Bilingual (English/Chinese) editions of the Analects seem to be set using standard, Modern Mandarin fonts. And some of the analects are pretty easy to read with a Modern Mandarin background -- with a few corrections like knowing that 也 used to mark affirmation. But the experts I read say the Analects as a whole, in the classical Chinese, are not readable in Modern Mandarin. Are there published editions in the PRC adapted to Modern Mandarin? Maybe for school children?

I am asking in order to understand modern China. I do not want such an edition myself.

As to the character fonts, those issues are well, but concisely, described at https://chinese.stackexchange.com/posts/9569/revisions

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    I feel that Mandarin annotated commentaries of the analects would be more common than Mandarin translations.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 22:59
  • “in order to understand modern china” 😿 well, read george orwell’s “1984”; lee kuan yew’s memoirs (the traditional chinese version) vol 2; and ray huang’ s “china`: a macro history”. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 4:34
  • @dROOOze Yes that was how scholars read the Classical texts throughout history. But I still wonder if today there are also adaptations to Modern Mandarin,. Certainly the forms of the characters are often modernized.. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 12:38
  • What do you mean by forms of the characters are often modernized? If you mean PRC's Simplified Chinese, that might be OK for Mandarin annotations, but rendering the original text in that way makes the text an unreadable confusing mess. Academically serious publications like those by 中華書局 of the canonical texts are still published with a faithful orthography.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 13:14
  • @dROOOze I mean they do not use Warring States, or Han dynasty forms of the characters. But they do, I believe use classical forms of Chinese language. Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


Yes. There are "vernacular translations" (白话译文)  putting the Analects themselves in modern Chinese language.  Several of these can be found by searching "论语" "译文".  I have not surveyed how many.

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