Language of the Dragon, Volume 2 Textbook

Language of the Dragon, Volume 2 Textbook

A Classical Chinese Reader
1st Edition
by Gregory Chiang

The Language of the Dragon Volume 2 Textbook builds on the material learned in Volume 1 and to enable students to become exploratory learners of classical Chinese. This volume features longer classical Chinese passages and focuses more on the introduction of disyllabic function words and patterns. Upon completion, students will be able to freely and competently access the writings of any period in China's long history and make easy transitions between modern Chinese and classical Chinese.

Volume 2 follows the same format as Volume 1, with a few exceptions. Each of the twenty-four lessons includes a pre-reading section written in the formal style, or shumianyu, that introduces the author and other relevant background information. For the selected readings from Laozi, The Analects, and Mencius, a "The Sages' Sayings" section that provides sayings from Laozi, Confucius, and Mencius that are embedded in the Chinese cultural psyche.


Cheng & Tsui
Publication Date: 
Trim Size: 
8.5 x 11
Table of Contents


Grammatical Terms

  1. 老子選讀 Selections from Laozi
  2. 大學之道 The Great Learning
  3. 中庸選讀 Selections from The Doctrine of the Mean
  4. 禮運大同 The Great Unity
  5. 論語選讀 Selections from The Analects
  6. 孟子選讀 Selections from Mencius
  7. 莊子選讀 Selections from Zhuangzi
  8. 謀攻 Strategy for Offense
  9. 非攻 Condemnation of Offensive War
  10. 勸學 An Encouragement to Study
  11. 五蠹 The Five Parasites of the State
  12. 鴻門宴 A Banquet at Hongmen
  13. 荊軻傳 The Biography of Jing Ke
  14. 出師表 A Memorial to the Emperor Before the Military Expedition
  15. 世說新語五則 Selections from The New Discourse on the Talk of the Times
  16. 蘭亭集序 A Preface to the Get-together at the Orchid Pavilion
  17. 桃花源記 Story of Peach Blossom Spring
  18. 春夜宴桃李園序 Feasting in the Peach-plum Garden in Spring Night
  19. 師說 Discourse on Teachers
  20. 陋室銘 Inscription on My Humble Cottage
  21. 赤壁 The Red Cliff
  22. 愛蓮說 Ode to the Lotus
  23. 為學 To Engage in Study
  24. 詩詞選讀 Selected Poems

Appendix I: A Comprehensive Pattern Exercise

Appendix II: Punctuation

Appendix III: Major Chronological Divisions of Chinese History

Appendix IV: Index to Commonly Used Words


The most imaginatively conceived and adroitly crafted textbook of classical Chinese that I have encountered.

— Professor David B. Honey, Brigham Young University
About the Series

Like the language it was designed to teach, Language of the Dragon has stood the test of time as an invaluable primer for students of classical Chinese. Extensively field-tested at universities throughout the United States, the two-volume series was developed not for office-bound scholars, but advanced Chinese language students seeking to strengthen their grasp of modern Mandarin through the study of classical Chinese. 

Using excerpts of famous texts from the Spring and Autumn, Warring States, Qin, and early Han periods, the two-volume series offers a clear and systematic analysis of classical Chinese grammar. Accurate and exacting explanations of vocabulary and grammar are given in both modern Mandarin and English, inviting learners to make connections between contemporary and classical Chinese. Writing exercises at the end of each lesson solidify classical Chinese grammar patterns in students’ minds by providing additional composition, translation, and punctuation practice.

While Language of the Dragon can be taught in English, the series was designed to be taught in Chinese, and three years’ experience in modern Mandarin Chinese is assumed. Language of the Dragon is especially effective when paired with Classical Chinese: A Functional Approach.

About the Author(s)

Gregory Kuei-Ke Chiang was the co-founder of the Middlebury College Chinese Department and a member of the department's faculty from 1976 until 1999. At Middlebury he served as Professor in Charge of the Middlebury Chinese School, Dean of the Oriental Schools, Dean of the Chinese School, and Chinese Adviser to the Language Schools. For many years Professor Chiang taught Classical Chinese in the Chinese School and the Chinese Department's upper level courses.