• Total units 24 Units
  • Minor code CLCH-MIN
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Classical Chinese Minor


This minor will equip students with a command of Classical Chinese indispensable for the study of Chinese literature, thought, history, political and social institutions. Classical or literary Chinese is a written language that matured long before the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.E.) when China first became an empire. Many of the great legacies of Chinese culture right down to the twentieth century were written in this medium. It was also used widely in pre-modern Korea, Japan and Vietnam. It is only through the medium of Classical Chinese that China’s history and cultural traditions are made accessible. Moreover, many idioms, set phrases, allusions and sentence patterns in modern Chinese are inherited from classical Chinese. Indeed, even today, without some grounding in classical Chinese it is impossible to read the headlines in many Taiwanese and Hong Kong newspapers.

A student may not take a course if that course is a prerequisite for another course which they have already passed.

Students with prior knowledge of the language will be required to take a placement test.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Acquire practical understanding the basic grammar, syntax and particles of Classical Chinese.
  2. Apply theoretical knowledge of grammar and syntax to real examples
  3. Attain knowledge of the historical and cultural contexts necessary to understanding texts
  4. Acquire the skills to use relevant lexicons
  5. Acquire competence in reading traditional Chinese characters.
  6. Develop skills in the use of a range of basic Chinese and English language Sinological bibliographical and other reference tools and in the craft of translation from Classical Chinese to English.


Course Lists

The course lists in the "Requirements" section below is a definitive list and includes all courses that can be counted towards the major, whether or not they are offered in the current year. For a list of courses that will be offered in the current year, please see the Summary of Courses page.

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This minor requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

24 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
CHIN3030 Literary Chinese 1 6
CHIN3031 Literary Chinese 2 6
CHIN3032 Literary Chinese 3 6
CHIN3033 Literary Chinese 4 6
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