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Manchu was the official language of the Qing China's foreign rulers (1644-1911). Historically, many Manchu records are paralleled by Chinese translations. So, why not just read the Chinese version? First, many texts are Manchu only. Also, translation is interpretation, always (and Manchu original versions can be deliberately different from their Chinese renditions!) And, how about autochthoneous, untranslated Manchu belles-lettres, letters, inscriptions, poetry?
To us it's crystal clear: wanting to fully appreciate and understand the Manchus, their rulers, politics, their doings, coming and goings, their prayers & poetry, learning their language is a absolute must. Manc.hu provides a free tool platform. So: eat your heart out!
To get better, we have to listen to our users. Also, we have to follow research on on-screen versus off-screen experiences. Naomi S. Baron's findings in her monograph Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World are in line with what I see in my classes: students want (need) the hard-copy of all Manchu texts that we provide. Moreover, they feel the need to write next to it, between the lines, add color coding, draw lines between paragraphs, sketch. Per coincidence, Baron's book is launched with our new function: Print your Manchu! Grab your pencils and start writing in, around and between those texts.