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Le Dictionnaire chinois, français et latin de 1813

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The first printed dictionary from Chinese to a Western language, the Dictionnaire chinois, français et latin, published on the orders of Emperor Napoleon I, was prepared under the direction of Chrétien-Louis De Guignes (1759–1845) and came off the press of the Imprimerie impériale de Paris in 1813. It was based on what was regarded as the best manuscript dictionary compiled by the missionaries in China, the Hanzi xiyi by the Italian Franciscan, Basilio Brollo (1648–1704). Chinese characters were printed using the “Buis du Régent”, a unique set of mobile types engraved in wood, completed in Paris in 1740, the history of which is retraced at the beginning of the article. The sources and characteristics of the 1813 Dictionnaire are then examined, as well as the scholarly rivalries that accompanied its production and the criticism to which it was subjected after its appearance.
Le Dictionnaire chinois, français et latin, premier dictionnaire imprimé du chinois dans une langue occidentale, préparé sur ordre de l’empereur Napoléon Ier et sous la responsabilité de Chrétien-Louis De Guignes (1759–1845), sortit des presses de l’Imprimerie impériale de Paris en 1813. Il se basait sur ce qui était considéré comme le meilleur dictionnaire manuscrit rédigé par les missionnaires en Chine, le Hanzi xiyi du franciscain italien Basilio Brollo (1648–1704). Les caractères chinois furent imprimés avec les “Buis du Régent”, un ensemble unique en Europe de types mobiles dont la gravure sur bois avait été achevée en 1740 et dont l’histoire est retracée au début de l’article. Les sources et les caractéristiques du Dictionnaire de 1813 sont ensuite examinées, ainsi que les rivalités entre savants qui en accompagnèrent l’émergence et les critiques auxquelles il fut en butte après sa parution.

Affiliations: 1: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales


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