Foreign scholars discuss challenges teaching and learning Chinese

By Huang Tingting Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/12 18:28:39

Twenty-seven young sinologists from 26 countries and regions, many of them Chinese language teachers from universities and veteran translators of Chinese academic and literature works, shared their experiences teaching and studying Chinese language, politics and culture at a Beijing seminar on Monday.

The scholars attended the event as part of the 2017 Visiting Programs for Young Sinologists Beijing session, the fourth such session since the event was first held in 2014.

Hosted by China's Ministry of Culture and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and organized by the Network of International Culturalink Entities, the program offers a good chance for foreign sinologists to share and further their studies via a series of seminars, field trips and lectures from veteran Chinese experts over a roughly three-week period in China.

This year marks the first time that the program also held classes in Shanghai, Xi'an and Zhengzhou. In total, more than 110 Sinologists from around the world attended the classes, Zhu Qi, deputy director-general of the Bureau for External Relations at China's Ministry of Culture, said at the launch ceremony on Monday.

At a seminar following the ceremony, sinologists took turns talking about the challenges they face teaching or carrying out research in their home countries or regions.

"There are now 15 institutions dedicating to Chinese language teaching in Egypt, but many of the students know little about Chinese culture even though they can speak a bit of the language," said Mohammed Anwar Elmadny Elshikh, a lecturer at the Chinese and Literature Department of Minya University in Egypt.

"I wish there are more Chinese works translated into Arabic," he added.

Vajiheh Sadat Poornajafi, a Chinese language and literature teacher from Iran's Tehran Shahid Beheshti University, also suggested that more Chinese works should be translated into her language.

"In Iran, many Chinese literature works were actually translated from other languages into Persian," she said.

Other scholars discussed issues including a lack of Chinese academic materials in local languages, the need for exchange programs, as well as their limited access to Chinese language libraries and archive rooms.

However, for countries that have a long history of studying China, like Japan, sometimes there are political rather than academic barriers that hinder Chinese studies.

Ando Junichiro, a guest researcher on modern Sino-Japan relations from Toyo University, told the Global Times that this was his first time attending this program.

"Many young Japanese researchers refuse to apply for funding from the Chinese government because of the negative images of China seen under the Abe administration," Junichiro said.

"Many of them prefer instead to enter into cooperative projects with Chinese scholars," he noted.



Posted in: CULTURE & LEISURE

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