“Shī Shì shí shī shǐ”
Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī.
Shī Shì shíshí shì shì shì shī.
Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì.
Shì shí, shì Shī Shì shì shì.
Shī Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì,
shǐ shì shí shī shìshì.
Shī Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shíshì.
Shíshì shī, Shī Shì shǐ shì shì shíshì.
Shíshì shì, Shī Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.
Shí shí, shǐ shì shì shí shī, shí shí shí shī shī.
Shì shì shì shì.
Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den (Shī Shì shí shī shǐ): In a stone den was a poet called Shi Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten lions. 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 used 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 these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.
Try to explain this matter. I choose this poem Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den (Shī Shì shí shī shǐ), which Chao Yuen-Ren wrote in the 1960 to oppose Romanization of Chinese, to explore the characteristics of Chinese characters. I use Hanyu Pinyin to mark the pronunciation of the whole poem, and compare it with its English translation. In the beginning of the video, I invite audience to read the poem out loud. The video puts the poem in its upper screen and the lower screen, showing the Chinese characters and the hanyu pinyin word by word according to the speed of reading. Most of the audience will either read it in their minds or read it out loud. For non-Chinese speakers, they can only read the hanyu pinyin without structuring a sentence and realizing its meaning. For Chinese-speakers, if they depend on their ears instead of their eyes, it is also impossible for them to identify every word to get to know the meaning of the whole poem.