Interesting Photos

Keith Tse

Human

On this page, I display certain images that have fascinated me by either appealing to my interests in languages and linguistics, or my hobbies like history/politics, music, literature and drama. 

Chinese Language

My native tongue, and one which I investigate the most these days. As is well-known, there are (broadly speaking) two orthographic systems in our language, namely a traditional script and a simplified script, the latter born from the former during the early period of reform in mainland China. The simplified script is the common writing system now, though the traditional script is still used in numerous important places like Hong Kong and Taiwan. Furthermore, the traditional script is used in all historical Chinese literature and is hence essential for those investigating Chinese historical linguistics. Here is the phrase 'Chinese language' in both scripts. It should be obvious which one is traditional and which simplified. 

Chinese Dialects

As explained, the Chinese language consists of thousands of dialects, all of which are idiosyncratic and may vary quite wildly. In Hong Kong, we use a particular southern dialect called Cantonese, which is extremely widespread and popular not only in the south of China but also among Chinese emigrant populations in the western world, namely North America and Canada. There is a lot of Cantonese literature which shows the amount of local pride that some Cantonese-speakers have. Below are a few (and only a few): 

Chinese Dialects (continued) 

I am biased in my dialectal affiliations, I am afraid to say, since I am from Hong Kong and I am a native speaker of Cantonese. However, let me re-assert that the idea that Chinese is bidialectal (Mandarin/Cantonese) is a common misconception, since our linguistic situation is far more complex than that. As a way of remedying my native bias towards Cantonese, let me here sledge-hammer you with a long list of dialectal vocabulary in the modern Wu dialects, another major dialect familiy in China, just to show my neutrality (though strictly speaking, I do have affiliations with Wu since my mother's side of the family is from Shanghai, a major branch in the Wu family, and I have learnt a bit of Shanghainese from them... I'll try to find more dialectal data in due course, which is very easy what with all the published manuals on Chinese dialects which attest to our wonderfully rich dialectal inventory): 

天龍八部
Motivation/Inspiration

We all experience difficulties and hardships in life. It is important not to give in to them and persevere. Such struggles with our problems in life require a lot of mental strength and energy, and I often find that I need a timely boost of inspiration to motivate myself. Here are some quotes that have helped me in the past. I hope that they help you too.  

Theoretical Linguist

A beautiful logo accompanied by two amazing phrases. 語言學家 literally means 'linguist' in Chinese. I absolutely adore this image. This will be on my frame for the rest of my life. 

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