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Two Thousand Zhuang Proverbs from China with Annotations and Chinese and English Translation


Zhou Yanxian

China is home to one of the largest and oldest societies in the world, and presently contains fifty-six ethnic groups. Among them is the Zhuang, the largest of the minority populations, which partakes in a very long history of preliterate oral traditions. This volume presents an introduction to Zhuang language and culture in Zhuang proverbs. The two thousand proverbs explored in this text bear the weight of Zhuang history and culture, and embody the wisdom collected from publications, manuscripts, and the speeches of the people who live in Zhuang villages. These proverbs are grouped into nine sections: Truths; Morality; Family; Everyday Life; Social Life; Labor; Nature; Customs; and Politics. Together, they form an essential distillation of the Zhuang history, tradition, philosophy, and most importantly, its legacy. This accessible introduction – which includes translations in Zhuang Pinyin letters, Mandarin, and American English for each proverb – provides an important corpus for the study of the Zhuang ethnic group by scholars, students, and others who are interested in Zhuang language, culture, folklore and oral traditions, and proverbs.

Zhou Yanxian is Professor of English Language and Literature and Dean of the School of Foreign Languages at Baise University in Guangxi, China. Her research interests include translations, linguistic and cultural comparisons of Chinese and English, and oral traditions of the Zhuang ethnic group in China. She has conducted several research projects, including a National Social Science Fund Project titled “A Comparative Study on Zhuang and Thai Proverbs,” and a key provincial project titled “Oral Narration of Zhuang People’s Long Folk Poems.” She has published five volumes of Zhuang long folk poems with English translation, studies of ethnic cultures, and more than thirty academic papers. Among them, Liao Songs of Pingguo Zhuang and On the Zhuang-English Translation of Zhuang People’s Liao Songs in Guangxi won provincial awards for Outstanding Achievements in humanities and social sciences.