LUN YU - 論語
The Analects

Lun Yu is a collection of sayings and stories about Confucius and his students. Lun Yu was written sometime over the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods. The text we have today was probably written by a number of Confucian scholars and students in addition to the philosopher himself around 500- 221 B.C.E.. In the late Western Han Dynasty, Zhang Yu, a teacher of Emperor Cheng, combined the Lu and Qi versions of Analects this version is known as the Marquis Zhang Analects, which is the version commonly used today.

A version of the analects, written on bamboo strips from before 55 BCE, was discovered in a tomb at Dingzhou/Dingxian in Hebei province in 1973 and published in 1997. This version only includes pieces of the full version we now have, but has helped illuminate the textual tradition of the Analects.

  • Xue Er 學而 - Studying
  • Wei Zheng 為政 - The practice of government
  • Ba Yi 八佾
  • Li Ren 里仁
  • Gongye Chang 公冶長
  • Yong Ye 雍也 - There is Yong
  • Shu Er 述而 - Transmission, opposed to invention (in learning)
  • Taibo 泰伯 - Count Tai
  • Zi Han 子罕 - The Master shunned
  • Xiang Dang 鄉黨 - Among the Xiang and the Dang family groups
  • Xian Jin 先進 - Those of former eras/generations
  • Yan Yuan 顏淵 - (Disciple Name)
  • Zilu 子路 - Zilu (A student of Confucius)
  • Xian Wen 憲問 - Student Xian asked
  • Wei Linggong 衛靈公 - Duke Ling of Wei
  • Ji Shi 季氏 - Chief of the Ji Clan
  • Yang Huo 陽貨 - Yang Huo and official
  • Wei Zi 微子 - The “viscount” of Wei, the last King of the Shang Dynasty
  • Zizhang 子張 - Student of Confucius.
  • Yao Yue 堯曰 - Yao spoke

This text has been translated many times into Western languages including latin as early as the late 16th century by missionaries.

Suggested Translation

Legge, James., trans. Confucian Analects, The Great Learning and The Doctrine of the Mean, New York, Dover Books, 1971; o.p. 1893.

Translation of the Analects along with two other important Confucian texts. Includes Chinese text and, "Critical and Exegetical Notes, Prolegomena, Copious Indexes, and Dictionary of All Characters."

other translations

Pound, Ezra, trans., Confucius, New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1969.

Waley, Arthur, trans., The Analects of Confucius, Vintage,1989.

George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1938.

Soothill, William Edward, trans., The Analects, Dover Publications, 1995.

Leys, Simon, The Analects of Confucius, W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.


Brooks, E. Bruce, & A. Takeo Brooks, trans. The Original Analects: Sayings of Confucius and His Successors. N.Y. Columbia University Press, 1998.

Study of the Analects evolving over 230 years following Confucius’ death.

Lao, D. C., trans. The Analects. Harmonsdsworth; New York: Penguin, 1979

Knoblock, John, trans. Hsun-tzu: A Translation and Study of the Complete Works. 3 vols. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988-1994.

Watson, Burton, Hsun tzu, Basic Writings, paperback ed., New York, Columbia University Press, 1963.

online resources

For the Original Chinese text

Chinese Text Project ›

With links to commentaries ›

Has the full text of Lun Yu in many languages including Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and English.

Wikisource ›

The Chinese version of Wikisource has the Chinese text.

For the Suggested Translation

The complete Legge English translation can be found at the following links:

eBooks@Adelaide ›
YellowBridge › › ›

Other Translations ›

This is Dr. Muller's translation from the University of Tokyo. Many computers may have trouble with the characters, but the English translation should come out fine. › › ›

A translation by Arthur Waley available online from the City University of New York, (New York: Macmillan, 1938; repr. Vintage, 1989).

Other Resources

·  Zhuxi's commentary available at Chinese Text Project : ›

·  The Analects of Confucius by William Edward Soothill (Yokohama: Fukuin Printing Co, 1910). See original text in : Online Library of Liberty ›

·  A Latin translation of the Analects : ›

·  The MIT Internet Classics Archive : ›

·  An audio version : ›

·  A two pages very basic introduction (in pdf format) from the British Museum on Classical Chinese Philosophy : ›