Archive for December 12th, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Does Confucius matter outside Asia?

JR can’t promise that this will be the last time he’s coming back to the Confucius Peace Prize (孔子和平奖) – but he’ll try not to dwell on it merely for the fun it has been.

Collateral Damage: the Noble and his Prize

Collateral Damage: the Noble and his Prize

A prize should highlight outstanding achievements. That should be the objective. Before naming a prize after someone, a jury or the founders of a prize need to think of what a name stands for.

We’ll show the rest of the world how the Chinese understand peace, Tan Liuchang, chairman of the “Confucius Peace Prize Committee”, reportedly told the Global Times.

Should a Confucius Prize encourage “ethnic”, rather than universal values?

The Granite Studio, in a post of nine random thoughts, links to sort of an obituary on the bankruptcy of the neo-traditionalism that the CCP has to turn to time and time again as it struggles to find a narrative to legitimate its authorian rule. If you simply want to scold a bunch of brain-washed fools, there’s little to add to that, other than a note of doubt that the party leadership had really much to do with the prize – except that the “civil society” which produced it is – undeniably –  the CCP’s very own brainchild – a politically overengineered society.

But JR isn’t only here to have fun. He is here to make a small contribution to future Confucius Peace Prize deliberations, too – to help to deepen mutual understanding, and friendship between nations.

Laozi might have recommended purity free from all desire and all intentional action. Couldn’t a Confucius Peace Prize – from true civil society, that is – make sense after all?  In 2009, Wang Zhicheng (王志成), a Chinese scholar, wrote a review of how Chinese Confucians – and there are many ways of how you might define yourself Confucian – think of Confucian ways in China today, and in today’s global society. Confucianism and its revival, Wang wrote, require post-modern, critical reflection. Can Confucianism contribute to the further development of global values – and if so, how?

A translation of Prof. Wang’s review starts here. It’s far from perfect, and if you can read Chinese, the original post will serve you much better.

I can’t tell if the ideas are promising. But they do address Confucianism itself.

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Update

A Peace Prize for Katya and Maria, Asian Correspondent, Dec 10, 2011

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

HSK: more Focus on Communication Skills

An outline for a Chinese spoken-language proficiency standard (汉语口语水平等级标准及测试大纲) authored by Tianjin’s Language Training and Testing Center (天津市语言文字培训测试中心) has won the approval of the ministry of education’s and  the state language committee (国家语言文字工作委员会 / 国家语委), reports Bohai Morning News (渤海早报), republished by Enorth. The outline was to be applied from February 1, 2011. Just as Chinese people took IELTS (雅思) or TOEFL (托福) tests, the Chinese spoken-language proficiency standard was going to mark a language-testing standard for different levels in everyday spoken Chinese, for non-native speakers of Chinese and foreign citizens of Chinese origin (华人华裔). The standard determines three grades with three levels respectively (三等九级, i. e. nine levels in total). In terms of vocabulary, the elementary grade would (初等) would include 2,100 words, the medium grade (中等) would include 3,100 additional words, and the advanced grade (高等) would add another 3,100 words, i. e. 8,300 words combined.

In its initial testing stage, the standard will be in operation in nine provinces, territories or directly-controlled municipalities, according to Bohai Morning News.

The spoken-language proficiency standard is part of the more general (Standard) Chinese Proficiency test (HSK, 汉语水平考试 or hànyǔ shǔipíng kǎoshì) which would include tests of both spoken and written skills. The Center of Chinese Proficiency Test at Beijing Language and Culture University (北京语言大学) released a new testing format in 2007 which would put increased focus on the testees’ comprehensive language and communication skills (考生的综合语言能力和交际能力).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All You Can Eat

Urban Dictionary: "Going Forward"

Urban Dictionary: "Going Forward"

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