- Code CHIN6530
- 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:On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills at an Introductory level of Literary Chinese to:
1. Recognise and translate in a way appropriate to context a vocabulary of about 700 items.
2. 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.
3. Differentiate linguistic registers used in basic texts of Classical and Literary Chinese, and translate these accurately into English.
4. 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. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.
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)
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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.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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