Undergraduate | ANU-CHIN2019 | 2024
Literary Chinese 1
Course information for 2024 intakeView information for 2023 course intake
Literary Chinese 1
About this subject
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.
- Analysis and translation of texts from the pre-Qin (before 221 BC) and Han (206 BC to 220 AD) periods.
- Grammatical forms, function words, and sentence patterns of this formative period of Literary Chinese.
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.
- Students will be expected to prepare the texts that are studied in each session throughout the semester. The aim here is to encourage students to make reasoned, rather than purely reactive, decisions in interpreting and translating texts. Students will b (10%)
- Students will be assessed on three types of regular exercise in the analysis of Literary Chinese texts: - completing preparatory exercises for in-class discussions; - submitting grammatical analysis and translations of assigned texts; - (15%)
- Students will sit three on-line quizzes during the semester. Each quiz will be worth 5% of the total grade. Students will have to complete these quizzes in a fixed time limit. Students will be tested on items of the context, grammar, and vocabulary covere (15%)
- Students will answer questions on points of grammar and vocabulary, and on such information as the author, date, context, and type of the text. Students will also translate a selection of seen and unseen texts from Literary Chinese into English. Some rele (40%)
- Students will sit one in-class test before the mid-semester break. The test will be worth 20% of the total grade. It will contain questions about the vocabulary, grammar, and non-linguistic contexts of the texts under study. It will also demand a brief tr (20%)
For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).
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You will be expected to demonstrate a level of proficiency equivalent to CHIN2023 and/or JPNS2013 and you may be required to complete a language proficiency assessment.
No additional requirements
This is in the range of 10 to 12 hours of study each week.
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