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Chinese Text Project
Simplified Chinese version

Frequently Asked Questions


This site is designed, edited, and maintained by Dr. Donald Sturgeon [Related work].

Many thanks to all those who have offered corrections, suggestions, donations, and words of support.

How should I cite this website?

When referring to this website in academic research, please cite the following paper:

If making use of other related research results, please also consider citing the following as appropriate:

When citing this website, the following basic information may be helpful:

If you are citing a translation of a text included on the site, please be sure to cite the name of the translator as the author of the translation.

For more detailed suggestions on how to cite Chinese texts in Chinese, please see the page "Citing Chinese texts".

Comments and corrections

If you have found an error in a text on the site that you are able to correct, please post a description on the discussion forum. Please review the relevant instructions before posting corrections. Errors in texts in the Wiki section can be corrected by editing the text directly.

How can I download texts?

Once you have created a free account and logged in to the site, installing the Plain text plugin will allow you to copy or download any chapter as plain text. If you access the site from a subscribing institution, this will also allow you to download entire texts with a single click.

Why do I keep seeing verification images?

This site receives extremely large numbers of requests from automated computer programs which if left unchecked can destabilize the site and make it unavailable to everyone else. One important way to combat these is to identify which requests come from automated programs, and for this purpose the system will sometimes ask you to create a free account and log in, or enter the text in a verification image before continuing.

You can greatly reduce the frequency with which you will be asked for verification by taking the following steps:

How can I access the site from mainland China?

The site should normally be accessible from mainland China using the usual URL ( Some users have reported occasional problems resolving the domain name in their web browser; if you encounter this type of error, please try accessing the site using our alternative web address "". Unless you are encountering this type of problem, we recommend you continue to use the domain as this will normally provide faster and more reliable service.

Is the Chinese Text Project on Twitter/Facebook/...?

Below is a complete list of social media pages associated with this site:

Facebook: Chinese Text Project
Facebook: Wenyanwen Roulette
Twitter: Chinese Text Project
Twitter: Wenyanwen Roulette

Any social media or other website not on the above list claiming to represent the Chinese Text Project is an unauthorized site and has no connection to this website; please ignore such sites and avoid interacting with them, as they may attempt to propagate malicious or misleading content.

How are the texts prepared?

In order to offer as wide a range of texts as possible with the lowest amount of manual effort, the texts on the CTP are usually based on existing public domain editions. Texts are separated into paragraphs of managable size, and corrected against printed editions.

Where are the translations from?

The translations used on the site are based either upon copyright-expired translations, by authors including James Legge and J.J.L. Duyvendak, or more recent translations where the author has agreed for his or her work to appear on the site. Detailed source information can be displayed by clicking on the icon beside a text title in the contents pane, and is also displayed at the bottom of the contents page for a text. Please note that no attempt is made to provide complete verbatim copies of these publications themelves, which usually included significantly more material than merely the translation per se.

Why do only some texts have translations?

There can be several reasons for this. Firstly, in order to comply with copyright law, the site can only use translations for which the copyright has expired, or the copyright holder grants permission for use of the translation. Secondly, because this site provides bilingual versions of the texts (i.e. text and translation are matched paragraph by paragraph), adding a translation to an existing text requires a significant amount of work in reading through the entire text and matching up each corresponding paragraph. Since written classical Chinese typically did not explicitly record paragraph or even sentence breaks, different commentators and translators almost never agree on the location of every paragraph break; but these must be unified for a bilingual version to be made.

What software does the site use?

The site uses a custom designed system which uses the Perl programming language and a MySQL database server.

What standards does the site adhere to?

The site tries to adhere to relevant standards wherever practical. Currently used standards (and their relevance to the project) include:

How can I help improve the site?

Thanks for your support! Please see the "Help us" page.

Can you tell me what text ____ says about word/concept ____?

Probably not - but you are welcome to ask questions like this on the discussion forum, where hopefully someone with relevant interests will read your question and be able to help you with it.

How can I use the site on my iPhone / Android /...?

A smartphone-friendly version of the site is available which includes almost all of the content of the normal site, but aims to make it more usable on mobile phones equipped with web browsers. Click on the "Mobile" icon (Mobile) at the very top-left of the screen to switch between the standard desktop layout and the mobile layout.

How can I make the site load faster?

The best way to ensure the site works as quickly as possible from your location is to make sure that you are using the most recent version of your web browser. Although the site works with Internet Explorer version 6 and later, more recent versions of Internet Explorer and other web browsers such as Firefox work much more efficiently, and should be able to open pages on this site (as well as many other websites) much more quickly on the same hardware, as well as offering additional features and improved security.

What are digital base texts?

A digital base text is a scanned copy of the text which forms the basis of the CTP edition. A contemporary edition of a transmitted text, whether online or in print, is generally based upon some earlier extant edition of the text. Changes to the original text upon which the new copy is based can be made accidentally as well as intentionally (for example to correct what the editor of the new edition judges is an error in the original source before him). In this way, multiple editors and copyists can introduce changes to texts which should be examined critically before being accepted as genuinely necessary. For this reason, the Chinese Text Project aims to provide editions based on early transmitted copies of texts (e.g. Song dynasty copies) where possible, which should incorporate fewer such editorial emendations than later editions. Subsequent changes to the texts, if necessary to make the text intelligible, can then be clearly marked as such so that the reader can decide whether or not to accept them.

Please note that the site specifying a digital base text for a particular work does not guarantee that the digital edition does indeed always follow it. Rather, it is a statement of intention: the digital edition should follow it, and where it does not currently follow it, should be corrected so that it does; the digital base text is the primary standard against which the digital edition should be checked for accuracy. Please check the Chinese text against the base text before quoting it, and post a description of any discrepancies you find so that they can be corrected.

This website and its content are protected under international copyright law and may not be republished without express written permission. However, reasonable use of the material is encouraged, specifically:

You may download, save, and print any pages of the site you wish for your own private use.*
You may print, photocopy, and distribute any number of copies of any pages of the site you wish for non-profit academic use only. Please include the copyright notice and URL with all copies.*
You may quote reasonable amounts of text from the site (for example a few paragraphs of a text) for illustrative purposes.
* Please note that you must not use automated download software to download large numbers of pages automatically.


Library and Wiki copyright and terms of use

By uploading data to the "Library" section of the site:

By uploading data to the "Wiki" section of the site or modifying existing data in the "Wiki" section: