Go to Main Body the Nation tribes of Japheth, Ham and Shem in 2000BC
Go to Appendix 1 Modern day India (and Sanskrit)
Go to Appendix 2 Modern day China, its main dialect: Mandarin and its two scripts: Simplified and Traditional
Click here to go to Post Script July 2018 — Simplified Chinese taught in a British school Hong Kong
Population of the world estimate perhaps 200 million.
China's share was perhaps 60 million, India 60 million, and the Parthian Empire (modern day Iran) perhaps 10 million, or 20 million at the most. An estimate 160 years ago in 1857 showed Persia with just 4 million. Since then Iran (as it is now known) has grown to 80 million.
The population of every other country in Asia was probably less than one million with this being the case in most of Africa and probably America. People, as now, moved to where education, farms and townships, trade roads and ports predominated.
In a Roman Empire census in 14 AD, the eastern region shows Anatolia (modern day Turkey) with 8 million, Egypt and Libya 5 million, Syria and Judaea 4 million, the Greek Peninsula 3 million, totalling 20 million.
In the West, Italy including Rome shows 7 million, Gaul (ie Britain & France) plus Germany 6 million, Iberia (Spain) 5 million, Danube Region (ie Austria-Hungary & Slavic peoples) 3 million, Maghreb (Northern Africa) 3 million, Others 1 million, totalling 25 million.
Click here for 2020 population stats
Regarding ancient maps, both before and about the time of Josephus
Josephus was a Jewish general, a descendant of the priestly Maccabee tribe at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. A horrific event, with this extract from his writings declaring 1.1 million perished in the siege and total destruction of Jerusalem, and 97,000 were taken prisoner by Rome. Very few Jews were left alive in Judæa in the immediate aftermath, returning from where they had fled only after the bulk of the Roman army had left. In 71 AD Roman Emperor Vespasian commissioned Josephus to write a history of this war, which he finished in 78 AD. His second major work, the Antiquities of the Jews was a 20 volume work, completed around 93 AD. It was a commentary in Greek that fleshed out the Book of Genesis as well as providing a background to the Jews from the time of Abraham to that present time. He next wrote Against Apion in about
With regard to Jesus, below are the words he is recorded as having written that were published in paragraph 3, chapter 3, Book 18 of Antiquities of the Jews:
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."
Article acknowledges additional assistance from the Jewish Technical Education NGO — ORT based in Israel. Click here for some of ORT's background.
Click here to go to Japheth's descendants
Click here to go to Ham's descendants
Click here to go to Shem's descendants
The background to the article below (and map on the right) can be found in Wikipedia quoting an extract from Josephus Book 1 of Antiquities of the Jews as translated by William Whiston.
Start of extract from Josephus
Now they were the grandchildren of Noah, in honour of whom names were imposed on the nations by those who first settled them.
Japheth, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that, beginning at the mountains
- a. Of the three sons of Gomer, Ashkenaz who are now called by the Greeks Rheginians, also associated with the name "Scythian", founded the home place for the later Ashkenazi Jews speaking Yiddish (in Germany). Rhegium, at the time of Josephus, was a city near the southernmost point of Italy.
Dwelling in the grasslands north and east of the Black Sea, Scythians were associated by the Greeks with "the epitome of savagery and barbarianism". In history they have been associated with the Slavic (enslaving and enslaved) nomadic peoples of ancient Russia from east to west, from the horseback riding Mongols (or Tartars) in the far east, such as Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine the Great, back to the earlier Huns in the far west, such as Attila the Hun who invaded Germany in 430AD.
But click here too for Paul the apostle's comments in Colossians "in Christ there are no more barbarians, Scythians, slaves, free".
- b. So did Riphas or Riphath found the Riphasians, now called Paphlagonians in northern Turkey, just below the Black Sea, and
- c. Togarmah the Togarmans [Turks], who, as the Greeks resolved, were named Phrygians, inhabitants of western Turkey. The Phrygians were known for the ancient legend of Midas, a king who, everything he touched, turned to gold. In the east, the Turks became the ancient tribes of Turkestan, seen in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Xinjiang (also known as East Turkestan or Chinese Turkestan).
- a. Of the sons of Javan also, the son of Japheth, Elishah gave name to the Eliseans, who were his subjects, they are now the Aeolians (Thessaly in northern Greece).
- b. Tarshish or initially Tharshish to the Tarshians, for so was Cilicia of old called, the sign of which is this, that the noblest city they have, and a metropolis also, is Tarsus (where Paul the apostle was born), the τ tau, pronounced "t" (in Hebrew the Mark of life see
Ezekiel 9:4-6) being by change put for the θ theta, pronounced "th" (Thanatos - Greek word for Death).
Later sailings occurred — west into Tartessos (Cadiz) in southern Spain and east into Asia (possibly Japan and even to Java).
- c. Cethimus or Kittim/Chittim possessed the island Cethima, it is now called Cyprus, and from that it is that all islands, and the greatest part of the sea coasts, are named Cethim by the Hebrews, and one city there is in Cyprus that has been able to preserve its name, it has been called Citium by those who use the language of the Greeks, and has not, by the use of that dialect, escaped the name of Cethim.
- d. Dodanim (who is omitted by Josephus). In
1 Chronicles 1:7he is called Rodanim, translated as Rodians in the Septuagint, with many associating him with the island of Rhodes.
And so many nations have the children and grandchildren of Japheth possessed.
The children of Ham possessed the land from Syria and Amanus (ancient Antioch), and the mountains of Libanus (modern day Lebanon), settling all that was on its sea coasts (in Africa) and as far as the (Atlantic) ocean, and keeping it as their own. Some indeed of its names are utterly vanished away, others of them, being changed, and another sound given them, are hardly to be discovered, yet a few there are which have kept their names entire.
The children of these were these:
Descendants of Cush
Descendants of Mizraim
Now all the children of Mizraim possessed the country from Gaza to Egypt, though it retained the name of one only, the Philistim (of Casluhim), for the Greeks call part of that country Palestine.
*Based on Amos 9:7, many identify Caphtor with Crete, where they were joined by Philistim, the descendants of their brother Casluhim, prior to Philistim emigrating to Canaan as the Philistines (Palestine), and to Greece as the ancient Pelasgians.
Descendants of Canaan
*The Hivites are identified with the ancient Horites (and Hurrians) who inhabited Mount Seir and who intermarried and were subsequently replaced by Esau's family of Edomites – Idumaeans. See Genesis 36:2 and Genesis 36:20 where Zibeon is referred to as a Hivite and the son of Seir the Horite, inferring that the two words were used interchangeably.
**And while Josephus was unfamiliar with the outcome of Heth (i.e. the Hittites), the following extract comes from www.wikinoah.org:
Heth (Hittites) and Sin (Sinites) are believed by many to be the progenitors of the families of China and Mongolia. "Hittite" in Cuneiform appears as Khittae, representing a once powerful nation from the Far East, preserved through the centuries in the more familiar Chinese term, Cathay. "Sin", a brother of Heth, has many occurrences in variant forms in the Far East. Many believe the reference to the Sinim in Isaiah 49:12 is a reference to China. Those who came from the Far East to trade with the Scythians were called Sinae (Sin). Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer, referred to China as the land of Sinim or Sin. Arabs called China Sin, Chin, Mahachin, or Machin. The Ch'in (from which the name "China" is taken) were spoken of as a people in the remotest parts of Asia. Their most important town was Xian (pronounced Shee-an), a great trading emporium in the province of Shensi. The Ch'in became independent in Western China, their princes reigning there for some 650 years before they finally gained dominion over the whole land. In 217 B.C., Prince Cheng unified China and took the title of Shih Hwang-ti (First Emperor). Shih Hwang-ti built much of the Great Wall of China, and a network of roads and canals that converged on his capital, near modern Xian, in Shensi province.
With respect to the Cathay people of historical reference, it would make sense to suppose that the remnants of the Hittites, after the destruction of their empire, travelled towards the east and settled among the Sinites who were relatives, contributing to their civilization, and thus becoming the ancestors of many Asian people groups in Asia and the Americas.
Click here for a recent article on ancient Chinese history by Hieromonk Damascene.
Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who inhabited the land that began at Euphrates, and reached to the Indian Ocean.
Of the four sons of Aram,
Now Joktan, one of the sons of Heber, had these sons:
And this shall suffice concerning the sons of Shem.
"a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good."
Josephus declared that this Pishon River that encompassed the land of Havilah was in fact the River Ganges click here for this reference.
Click here to see a map showing the town of Gangotri in India, the source of the River Ganges, and Mount Kailash in Tibet, the source of the Indus nearby. This land, later renamed as India from The Indus (literally, The River), was settled by these 13 sons of Joktan, as it says in Genesis 10:30 "The territory they occupied extended from Mesha (thought by many to be close to Mashhad in Iran, the start of the Silk Road) all the way to Sephar in the eastern mountains" (i.e. the Himalayas).
The land was famous for its gold: as well as the reference in
** End of Extract
Postscript 8th July 2018
Click here for an editor page for Pinyin i.e. Roman (English) characters to Chinese.
In chinese, no plurals — one cat many cat (no plurals) and there are no suffixes.
All language in Chinese is gender neutral (e.g. chair person) not chairman. Prior to 20th century it did tend to assume a male person.
20th Century in particular has brought in gender. So now to specify a male chair person, one can prefix nan (male) or nu (female)
In pidgin it's similar, suffix "man" for male, "meri" for female
Present, past, future tense is same verb. "Eat" disregards time. (no "ate")
Add "le" after a verb (e.g. "find" vs "found") to show completion of task. In Pidgin, add "bin" before a verb.
For future tense, add words that specify "when", next day tomorrow, next month, next year.
In Chinese, use the same character for the noun, the verb, the adverb and the adjective.
A British School in Hong Kong will teach a controversial script
Published on Inkstone June 6 2018
by Viola Zhou
https://www.inkstonenews.com /education /harrow-international-school-stop-teaching-traditional-chinese-characters-hong-kong/article/2149524
A prestigious British school in Hong Kong has stirred up controversy by deciding to stop teaching children the type of Chinese characters widely used in the city.
The Harrow International School Hong Kong, which has ties with the famed Harrow School in England, this week announced it will focus on teaching simplified Chinese characters while phasing out the use of the older, more complicated traditional characters.
Across the Chinese-speaking world, mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia mostly use simplified characters, while the former colonies of Hong Kong and Macau as well as the self-ruled Taiwan have kept the traditional form.
Supporters of traditional characters argue that when Beijing simplified more than 2,000 characters in the 1950s to raise literacy, it also rid the characters of their beauty and rich meaning.
The Chinese government adopted simplified characters in 1950s to increase literacy in the country.
Photo: Gene Lin
And for many who grew up with traditional characters, defending the writing system is not only about aesthetics, but about resisting the creeping influence of the Communist regime.
Harrow International School says the
decision to teach simplified characters is to prepare its students for the
future, when Hong Kong, now a semi-autonomous territory in China, may become no
different from the rest of the country.
“Whilst we know there are many reasons why our context makes the teaching of traditional characters desirable,” the school said in a Monday letter to parents, “we need to prepare our pupils to be fully literate in the context that Hong Kong will be in by 2047.”
The city’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, guarantees that Hong Kong will keep its capitalist system and “way of life” until 2047.
Although Hong Kong uses traditional characters, retailers have put up advertisements written in simplified Chinese to attract big-spending mainland tourists. Photo: May Tse
Ruth Benny, founder of Hong Kong-based
education consultancy Top Schools, says many international schools in Hong Kong
teach only simplified characters, which are more widely used and easier for
non-Chinese speakers to pick up.
The choice also helps if students continue their Chinese studies in the UK or other countries, where the language is mostly taught in the simplified form, Benny says.
Simplified characters have been winning on
the global stage alongside China’s growing economic and political power.
In popular tourist spots around the world, street signs and restaurant menus are translated into simplified Chinese for big-spending mainland travelers.
The Chinese government has also established over 500 Confucius Institutes outside of the country, where foreigners learn Chinese culture and language – all in simplified characters.
In the US, traditional characters can still be found in old Chinatowns, but the Chinese characters you see on advertisements or in government offices are mostly simplified.
Shop signs written in traditional characters can be found in the Chinatown in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP
Both Taiwan and Hong Kong have seen
recurring calls to preserve the traditional writing system, either as cultural
heritage or a symbol of political identity. In 2011, then Taiwanese president
Ma Ying-jeou ordered simplified characters to be removed from government
websites and documents.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing government encourages students to learn to speak Mandarin and read simplified Chinese, an education policy protested by pro-democracy groups and independence supporters.
The market comprised of Chinese-speaking people is obviously massive; over 980 million can be found in mainland China alone, Hong Kong and Taiwan add another 19 million potential customers, and substantial numbers of Chinese-speaking communities can be found in Southeast Asia as well. So if you have a product or service targeting this market, translating and localizing into Chinese is a no-brainer. But that’s where the confusion often starts.
Firstly it is important to understand what these terms refer to. Mandarin and Cantonese are the two most common verbal Chinese dialects. But when it comes to writing, you need to distinguish between Simplified and Traditional Chinese instead. The interesting thing is that not everybody who speaks Mandarin writes in Simplified Chinese and not everybody who speaks Cantonese writes in Traditional Chinese. The table below solves the riddle: In mainland China and Singapore, Mandarin is the spoken language and people resort to Simplified Chinese when they write. In Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant dialect while people write in Traditional Chinese. The exception is Taiwan where people speak Mandarin and write in Traditional Chinese.
When it comes to your next translation and localization project, it might be helpful to understand that Simplified Chinese was established in 1949 when communist regime in China took power. The new government started a big push to increase literacy. The complex traditional writing was simplified, using fewer strokes for complex characters. Some characters were replaced altogether in order to motivate more people to learn how to write.
While Simplified Chinese took over mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong stayed with Traditional Chinese, which people have been using for thousands of years. Simplified Chinese itself has evolved over time, too.
As recently as 2013, the Chinese government released an official List of Commonly Used Standardized Characters. This list contained 45 newly recognized standard characters (previously considered variant forms) and 226 characters simplified by analogy, most of which already were widely used.
In the beginning, the
differences between the two writing methods only had to do with stroke types.
But over time, new words and concepts were added to Simplified Chinese,
widening the gap to the traditional way of writing. And because the People’s
Republic of China and Taiwan added political distance to them being
geographically apart, variations in style and vocabulary have formed as well,
similar to those between
That explains why in most cases, translating from Simplified Chinese into Traditional Chinese or vice versa is not as easy a task as it might seem. A simple machine translation won’t cut it because it needs a well-versed translator to pick up on certain unique terms and ways of saying things and correct all the potential mistakes a character-for-character translation will cause. Even if you have a document with Traditional characters perfectly converted from Simplified ones, a native speaker from Taiwan or Hong Kong will likely be able to tell the document was just converted and not properly localized.
So, in the end, it comes down to the geographic location of your target audience. If you find it in mainland China, Simplified Chinese is the way to go. If your potential customers are mainly based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Traditional Chinese is what you want to translate your documents and services to. An interesting quirk in this equation is that most Chinese living in the Hong Kong and Taiwan can read Simplified Chinese, but the majority of residents from the People’s Republic have trouble deciphering Traditional characters.
** End of article