Goropius Becanus Award nomination for 2019

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It's been a while since the last Goropius Becanus Award — see "The envelope, please" and "The Language of Eve" (1/3/2007). But a worthy nominee has recently appeared, as reported by  Zin Kao, "English is actually Chinese, scholars claim", The Taiwan News 8/31/2019 ("World Civilization Research Association academics also believe all European history before 15th century is fake"):

“World Civilization Research Association” (世界文明研究促進會) scholars are claiming that Western civilization originates from China and all European languages are merely Mandarin dialects, the Liberty Times reports.

World Civilization Research Association Vice President and Secretary-General Zhai Guiyun (翟桂鋆) said during an interview with Sina Online that some English words derive from Mandarin. For example, “yellow” resembles Mandarin for “leaf falling” (葉落, yeluo) because it is the color of autumn, while “heart” resembles “core” (核的, hede).

Zhai concluded this “proves” English is, in fact, a “dialect” of Mandarin. He further claimed that after Chinese formed the English language, Russian, French, German, and other European-based languages, went through a similar process of sinicization.

The World Civilization Research Association group of scholars are professors from a number of Chinese academic institutions. Association member Zhu Xuanshi (諸玄識) further claimed that Western civilization is a “sub-civilization” of Chinese culture.

He said Europeans “felt ashamed” due to the “fact” there was no history in Europe before the 15th century, compared to China. In an attempt to paper over this historical humiliation, the Europeans “fabricated” stories about ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations – all based on Chinese history.

World Civilization Research Association founder Du Gangjian (杜鋼建) said the organization has set up branches in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Thailand, South Korea, and Madagascar to “restore” the truth of world history. “Do not let fake, Western-centered history hinder the great Sino-Renaissance,” he was quoted as saying.

The Sina interview can be found here ("西方文明起源于中国 英语英人起源于中国", 8/26/2019).


  1. S Frankel said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 6:21 pm

    If they've set up a branch in Madagascar, that bespeaks a seriousness of purpose that is literally inexpressible.

  2. Michael Witzel said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

    The author is not quite up to date. As P. Choudhury has shown decades ago, the origins of Chinese language, culture etc. have be sought in ancient India:

    Choudhury, P. Indian origin of the Chinese nation: a challenging, unconventional theory of the origin of the Chinese, Calcutta 1990.



    [(myl) And don't forget Volume 2: Indian origin of the Chinese nation: new anthropology, Dasgupta & Co. 1991: "The Author Seeks To Show That The Chins (Mizos, Kukis, Nagas) Had Been The Natives Of Assam Who Settled In China, Formed An Empire, And A Great Nation Like China – Based On Anthropological And Ethnological Grounds."

    More recently, there's M.K. Agarwal, The Vedic Core of Human History, Bloomington 2013, whose cover features a number of etymological insights:


  3. Eric TF Bat said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 9:47 pm

    Of course, you can't appreciate 四大名著 until you've read them in the original Klingon!

  4. R. Fenwick said,

    September 4, 2019 @ 11:25 pm

    @Eric TF Bat: Tangentially, Klingon's word for "lizard" is lung, parallel with Mandarin 龍 lóng. So clearly, it's really Mandarin that is actually a Klingon dialect!

    (Which is bollocks, of course, though it is noteworthy that the creator of Klingon, the good Marc Okrand, has among his more Earth-bound publications some early Sino-Tibetan work, focusing on Naxi and Lolo-Burmese. It's almost certain that the Klingon word was lifted from some Sinitic variety, perhaps Cantonese.)

  5. Michael said,

    September 5, 2019 @ 3:43 am

    I have in my files a claim from a Hungarian priest who in the 1930's proved Hebrew had been derived from Hungarian. But no Chinese there…

  6. Philip Taylor said,

    September 5, 2019 @ 3:46 am

    Odd, I don't remember this theory being addressed in Edo Nyland's masterly Linguistic archaeology — surely he must have been aware of the work of the Association and would have found it necessary to allude thereto, even if only to demonstrate that the findings of the Association were not consistent with his own research …

  7. Fenevad said,

    September 5, 2019 @ 6:43 am


    Wrong. Don’t know know that Hungarian is really ancient Sumerian because god = isten in Hungarian and the Sumerians worshipped Ishtar. QED.

  8. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    September 5, 2019 @ 2:26 pm

    Informal Poll: Does anybody think that there will ever be a convincing Proto-Nostratic reconstruction, or do the principles of historical linguistics not give us quite enough steel with which to build a bridge between Proto-Indo-European and Adam & Eve?

    ___ Yes! "Language is a ford through the river of time / It leads us to the dwelling of those gone ahead / But he does not arrive there / Who is afraid of deep water" http://www.suduva.com/virdainas/nostraticist.htm

    ___ No! Cast the Nostratic hypothesis forever into the dustbin of history, along with alchemy and phrenology!

    ___ There's no need, Holger Pedersen actually proved that Adam & Eve spoke Danish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostratic_languages

  9. David Marjanović said,

    September 6, 2019 @ 7:38 pm

    Uh, Proto-Nostratic isn't supposed to have anything to do with Adam or Eve; it's not supposed to be ancestral to Sino-Tibetan, Basque, or any languages at all outside Eurasia and the northern fringe of North America. And I don't quite get the joke about Danish.

  10. Jerry Packard said,

    September 7, 2019 @ 2:59 pm


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