• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Chinese
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

Literary Chinese is a written language that matured long before the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.), when China first became an empire. It continued to be used by China's governing and elite cultures for nearly three millennia. A good command of Literary Chinese is therefore indispensable for the study of pre-modern Chinese literature, thought, history, politics and society.
The idioms, allusions, syntax, and style of Literary Chinese continue to pervade the modern language. Its enduring influence results from the fact that the great legacies of Chinese culture, right down to the present day, have been largely preserved in this medium. Without a grounding in Literary Chinese, it is therefore impossible to gain a full understanding of newspaper articles, literary works, and scholarly prose written in contemporary Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic of China. Literary Chinese has also shaped the linguistic and cultural traditions of Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
The course Literary Chinese 2 focuses on the analysis and translation of intermediate texts from various periods. Based on the knowledge acquired in Literary Chinese 1 the course attempts to improve the students' proficiency in philological translation by a sample of texts from different genres. To master the challenges posed by texts of some of these genres the course further provides an introduction to more specific reference tools.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. To acquire an intermediate command of Literary Chinese and to develop a deeper understanding of the syntax of texts from particular genres.
2. To acquire skills of literary translation from Classical Chinese into English.
3. To become familiar with a range of issues, both theoretical and methodological, pertaining to studies of traditional China.
4. To develop skills in the use of a range of specified Chinese and English language Sinological bibliographical and other reference tools.
5. To apply these various skills and methodologies in the preparation of translations

Indicative Assessment

Preparation of written translations for each class. Two of these translations (with annotations)
shall be handed to the convenor before class on dates to be announced     20%  
Test 1:  translation of an unseen text (vocabulary partly supplied)       20%  
Test 2:  annotated translation of an unseen text prepared as homework      20%  
Final exam:  translation of an unseen text (no vocabulary supplied), questions about grammar 40%  

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


3 hours per week, 36 contact hours

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed CHIN6530 or equivalent. You may not enrol in this course if you have previously completed CHIN3031.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7282 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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