- Code CHIN2019
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Chinese
- Areas of interest Asian Languages, Asia Pacific Studies, Language Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
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 command of Literary Chinese is therefore indispensable for the study of any aspect of Chinese literature, thought, history, politics, or society before the twentieth century.
The idioms, syntax, style, and allusions 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. Contemporary Chinese political and social discourse, and education, places increasing emphasis on knowledge of pre-modern Chinese culture and on familiarity with texts written in Literary Chinese. So without a grounding in Literary Chinese, it is impossible to gain a full understanding of the language or content of newspaper articles, literary works, and scholarly prose written in contemporary Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic of China. It has also shaped the linguistic and cultural traditions of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
This course focuses on the analysis and translation of a selection of texts for beginners from the pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) periods. Students develop an understanding of the main grammatical forms, function words, and sentence patterns of this formative period of Literary Chinese. Students will also study techniques of translation, as well as the cultural backgrounds essential to understanding the texts at hand.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Recognise and translate in a way appropriate to context a vocabulary of about 700 items.
- Identify and explain the basic grammar and sentence structures used in a range of short anecdotal and philosophical texts from pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) times.
- Differentiate linguistic registers used in basic texts of Classical and Literary Chinese, and translate these accurately into English.
- Identify basic textual references through the use of standard Sinological reference tools; and consider these references against the immediate background of intellectual and cultural developments in pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) China.
This is a co-taught course. The total number of students for both CHIN2019 and CHIN6530 is capped at 52 students for Semester 1 2020. The undergraduate version of the course CHIN2019 is capped at 44 students and postgraduate version of the course CHIN6530 is capped at 8 students.
On successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to engage at a Beginner level of Literary Chinese.
Students with native speaker proficiency (may include cognate languages and dialects) must review the placement test site and contact the CAP Student Centre for appropriate enrolment advice. Students with previous “language experience or exposure” are required to take a language placement test to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level.
Relevant past experience includes:
- Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)
- Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend
- Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken
- The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)
Students who are not sure if they need to take a placement test should seek advice from the course or language convenor. Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may results in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.
Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convenor.
- 1. Active participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- 2. In-class test 1 (15) [LO 1,2,3]
- 3. In-class test 2 (15) [LO 1,2,3]
- 4. Prepared written translations (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- 5. Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
Workload3 contact hours per week. Total workload for the course is 130 hours including independent study.
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the School of Culture History and Language to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.