Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the 17th-century Japanese era, see Kanbun (era).
Before the advent of the modern Japanese writing system and the kana syllabaries, kanbun was used to compose original Japanese texts. Today kanbun is used primarily to annotate classical Chinese and is a required subject in high school, so in modern Japanese, the word "kanbun" can be also used to refer to classical Chinese literature as a whole.
Modern kanbun employs a set of marks known as kaeriten (返り点), lit. "return points". For example, the following line by Han Fei Zi:
would be written in kanbun as:
To read this, the character marked with 下 (down) is shifted to the location marked by 上 (up), and likewise the character marked with 二 (two) is shifted to the location marked by 一 (one). The reverse mark レ indicates that the order of the adjacent characters must be reversed. Step by step, the sentence thus becomes:
And the final sentence is now in the Japanese Subject Object Verb order. At this point conjugations can be added with okurigana and character readings can be annotated with furigana. The completed translation is known as kundoku or "Japanese reading", and the set of translation marks used are kunten (訓点) or "Japanese points".
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details