient.
Senior. This is all mere want of practice. Listen to me. Whenever you meet a man, no matter who, (that
can talk Manchu), at him at once, and talk away with him.

[Page 34]

jai secondly
bithede book. with de in
šungke well read
sefu teacher (師傅 shih-fu)
be accusative affix
baifi Past Gerund (8) of baimbi to seek
bithe book
hūla Imp. (1) of hūlambi to read
manju Manchu
gisun word, speech
de in
mangga proficient
gucuse plur. of gucu friend
de in, with
adanafi Past Gerund (8) of adanambi to go to, to be together
gisure Fut. (5), here Imp. of gisurembi to speak
inenggidari daily
hūlaci Cond. (6) of hūlambi to read
gisun word, speech
ejembi to remember
erindari always
gisureci Cond. (6) of gisurembi to speak
ilenggu tongue
urembi to be accustomed
uttu thus
tacime Inf. (3) of tacimbi to learn
ohode when
manggai scarcely
emu one
juwe two

You must go and tha lessons of competent professors of the language as well, you know; and if you have any
friends who are good Manchu scholars, you should be for ever talking to them. Read some Manchu every day,
and talk incessantly, until the habit of speaking comes quite naturally to the mouth. If you follow this 
rule in a year or two at the farthest

[Page 35]

aniya year
i genitive affix
sidende interval, with de in
inu yes, certainly; inu cisui naturally
gūnin thought
i sign of genitive
cihai will, with adverbial affix i, gūnin i cihai as you like
anggai mouth, with genitive affix
ici in accordance
tang sembi to speak without interruption
kai final particle
muterakū Fut. (5) of mutembi to be able, with akū not
jalin as regards
geli again
aiseme how could it?
jobombi to apprehend, to fear
ni interrogative particle.
absi why?
yoha Pret. (4) of yombi to go, to walk
bihe Pret. (4) of bimbi to be
bi I
ergi this side
emu one
niyamangga related
niyalmai man, with genitive affix i
boode house, with de in
genehe Pret. (4) of genembi to go
bihe Pret. (4) of bimbi to be
ere this
ildun opportunity
de in
mini my
boode house, with de in, to
darifi Past Gerund (8) of darimbi to pass
majige little
teki Subj. Present (7) of tembi to sit down.

you will speak it without effort; so now don't despair any more.
VII. Junior. Where are you from, sir, may I ask?
Senior. I have been to visit a relation of mine who lives down yonder. Won't you step in and sit down
on your way, sir?

[Page 36]

age elder brother, sir
si thou
ubade here
tehebio Indef. Past. (10) of tembi to sit, to reside, with interrogative o
inu yes
jakan lately
gurinjihe Pret. (4) of gurinjimbi to come to change place
uttu thus
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
musei we two, with genitive affix i
tehengge Verbal Noun (21) of tembi to sit, to reside
giyanaūk far from
udu how much?
goro distant
saha Pret. (4) of sambi to know
bici Cond. (6) of bimbi to be
aifini before
simbe acc. of si thou
tuwanjirakū Fut. (5) of tawanjimbi to come to see, to call, with akū not
biheo Pret. (4) of bimbi to be, with interrogative o
age elder brother, sir
yabu Imp. (1) of yambumbi to go
ai geli how could that be?
mini my
boode house, with postpos. de in
kai it is
age elder brother, sir
wesifi Past Gerund (8) of wesimbi to ascend
teki Subj. Pres. (2) of tembi to sit
ubade here
icangga convenient
si thou
tuttu thus
tehede seat, with postpos. de in
bi I
absi how?
tembi to sit.

Junior. Do you reside in this neighbourhood, sir?
Senior. Yes, I moved into this house not long ago.
Junior. Oh! indeed, sir; then we are not so very far from each other. If I had been aware that you
lived here, I should have called before. Go on, sir, pray (I'll follow you, if you please).
Senior. What, in my own house? Now, please take the upper seat.
Junior. Thang you, I am very well where I am.
Senior. But if you site where you are sitting, what place am I to take?

[Page 37]

sain good
teme Inf. (3) of tembi to sit
jabduha Pre. (4) of jabdumbi to reach one's aim
ubade here
emu one
nikere Fut. Partic. (5) of nikembi to lean against
babi place (ba) is (bi)
booi house, with genitive affix i
urse those who
aba how?
yaha coal
gaju Imp. (1) of gajimbi to fetch
age elder brother, sir
bi I
dambagu tobacco
omirakū Fut. (5) of omimbi to eat, to smoke, with akū not
angga mouth
furugahabi to have ulcers in the mouth
tuttu thus
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
cai tea
gana Imp. (1) of ganambi to bring
age elder brother, sir
cai tea
gaisu Imp. (1) of gaimbi to take
ko oh, exclamation of pain
absi how?
halhūn hot
halhūn hot
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
majige little
tukiyecebu Imp. (1) of tukiyecebumbi to take away
hūwanggiyarakū it does not signify
mukiyebukini Opt. (15) of mukiyebumbi to become cool
je exclamation of compassion
buda rice
be accusative affix
tuwana Imp. (1) of tuwanambi to go and look after

Junior. I have got a seat, thank you; and a seat with a back to it.
Senior. Here! bring a light!
Junior. Not for me, thank you, sir, I can't smoke; I have a sore mouth.
Senior. Well, then, bring some tea.
Junior. Drink first, then, pray. Oh, isn't it hot.
Senior. If it is too hot, let it be taken away for a while, that it may get cooler. 
I am very sorry. Boy, go and see what there is in the kitchen,

[Page 38]

beleni ready
bisirengge Verbal Noun (21) of bimbi to be
be accusative affix
hasa? quickly
banju Imp. (1) of banjimbi to produce
se Imp. (1) of sembi to say
akū no
age elder brother, sir
ume do ont
bi I
kemuni further
gūwa other
bade place, with de to
geneki Subj. Pres. (7) of genembi to go
sembi to say
ainahabi how is that?
beleni ready
bisirengge Verbal Noun (21) of bimbi to be
sini thy
jalin postpos. on account of
dagilahangge Verbal Noun (21) of dagilambi to prepare
geli also
waka not is
majige little
jefi Past Ger. (8) of jembi to eat
genecina Conessive (14) of genembi to go
joo enough
bi it is
emgeri once
sini thy
boo house
be accusative affix
takaha Pret. (4) of takambi to recognise
kai it is
encu different, other
inenggi day
jai again
cohome specially
jifi Past. Ger. (8) of jimbi to come

and bring quickly whatever is ready.
Junior. No, indeed, sir; do not put yourself to so much trouble. I have still got to go somewhere else.
Senior. But it's only whatever is ready; nothing is being prepared for you. Do try to eat a little,
then you may go.
Junior. Not just now, thank you, sir; but now that I have found out where you live, I'll come another time

[Page 39]

gulhun completely
emu one
inenggi day
gisureme Inf. (3) of gisurembi to speak
teceki Subj. Pres. (7) of tecembi to sit together
age elder brother, sir
si thou
inenggidari daily
ederi this way
yaburengge Verbacl Noun (21) of yabumbi to go
gemu all
aibide whither?
genembi to go
bithe book
hulanme Inf. (3) of hūlanambi to go to read [konstigt att första saknar ū]
genembi to go
manju Manchu
bithe book
hūlambi to read
wakao it is not, with interrogative o
inu yes
ne now
aici which?
jergi order
bithe book
hūlambi to read
gūwa other
bithe book
akū not
damu only
yasai eye, with genitive affix i
juleri postpos. before
buyarame Ger. (3) of buyarambi to do petty things
gisun word, speech

and spend the day with you.
VIII. Senior. I observe you pass this way every day, sir, what place is it that you go to?
Junior. I go to my studies.
Senior. To reach Manchu, isn't it?
Junior. It is.
Senior. What are you reading in Manchu?
Junior. Oh, no new books, only every day talk

[Page 40]

jai secondly
manchu Manchu
gisun word, speech
i genitive affix
oyonggo important
jorin aim, explanation
i genitive affix
bithe book
teile only
suwende dat. of suwe you
ginggulere Fut. Part. (5) to ginggulembi to honour; here with hergen 
 the 楷書 ch'ieh-shu an elegant style of writing [楷書 ch'ieh-shu must be a mistake for 楷書 kǎishū]
hergen letter, writing
tacibumbio to teach, with interrogative o
akū or not?
te now
inenggi day }
šun sun     } day
foholon short
hergen letter
arara Fut. Part. (5) of arambi to write
šolo leisure
akū not is
ereci this, with postpos. ci from, hereafter
inenggi day }
šun sun     } day
saniyaha Pret. (4) of saniyambi to extend
manggi as soon as
hergen letter
arabumbi Pass. of arambi to write; to cause to write
sere Fut. (5) of sembi to say
anggala not only
hono also
ubaliyambu Imp. (1) of ubaliyambumbi to translate
sembikai to say, with kai final particle
age elder brother, sir
bi I
bithe book
hūlara Fut. Part. (5) of hūlambi to read
jalin because of

and the "Important explanation of Manchu speech."*
Senior. Are they teaching you to write Manchu round hand yet?
Junior. The days are too short at present to leave any time for writing; but presently, when they begin
to lengthen, we shall be taught to write and translate, too.
Senior. Well, sir, I have been wanting to study Manchu myself
* See Essay on Manchu Literature, page 10. [清話指要 qīng huà zhǐyào]

[Page 41]

yala really
uju head
silgime Ger. (3) of silgimbi to put into
aibide where?
baihanahakū Pret. (4) of baihanumbi to go to search, with akū not
musei we two, with genitive affix i
ubai here, with genitive affix i
šurdeme all round
fuhali altogether
manju Manchu
tacikū school
akū not
gūnici Cond. (6) of gūnimbi to think
sini thy
tacire Fut. Part. (5) of tacimbi to learn
ba place
ai what?
hendure Fut. (5) of hendumbi to speak
atanggi when?                      }
bicibe Advers. (13) of bimbi to be } whenever it may be
bi I
inu also
bithe book
hūlanaki Subj. Pres. (7) of hūlanambi to go to read
mini gen. of bi I
funde postpost. for
majige little
gisureci Cond. (6) of gisurembi to speak
ojoroo can, may, with interrogative o
age elder brother, sir
si thou
mende dat. plur. of be we
tacibure Fut. Part. (5) of tacibumbi to teach
niyalma man
be accusative affix
we who
sembi to say, call;

and I have looked, I assure you, everywhere (for a school) and left no place unexamined; but in our 
neighbourhood, I am sorry to say, there is no school for Manchu.
I was thinking that the one you go to would do for me well enough, and that one of these days I might 
commence my attendance. Will you be so good as to say a word for me to the master beforehand?
Junior. Ah! I see you think that it is a regular professor that teaches us; but that

[Page 42]

sefu teacher (師傅 shih fu)
sembio to say, call, with interrogative o
waka no
kai final particle.
mini my
emu one
mukūn clan
i genitive affix
ahūn elder
tacibure Fut. Part. (5) of tacibumbi to teach
ele whoever
urse plural affix
gemu all
meni our
emu one
uksun relationship
i genitive affix
juse pl. of jui son
deote pl. of deo younger brother
jai secondly
niyaman blood relation
hūncihin relation by marriage
umai not at all
gūwa other
niyalma man
akū not is
adarame how
seci Cond. (6) of sembi to say
mini my
ahūn elder
inenggidari daily
yamulambi to go to the yamên
jabdurakū Fut. (5) of jabdumbi to have leisure, with akū not
ineku the same
be accusative affix
erde morning
yamji evening
nandame Inf. (3) of nandambi to request
genere Fut. (5) of genembi to go
jakade conj. because
arga trick, expedient

is not the case. Our instructor is one of the elders of our clan and his pupils are all our own near cousins;
any other that may attend are relations by marriage; there is not an outsider among them. But the fact is that
our elder is too busy to give regular lessons; for, besides teaching us, he has to go to the yamên every day.
It is only because we entreat him day and night

[Page 43]

akū not, arga akū he cannot help it
šolo leisure
jalgiyanjafi Past Ger. (8) of jalgiyanjambi to supply
membe acc. of be we
tacibumbi to teach
waka not
oci if
age elder brother, sir
bithe book
hūlame Inf. (3) of hūlambi to read
geneki Subj. Pres. (7) of genembi to go
sehengge Verbal Noun (21) of sembi to say
sain good
baita thing
dabala only
sini gen. of si thou
funde postpos. for
majige little
gisureci Cond. (6) of gisurembi to speak
minde dat. of bi I
geli then
ai what
wajiha Pret. (4) of wajimbi to end, finish
ni interrogative particle.
tere that
age elder brother
serengge Verbal Noun (21) of sembi to say
musei our, with genitive affix i
fe old
adaki neighbour
kai is
kemneme Inf. (3) of kemnembi to measure }
tuwame Inf. (3) of tuwambi to see       } to regard carefully
mutuha Pret. (4) of mutumbi to grow

that he feels obliged to find time to play the tutor. Were the case otherwise, you desire to study Manchu is
a thing commandable in itself, and as for the trouble of speaking in your behalf, I should not have thought
it any trouble at all.
IX. Senior. That gentleman is our old neighbour, you know; the lad we have seen grow up here.

[Page 44]

juse plur. of jui child
kiyalafi Past Ger. (8) of kiyalambi to be separated
giyanakū how could
udu how much
goidaha Pret. (4) of goidambi to last
donjici Cond. (6) of donjimbi to hear
mujakū exceedingly
hūwašafi Past Ger. (8) of hūwašambi to increase, to get on
hafan official
oho Pret. (4) of ombi to be
sere Fut. (5) of sembi to say
sucungga first
bi I
hono also
akdara Fut. (5) of akdambi to believe
dulin half
kenehunjere Fut. (5) of kenehunjembi to doubt
dulin half
bihe Pret. (4) of bimbi to be
amala afterwards
gucuse pl. of gucu friend
de postpos. in
fonjici Cond. (6) of fonjimbi to ask
mujangga certain
erebe this, with accusative affix be
tuwaci Cond. (6) of tuwambi to see, to regard
mujin resolution
bisirengge Verbal Noun (21) of bimbi to be
baita thing
jiduji completely
mutebumbi it can be done
se year
mulan seat; se mulan age
de postpos. in
akū not
sehe Pret. (4) of sembi to say
gisun word
tašan wrong

He has not been away from us very long, and now one hears that he is doing very well; that he has got an
appointment. I only half believed the report when I first heard it, until on inquiring of friends I find
it really is the case. It shows the truth of the proverb "If a man but resolve, the thing he wants to do
is done"; and of the other proverb "No man is too young to make a resolution."

[Page 45]

akū not
ni final particle
age elder brother, sir
i genitive affix
gisun word
inu true
tuttu thus
secibe Advers. (13) of sembi to say
inu certainly
terei his
sakdasa pl. of sakda old man, father
de postpos. in
wajirakū infinite
sain good
ba place
bifi Past Ger. (5) of bimbi to be
teni therefore
ere this
gese similiarity
dekjingge prosperous
juse child
banjiha Pret. (4) of banjimbi to beget
nomhon kind
bime Ger. (3) of bimbi to be
sain good
tacin learning
jorin interpretation
de postpos. in
amuran fond of
gabtara Fut. Part. (5) of gabtambi to shoot on foot (with the bow)
niyamniyara Fut. Part. (5) of niyamniyara to shoot on horseback
eiten every
haihai man, with sign of genitive i
erdemu virtue
se year, age
de postpos. to
teisu corresponding to
akū not
ambula greatly
tacihabi Indef. Past (10) of tacimbi to learn, to study
an i ucuri generally

Junior. That is all very well, sir; still, his father's infinite virtues must have enabled him to beget a son
of such promise; a young man so kind and good, so fond of his studies; in foot and horse archery, in every
manly exercise beyond his years accomplished; spending any spare time

[Page 46]

boode house. with postpos. de in
bici Cond. (6) of bimbi to be
bithe book
tuwara Fut. (5) of tuwambi to look at
dabala only
balai firvolous
bade place, with postpos. de to
emu one
okson step
seme Inf. (3) of sembi to say
inu really
feliyerakū Fut. (5) of feliyembi to walk, with akū not
tere that
anggala not only
siden public
i genitive affix
baita affair
de postpos. in
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
ginggun careful
olhoba attentive
bahara Fut. Part. (5) of bahambi to obtain
sara Fut. Part. (5) of sambi to know
bade place, with postpos. de in
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
fimenere Fut. Part. (5) of fimenembi to smudge
ba place
akū not
ere this
tob right
seme Inf. (3) of sembi to say
sain good
ba place
iktambuha Part. Pret. (4) of iktambumbi to accumulate
boode house, with postpos. de in
urunakū must
funcetele superabundant
hūturi luck
bi has
sehe Pret. (4) of sembi to say
gisun word, speech
de postpos. in
acanaha Pret. (4) of acanambi to agree

at home, and there always at his studies; never moving one step in the direction of a dissolute life. Then he
is so careful and attentive in the discharge of his public duties; and when he is able to obtain information
about something, he remains perfectly spotless. It is quite a case in which one may observe that "The house 
where virtue accumulates (from generation to generation) will not fail to have more than an ordinary
share of happiness."

[Page 47]

secina Concess. (14) of sembi to say
age elder brother, sir
yalu Imp. (1) of yalumbi to ride
bi I
sinde Dat. of si thou
jailaha Pret. (4) of jailambi to escape
kai final particle
šadame Ger. (3) of šadambi to be tired
geli also
aiseme how could
ebumbi to dismount
ai gisun what language
serengge Verbal Noun (21) of sembi to say
sabuhakū Pret. (4) of sabumbi to notice, with akū not
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
ainara what is to be done?
bi I
kejine far off
aldangga distant
ci postpos. from
uthai therefore
simbe acc. of si thou
sabuha Pret. (4) of sabumbi to notice
bade conj. because
morilahai Part. Pret. (4) of morilambi to ride, with adverbial affix i: on horseback
dulere Fut. Part. (5) of dulembi to pass
kooli custom
bio it is, with interrogative o
age elder brother, sir
boode house, with postpos. de in, to
dosifi Past Ger. (8) of dosimbi to enter
terakūn Fut. (5) of tembi to sit, with akūn or not?
inu yes
kai final particle
muse we two
acahakūngge Verbal Noun (21) of acambi to meet, with akū not
kejine far off.

X. Junior. Keep on your horse, sir, pray! I went out of your sight. Now, why should you go through the form
of dismounting when you are so tired?
Senior. Not dismount, indeed! If I had not seen you, well and good; but when I did see you ever so far off,
you would not have had me pass you on horseback, would you?
Junior. Well, sir, won't you step in and sit down?
Senior. Oh, yes, I'll step in and sit down a moment, it is so long since we met.

[Page 48]

goidaha Pret. (4) of goidambi to last
bi I
dosifi Past Ger. (8) of dosimbi to enter
majige little
teki Subj. Pres. (7) of tembi to sit
ara hallo!
utala so many
hacingga of all kinds
moo tree
ilha flower
tebuhebio Indef. Past (10) of tebumbi to plant, with interrogative o
geli also
utala so many
boconggo coloured }
nisiha small fish } goldfish
ujihebi Indef. Past (10) of ujimbi to nourish
wehe stone
ai what
jibsime Inf. (3) of jibsimbi to lay in tiers
iktambuhangge Verbal Noun (21) of iktambumbi, pass of iktambi to heap up
inu really
sain good
gūnin thought
isinaha Part. Pret. (4) of isinambi to arrive
be accusative affix
umesi very
faksi ingenious
jergi order, tier, jergi jergi every tier
de postpos. in
gemu all
doro rule
yangse beauty
bi is, has
ere this
bithei book, with genitive affix i
boo house, room
yala certainly
bolgo clean
absi how
tuwaci Cond. (6) of tuwambi to regard

But, dear me! what a show of trees and flowers you have, and what a stock of goldfish! and your rockery, so 
ingeniously concieved; every tier of it has a character of its own! and what a tidy library! everything
in it looks

[Page 49]

absi so
icangga fit, convenient
tob true
seme Ger. (3) of sembi to say
musei we, with genitive affix i
bithe book
hulaci Cond. (6) of hūlambi to read [strange loss of ū igen]
acara Fut. Part. (5) of acambi to suit
ba place
damu but
korsorongge Verbal Noun (21) of Korsombi to be discontented
minde dat. of I
asuru many
gucu friend
gargan associate
akū not
emhun alone
bithe book
tacici Cond. (6) of tacimbi to learn
dembei extremely
simeli lonesome
ede this
ai what?
mangga diffiult?
si thou
aika perhaps
eimerakū Fut. Pat. (5) of eimembi to be bored, with akū not
oci if
bi I
sinde dat. of si thou
gucu friend
arame Inf. (3) of arambi to represent
jici Cond. (6) of jimbi to come
antaka how
tuttu thus
oci Cond. (6) of ombi to be
minde dat. of bi I
tusa profit
oho Pret. (4) of ombi to be, to have
solinaci Cond. (6) of solinambi to go to invite

so convenient, it is quite the place for reading men like us.
Junior. It is nice enough, no doubt; the misfortune is that I have no friend to study with,
and studying all alone is tame work.
Senior. Well, there needn't be much difficulty on that score. I'll be your fellow-student,
provided that I don't bother you; what say you?
Junior. Bore, indeed! It will be a real blessing if you will. I never asked you

[Page 50]

hono yet
jiderakū Fut. (5) of jimbi to come, with akū not
jalin postpos. on account of
jobošombikai to be uneasy, with kai final particle
yala indeed
jici Cond. (6) of jimbi to come
mini my
jabšan luck
dabala only
eimembi to be bored
sere Fut. (5) of sembi to speak
doro rule, custom
geli still
bio it is, with interrogative o.

to come, because I feared you would refuse; but if you really are coming I shall be the most fortunate of men.


[Page 51]


(The number in brackets indicates the verbal affix as explained on page 9).

aibi-33.aibide 39. 41. aici 39
aika-27.49. aikabade 16
aimbe-6. ainci 6
akū, akūn, akūngge-
ba- bade
bi-6.50. bici bicibe 25.41. bifi 45 bihe bime 21.22 45. bisirengge 38.44
cibe-(13) 8
cina-(14) 8
cuka, cuke-4.13
fi-(8) 8
gan, gen, gon-4
ha,he,ho-(4) habi (10) 8.9. habici (12) 8.9. habihe (11) 8.9
han, hen, hon, hun, hūn-4
ka,ke,ko-(4) 4.8.10, v. ha.
lame,leme-(23) 8.13
le-(22) 4.8
mbi 8, mbifi (17) 8. mbihe (9) 8. mbime (16) 8. 13
mbubumbi-(20) 8
mbumbi-(19) 8
me-(3) 8. 13
meni, mende, membe, menci-6
mini, minde, mimbe, minci-6

[Page 52]

ndara,ndere-8. 10
nggala,nggele,nggolo-(18) 8.9
ombi- ombini 22.29. ombime 29. oho 44.49. ohode 26.31.34. ofi ojoro 29.41.
   ome. 30. oci ocibe 13
sembi- seme sehe 44.46. sehengge 43. sehebi 24.
   sere serengge seci 0secibe 45

[Page 53]

For Manchu Literatur see my Essay on Manchu litterature in Journal of China Branch of
R. A. S., Shanghai, vol. xxiv (1890) p. 1-45.
The following are the principal European works for the study of Manchu:---
J. Klaproth, Chrestomathie mandchou or recueil de textes mandchou. Paris 1828. 8vo, 273pp.
H. C. von der Gabelentz, Elémens de la grammaire mandchoue. Altenbourg, 1832. 8vo, 156pp.
Additional remarks on the Manchu verb in 
"Beiträge zur mandschuischen Conjugationslehre, Zeitschr. der D. M. Ges. xviii, p. 202-219.
----Sse-schu, Schu-king, Schi-king in mandschuischer Uebersetzung mit einem mandschu-
deuschem Wörterbuch. Leipzig, 1864. 2 vols. 8vo.
Vol. I containing the romanized Manchu text of the four books (四書), the Shuking and Shiking, 304 pp.
Vol. II containing the dictionary, 231 pp.
T. T. Meadows, Translations from the Manchu language with the original text. Canton, 1849. 8vo.
A. Wylie, T'sing-wen-k'i-ung, a Chinese grammar of the Manchu Tartar language with
introductory notes on Manchu literature. Shanghai, 1855. 8vo, II, lxxx, 310 pp.
F. Kaulen, Linguae mandschuricae institutiones quas conscripsit indicibus ornavit
chrestomathia et vocabulario auxit. Ratisbonae, 1856. 8vo., 152 pp.
W. Wassilyeff, Manchu Chrestomathy. St. Petersburg, 1863. 8v0, 228 pp.
L. Adam, Grammaire de la langue mandchou. Paris, 1873. 8vo, 137 pp.
Sakharoff, Complete Manchu-Russian Lexicon. St. Petersburg, 1875. Imp. 8vo, xxx, 1636 pp.
G. von der Gabelentz, Thai-kih-thu. Tafel des Urprinzips, chinesisch mit mandschuisher
und deutscher Uebersetzung. Dresedn, 1876. 8vo.
W. Grube, T'ung-schu des Ceu-tsi, chinesisch und mandschuisch mit Uebersetzung und Commentar. Wien, 1880. 8vo.
E. Teza, Mangiurica, note raccolte. Pisa.
G. Hoffmann, Grammatica mancese compendiata dall' opera zinese Zing wen ki mung. Turin, 1883. 8vo, 36pp.
L. Nocentini, Il santo editto di Kanghi e l'amplificazione di Yung-ceng. Versione mancese. Firenze, 1883.
C. de Harlez, Manuel de la langue mandchoue. Grammaire, anthologie et lexique. Paris, 1884. 8vo., 232 pp
For older works see Manual of Chinese Bibliography by myself and my brother. Shanghai, 1876, p 300-305.

[End of book]

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.