There is one short story made of words that used only one Chinese sound, shi (sounds like ‘sure’). It was written by Zhao Yuanren, a linguist in Chinese, the author of “A Grammar of Spoken Chinese”. This short story is composed of 91 words and all of the words are of the same sound “Shi”(yes). It was totally incomprehensible, just as a sentence of “yes yes yes yes yes”, unless you got all the tones right or could see the characters. Maybe only Chinese can create something like this.

Let’s try to read:

《施(shī)氏(shì)食(shí)狮(shī)史(shǐ)》

石(shí)室(shì)诗(shī)士(shì)施(shī)氏(shì),嗜(shì)狮(shī),誓(shì)食(shí)十(shí)狮(shī)。

氏(shì)时(shí)时(shí)适(shì)市(shì)视(shì)狮(shī)。

十(shí)时(shí),适(shì)十(shí)狮(shī)适(shì)市(shì)。

是(shì)时(shí),适(shì)施(shī)氏(shì)适(shì)市(shì)。

氏(shì)视(shì)是(shì)十(shí)狮(shī),恃(shì)矢(shǐ)势(shì),使(shǐ)是(shì)十(shí)狮(shī)逝(shì)世(shì)。

氏(shì)拾(shí)是(shì)十(shí)狮(shī)尸(shī),适(shì)石(shí)室(shì)。

石(shí)室(shì)湿(shī),氏(shì)使(shǐ)侍(shì)拭(shì)石(shí)室(shì)。

石(shí)室(shì)拭(shì),氏(shì)始(shǐ)试(shì)食(shí)是(shì)十(shí)狮(shī)。

食(shí)时(shí),始(shǐ)识(shí)是(shì)十(shí)狮(shī)尸(shī),实(shí)十(shí)石(shí)狮(shī)。

试(shì)释(shì)是(shì)事(shì)。

The translation of this story, according to wikipedia is as follows:

“Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den”
In a stone den was a poet Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten.
He often went to the market to look for lions.
At ten o’clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.
At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.
He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused the ten lions to die.
He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.
The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.
After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.
When he ate, he realized that those ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.
Try to explain this matter.

Isn’t it amazing?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...