Jerry Norman’s Comprehensive Manchu–English Dictionary, a substantial revision and enlargement of his Concise Manchu–English Lexicon of 1978, now long out of print, is poised to become the standard English-language resource on the Manchu language. As the dynastic language of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Manchu was used in official documents and was also the vehicle for an enormous translation literature, mostly from the Chinese. The new Dictionary, based exclusively on Qing sources, retains all of the information from the earlier Lexicon, but also includes hundreds of additional entries cited from original Manchu texts, enhanced cross-references, and an entirely new introduction on Manchu pronunciation and script. All content from the earlier publication has also been verified.
This final book from the preeminent Manchu linguist in the English-speaking world is a reference work that not only updates Norman’s earlier scholarship but also summarizes his decades of study of the Manchu language. The Dictionary, which represents a significant scholarly contribution to the field of Inner Asian studies and to all students and scholars of Manchu and other Tungusic and related languages around the world, will become a major tool for archival research on Chinese late imperial period history and government.