The Zhuang Language
Preface: What is Zhuang?The Zhuang language(“Saw cuengh” in Zhuang) is mainly spoken in Guangxi Zhuangzu Autonomous Region, in the south of China. This is the largest minority language in China with about 15 million speakers.
Maybe you say : “I've never seen and never heard such a language”. However, I dare to say that you must have seen it, even if you have never heard it. These days, many Japanese tourists visit China. The Zhuang language is printed on the renminbi yuan, the currency of the People's Republic of China.
If you have a renminbi yuan at hand, please look at the back.
There are several languages as well as Mandarin
Chinese. These are Mongolian, Tibetan,
And the one “Cunghgoz Yinzminz Yinzhangz”
written in Roman alphabet is the Zhuang.
This sentence, which means “People's Bank of China(中國人民銀行)” is simply transcribed Chinese pronunciation in phonetic signs. Like this, in Zhuang there are many borrowed words from Mandarin Chinese. So learning the vocabulary is not so difficult for Japanese people. Besides, it is written in Roman alphabet. Unlike the other minority languages, we need not learn unfamiliar characters.
In spite of these strong points, in Japan, it is very difficult to get any learning resources about Zhuang. The other minority languages like Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur have already grammar books, conversation training kits, and dictionaries. But about Zhuang, we haven't got such learning resources for Japanese as I know.
So here I'm consulting the textbooks written in Chinese, and try to explain a basic grammar of Zhuang. There may be a mistake and mistranslation because I, myself, began learning the language just now. I want the guide of the professional teachers, and improve them gradually.
張元生 覃曉航 編著《現代壯漢語比較語法》中央民族學院出版社，1993
覃國生 梁庭望 韋星朗 著《民族知識叢書 壯族》民族出版社，1984
The River Missions Ministry : The Zhuang of China
Chinatown-online Ethnic Minorities in China : Zhuang
ChinaSource The Zhuang People
Since 19th Dec. 2000
Last Modified on 18th Apr. 2004
* These sites are under (very slow) development.
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