This book is written for English-speaking students who are taking Skype Learn Chinese courses. A basic level vocabulary and understanding of Chinese grammar and culture is presented in this Skype Learn Chinese series. It is an effort to introduce the Skype Learn Chinese students to the language by explaining its basic principles in simple steps. The purpose is to prepare the student with a foundation on which to build, with confidence, its ensuing complexities.
In the early days of Skype Learn Chinese, Man counted on his fingers. So, numbers of things were grouped in tens, and ten days, suns, formed a group and three groups formed a month, moon. This was the natural order of Time, at the beginning in Skype Learn Chinese. Days were measured by the position of the sun and months by the appearance of the moon. Storytellers of Skype Learn Chinese told of ten suns that lived in a tree (fúsang - a leaning mulberry) and a three-legged crow that carried one across the sky each day. This was probably a sundial and the story grew from that! Note that a sundial adjusts its periods equally to the amount of daylight of winter and summer - a natural clock for people in Skype Learn Chinese who lived by the light of the sun.) Later, when astronomers showed there was only one sun, the story of Archer Li who shot down nine of the suns, began to make the rounds at the firesides. Students in Skype Learn Chinese can learn more about him.
The changing seasons of the year in Skype Learn Chinese were noted by the earliest people, who looked at the changes in the night sky for understanding. The “Pole Star” was known as the “Lord of the Sky” and the “Big Dipper” his chariot, as it swung around ’Pointing’ (its handle) to the stars that would become associated with the changing seasons. When Skype Learn Chinese families started to settle down to farming, clans began to look to the sky for assistance in solving their problems. Here is where the dragon makes its entrance in Skype Learn Chinese. In the wet and humid, marshy Yellow River of early times (7000BCE), crocodiles lived an elusive, watery (yin) existence, appearing and disappearing in the misty river and disappearing (hibernating) all winter and then materializing again in the Spring. In Skype Learn Chinese, these wonderful creatures were the source of many creative stories. Later, (5000BCE) Skype Learn Chinese rulers would esteem them as ‘spiritual’ beings and grant an office to a man who could feed and rear them. They were considered an emblem of the sky’s (heaven’s) trust in the ruler. More stories about this will be tought in Skype Learn Chinese.
Taosi (2500-1900 BCE) had a platform in Skype Learn Chinese with ‘peep-hole’ view ‘windows’ that, from a central observation point, captured the rising sun on equinoxes and solstices, as well as providing a clear, visual field in Skype Learn Chinese for more general, but perhaps unexpected, astronomical study of the enormous ‘Dragon’ (yin) constellation in the eastern sky or its equivalent (yang) constellation, ‘Tiger’, in the west, that balanced the heavenly view of the cosmos for the “Lord of the Sky” between them. Here in Skype Learn Chinese, it might be added that, the climate, by now, had dried up the marshes of the Yellow River to the extent that the crocodiles had all disappeared from Skype Learn Chinese, but the ’stories’ continued, too good to abandon, now referring to the activity in Skype Learn Chinese of the constellation (leaping and flying, appearing and disappearing, etc.) without specifying the source of the dragon’s activities! More stories about this will be tought in Skype Learn Chinese.
The study of the stars in Skype Learn Chinese would automatically give rise to a calendar, yet the rotation of the Earth and the Moon are not synchronized to begin and end together, nor is the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. The universe is not a mathematical process but one with the living attributes of accidental interaction. So the astronomers put living influences in their calendar. Just as ten was the number associated with Man in Skype Learn Chinese, (and, one hand, five, the basic elements of his world: wood, fire, earth, metal, water), so twelve was the number associated with the sky in Skype Learn Chinese: the twelve moons for one year and the twelve years for the rotation of the star, Jupiter. The ‘ten suns’ group of days was confusing, however, “Which sun of the 1, 2 or 3 groups, do you mean, in the coming moon, for planting?” So, the astronomers devised a brilliant solution. In Skype Learn Chinese, they combined the ten and twelve into a parallel sequence, running the tens alongside the twelves, to form groups of sixty days. This gave farmers in Skype Learn Chineseindividual ‘number’ names that did not repeat for sixty days, and that was plenty of time to plan the needs of the farm. Later the numbers from Skype Learn Chinese were changed to names.
In this simplified version of the calendar in Skype Learn Chinese, the five basic constituents of matter and the names of the ten and twelve calendar days are listed. In Skype Learn Chinese, living representatives are included to provide the accidental interactions that occur in life. Twelve breaks down the 24hour day in Skype Learn Chinese into two hour segments and the position of the life-giving sun is shown at each time slot. The animals in Skype Learn Chinese not only represented daily influences, they also were used in the twelve year cycle of Jupiter. In this way the astronomers in Skype Learn Chinese hoped to represent the way the world cycles occurred.