Peculiarities of Manchu in Ch’ongŏ Nogŏltae (淸語老乞大)

Otgontuul Togtokh

Peculiarities of Manchu in Ch’ongŏ Nogŏltae (淸語乞大)

(63rd Annual Meeting Ulaanbaatar, 2021)

It is said that Sayogwon, a special institute for translator preparation, was established during the Joseon dynasty or Korean dynastic kingdom which lasted approximately 518 years from 1392 to 1920. Founded in 1389, the institute started teaching Chinese and Mongolian, as well as Japanese from 1415 and Jurchen from 1426. The book 경국대전 /кйенгүгдайжөнъ/ mentioned Jurchen language teaching and 15 textbooks for language teaching. Nevertheless, only a few of them have survived and the name of Jurchen studies changed to Manchu in 1667. Since then, the Manchu language textbooks were published and used in the trainings. There are still six Manchu textbooks preserved which published by Sayogwon. These are 淸語乞大 /чон-о нугөлдэй/, 三譯總解 /самёгчунхэй/, 小兒論 /суарон/, 八歲兒 /палсэа/, 漢淸文鑑 /ханьчөнмүньгам/, 同文 /тонмүньюүхэй/. Of these sources, 淸語乞大 /чононугөлдэй, Ch’ongŏ Nogŏltae/ was the most widely used in Manchu teaching. The eight-volume woodblock print book was written in colloquial language. The dialogue book has rich vocabulary of daily lives and customs including lexicology related to the goods price, types of silk fabrics, food names, horse colors, their ages and equipment that it is the essential source material for the comparative studies of Manchu and other Altaic languages. On the other hand, the pronunciation of the Manchu words was transcribed in Hangul, and the Korean translation at the end of each sentence that is an important source for the further studies of Manchu and Korean phonology, syntax, and even translation. In this paper, the peculiarities of Manchu in 淸語乞大/чононугөлдэй/ will be compared with those in other languages.