初學粵音切要序

且夫西國之文,從二十餘字母而來,是音有定,而義不寓焉。待將字母成語,而意始立。而中國之字,不下四五萬,其意有定,而音未定焉。以各省各類之音不一也。故西土之人,欲學中土之音,必先專一,而後無駁雜之弊;必先得法,而後有善成之功。今余來中國有年,將溫武溪所註粵東土音之三十三韻,揣而熟之,間有未精確切者,並參以康熙字典,於是採乎文墨中所必需之字,條分部類,次第點畫,而兼以英字確切其音,其法簡而易學,其用變而無窮。於廣東土音,諒亦無能左右之者,故名其書曰《初學粵音切要》,務使閱者明如揩掌,純無間難之疑;便於搜尋,豈有魚魯之混。既後之學生小子,誠能將此切音之數十字,習而熟之,則無不識之字矣。是書之作,豈無小補云。是為序。

Preface

The design of this book is twofold: -- (1) to illustrate the phonetic relations which exist between Chinese characters by exhibiting a complete list of phonetics, with the most common derivatives printed under each in smaller types; and (2) to afford an easy method of determining the Canton pronunciation of words.

The phonetics are arranged in the same order in which they occur in Kang-He's Dictionary. Their form and order ought first to be attended to; after which it will not be difficult to find any character in the book, whose sound is required. The student is supposed to be familiar with the radicals.

The sound of each character is represented by other two, in small type, an initial and a final, the respective powers of which are given at the top of each page. Every Roman initial has two representatives in Chinese, one for the upper (上) series, and one for the lower (下) series on tones. Each final sound has three or four characters corresponding to the four tones (平上去入). In the last (入) tone, final n becomes t, m beomes p, and ng beomes k.

a, o, u and i with no mark are pronounced as when before r in English - far, for, fur, fir. -a with a mark is short. -ae is not the diphthnog æ, but is pronounced somewhat as in the word Shanghae. -y is pronounced as in by, but after other vowels as in joy. The termination ing has a variety ëing, which is often optional, but in 石 shëik a stone and serveral other words in the fourth tone it is always followed. These pronunciations, however, only approximate to the truth.