Posts tagged ‘language’

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Guizhou Donkey: Make Yourself at Home

You can serve lousy food, provided that your guests aren’t used to anything better, or because you are their boss and they can’t choose. In either case, it will help when you serve that stuff in a cozy environment. Your guests can make themselves at home – mum cooks as badly as ever.

The same is true for “Huanqiu Shibao, the Chinese sister paper of the English-language “Global Times”. On July 21, they missed (probably sarcastically) a more innovative Western propaganda approach.

huanqiu_headline

“America draws allies into political manipulation”,
Huanqiu Shibao, July 21

Several academics, the paper said, had stated in interviews that the U.S. and their allies, after failed campaigns concerning Hong Kong, Taiwan, or human rights, had now come up with accusations that China was behind cyber attacks. That was the Guizhou donkey’s weak trick.

Here’s the story in English, according to the Chinese online encyclopedia “Baike Baidu”.

Once upon a time, there were no donkeys in Guizhou. Nobody knew what a donkey was. Some day, a man took a donkey to Guizhou. He left it at the foot of a mountain. A tiger in the mountains saw the donkey from afar, heard it braying, and thought: “where does this monster come from? It looks awesome, and I’ll better keep a distance1

Some time passed during which the tiger saw the donkey walk to and fro and bray once in a while. Now the tiger thought: “pretty big pet, I don’t know what it can do, but let me see!”

The tiger approached the donkey unnoticed and touched it. The donkey became angry: “why the hell do you touch me?” Then he kicked with his hooves and missed the tiger two or three times. That’s how the tiger realized: “this donkey*) can’t do anything but kick, he can’t do anything!”

So he opened his mouth to eat the donkey, but the terrified donkey shouted: “don’t get any closer, I can kick you!”

“Kicking people is all you can do,” laughed the tiger, “but I can eat people!” No sooner said than done.

That was turned into a proverb, describing how people manage with makeshift methods that aren’t special. In short: “the donkey’s skills are poor”!

In Chinese, that writes 黔驢技窮 (黔驴技穷, qiánlǘjìqióng), and qián, another word for Guizhou (maybe not exactly the same territory as what it is now), can also be found in a more classical version of the story (Chinese and English there).

So why does “Huanqiu Shibao” use this proverb?
a) “Huanqiu Shibao” skills are poor – they can’t do any better.
b) You mustn’t try to say anything better when it can be said in four characters.
c) It’s cozy (see introduction). No matter how stupid the message is, readers will remember Granny’s bedtime stories and find it trustworthy. They may even feel sort of tiger.


Not the way Granny told it – click picture for video

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Notes

*) That’s what the Baike story says – maybe the tiger has gotten to know the donkey’s name, because he’ll only eat what he knows
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Friday, June 18, 2021

Xu Yuanchong, 1921 – 2021

Documentaries made during a man’s lifetime often do a better job at describing him, than obituaries. Here’s a good film on Xu Yuanchong (许渊冲) – unfortunately only in Chinese.
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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Radio Taiwan International suspends 1098 kHz Transmissions for ~ 2 Months

Radio Taiwan International‘s Mandarin programs on the usual 1098 kHz frequency from 21:00 to 01:05 Taipei time (13:00 – 17:05 UTC) will be suspended, because of antenna maintenance work from September 21 to November 20.

据RTI消息,由於中央廣播電臺自9月21日至11月20日止進行天線更新維護工程,原1098千赫頻率21:00~01:05播出之「國語」節目暫停播出。

Radio Taiwan International QSL, 2015

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Related tag:

Radio Taiwan International

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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Learning Chinese with the CCP: Hantui (汉推)

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Quote

Looking back at the past year, our institute has made whole-hearted efforts, has broken new ground for new conditions, and has achieved new successes. Summarizing the past and looking at the future, our institute will, based on the current solid foundations, continue its efforts, to contribute its own strengths to the cause of the motherland’s promotion of the Chinese language.

回顾过去的⼀年,我院竭诚努力,在汉语教学和文化推广方面开拓了新局面,取得了新成果。总结过去,放眼未来,我院将在当前坚实的基础上,继续努力,为祖国的汉推事业贡献自己的⼀份力量。

Mrs Wang Xi (王冏), head of the Confucius Institute in Sibiu, Romania,
as quoted by Radio Romania International (ROI), Dec 20, 2019

Hantui

Hantui is the abbreviation for the International Han (Chinese) language*) promotion.

汉推是汉语国际推广的简称。

With the arrival of the “Chinese language fever”, all countries in the world were in need of a sharp increase in Chinese language teachers. To cope with the situation, the international Chinese Language Promotion , as a field of study,  appeared within China. Different to the training of Chinese teachers [for foreign students], the targets of this field of studies were Chinese language learners abroad, with Chinese language training  crossing the national threshold to carry out Chinese-language education.

随着“汉语热”的到来,世界各国需要汉语教师的数量猛增,针对这种情况国内出现了汉语国际推广这个专业。与以往对外汉语教师培养不同的是,这个专业的培养对象是面向国外汉语学习者的,是走出国门进行汉语教学的。

Currently, there are about a dozen universities and colleges which have opened related fields of studies, with Beijing Normal University being rather distinctive among them. As the Beijing base for the international promotion of the Chinese language, Beijing Normal University opened the Chinese Language Promotion’s master degree class (abbreviated: hantui ban), using new educational methods to comprehensively train the students’ abitities to satisfy overseas students’ curiosity about Chinese language and culture. Beijing Normal University’s methodology has been positively evaluated by many, receiving the American College Board‘s, the Hanban’s, and other units’ positive evaluation. This field of studies has also become popular. According to people in charge of it, 800 out of Beijing Normal University’s graduate [or post-graduate] students have entered themselves for this field’s examinations in a very intense competition.

目前,国内有十几所高校在汉办的协助下开设了相关专业,其中北京师范大学是比较有特色的。作为汉语国际推广的北京基地,2006年北京师范大学成立了汉语国际推广硕士班(简称汉推班),采用了新的培养模式,全方位培养学生的能力,以满足海外学生对中国语言和文化的好奇。目前北师大模式已经获得了广泛的好评,得到了美国大学理事会(college board),汉办等单位的好评。这个专业也成为热门。据相关负责人介绍,今年北京师范大学的研究生考试中,有800人报考这个专业,竞争十分激烈。

Among the students enrolling at the about a dozen universities and colleges nationwide in 2006, there are currently more than 300 [post] graduate students reading again. The pattern is that the first year is for specialized knowledge training in China, the second is for internships abroad, and the third year is for completing the graduation thesis back in China. If staying abroad during the third year, students in internships can apply for an extension, or complete their graduation thesis abroad.

2006年在全国十几所高校同时招生,目前有300多人再读研究生。其培养模式是,第一年在国内进行专业知识的培训,第二年出国实习,第三年回国完成毕业论文。如果第三年仍然在国外实习的同学可以申请延期或者在海外完成论文。

Baike Baidu, accessed Dec 20, 2019

Tea culture propaganda base

Chinese International Language Promotion’s Tea Culture propagation base (International Tea Culture Base) is one of the Chinese Hanban’s 31 Chinese International Language Promotion’s bases, officially approved and established in December 2014. The base opened at Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University and is currently the only Chinese International Language Promotion base with the specialty of tea culture.

“汉语国际推广茶文化传播基地”(International Tea Culture Base)是国家汉办在全国建立的第31家汉语国际推广基地,于2014年12月正式批准成立。基地设立在浙江农林大学,是全国目前唯一以茶文化为特色的汉语国际传播基地。

The base centers on Chinese culture going global and the “belt and road” national strategy, integrates Confucius Institute development plans, makes ample use of Zhejiang Province’s time-honored tea culture, integrates all the province’s resources, strengthens top-level planning, actively explores contacts with Chinese and global tea culture, benefits from the universality of human health and other issues, establishes a tea quality system and a tea culture experience center as well as a tea culture experience center, builds a high-level international tea culture teaching team, […]

加强顶层设计,积极探索中国与世界在茶文化交往、益于人类健康等方面的共通性,建立茶质量标准体系,建设茶文化体验中心;组建高水平的茶文化国际教学团队,[…..]

Teachers’ grassroot branch discusses 19th central committee’s 4th plenary session’s spirit

So as to learn the solid promotion of “never forgetting where we started from, holding on to the mission”, the grassroot branch of the Southern base for the international promotion of the Chinese language held a thorough study of the implementation of the Party’s 19th fourth central committee’s plenary session‘s spirit, at Xiamen University’s Xiang’an Campus library B908, as a theme party day activity.

为推进“不忘初心、牢记使命”主题教育专题学习,11月20日上午汉语国际推广南方基地教师支部在厦大翔安校区图书馆B908召开深入学习贯彻党的十九届四中全会精神专题主题党日活动。

Happening to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the new China, the fourth plenary session of the 19th central committee is a highlight in the party’s and country’s undertaking’s overall situation and strategy. Based on the current and long-term perspective, from persevering with the party’s leadership, the people being the masters in their own affairs, rule according to the law being brought forward by organic unity, from reform and development stability, domestic policy, diplomacy and national defense, the unfolding of governing the party, the country and the army, the Jianling Buildings succinctly show to the inside and outside world the outstanding superiority of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The comrades at the grassroot branch conscientiously studied the central committee’s  “resolution concerning the upholding and perfecting of the socialism with Chinese characteristics system and the promotion of the national governing system’s and governing ability’s modernization” and other learning material and combined their efforts in collective exchanges of views.

适逢新中国成立70周年,十九届四中全会站在党和国家事业的全局和战略高度,立足当前、着眼长远,从坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一切入,从改革发展稳定、内政外交国防、治党治国治军等方面展开,高屋建瓴、提纲挈领地对内展示、向外昭示了中国特色社会主义制度和国家治理体系的显著优势。支部党员同志们认真研读了《中共中央关于坚持和完善中国特色社会主义制度、推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化若干重大问题的决定》等学习材料,并结合自身领悟进行集体深入交流讨论。
[…]

The Southern Base of Confucius Headquarters, Xiamen University, Dec 5, 2019

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Note

*) When a language is said to be “Chinese”, this usually refers to the Han nationality’s language, not to other languages spoken within the PRC.

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Related

向全世界讲好中国茶的故事 (tea propaganda), Zhejiang A&F University, Dec 20, 2019

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Reception Report: Radio Japan Weekly News in Simple Japanese / Iran Radio Bros’ compromised Farsi

 

— Japan

Radio Japan has reportedly carried a new program since April, “Weekly News in Simple Japanese”.

From their announcement on May 21:

The program summarizes Japan’s weekly news in easy-to-understand Japanese which is read slowly and clearly by the announcer. Through the program, listeners will be able to grasp what is going on in Japan today. Weekly News in Simple Japanese is ten minutes long. It is broadcast every Saturday from 02:50 UTC on 17.810 MHz in Southeast Asia, and 15.325 MHz in Southwest Asia. It is rebroadcast seven hours later from 09:50 UTC on 15.280 MHz in Southeast Asia and 15.290 MHz in West Africa.

The news broadcast recordings can also be found online, on the NHK World Japan website.

— Tibet

A recent QSL card from Tibet – frequencies are shown to the right

— Iran

On Thursday, Islamic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has reported extensively on talks by the country’s unelected leader, Ayatollah Ali Chamenei, first on US policies on Iran, and later on a “didactic” and “instructive” function of poetry. IRIB also had to convey some supreme criticism of itself:

Notice that our people have beautiful dispositions. The way our people responded on the issue of the floods in the north and south was very beautiful. Those who are aware of the developments – including in Golestan, in Khuzestan, in Khorram Abad and in Ilam: these were the main areas which suffered from the recent floods – who are aware of the presence and sacrifices of the people, and the services they rendered.

Well you can describe this in your poetry. When you include such concepts in your poetry, it becomes in fact the flag of national identity. It becomes the flag of the identity of your nation no matter if you compose poems on Islamic, national revolutionary and revolutionary issues, or on moral values or about such events. And my dear ones, identity is very important to every nation. A nation that loses its identity is easily squeezed and crushed in the fists of foreigners. This was about poetry.

As for the language, the truth is that I am worried. In the area of poetry, the poems that you compose are fortunately good poems and they enjoy a solid language. However generally speaking, language is wearing down. One can witness this. Tonight, one of the brothers from the radio was present here and he spoke with me about a very good development. I have, however, a complaint about the IRIB because instead of promoting proper, standard, refined and correct language, it is promoting a kind of language that is devoid of any identity, that is sometimes wrong, that uses wrong terminology and that worse than all, uses a language stuffed with foreign and western terminology.

Fortunately, foreign media are so much worse, so IRIB could turn to a reading of this article just a few minutes after its own dressing-down.

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Related

Shortwave Log: Holy Tibet, January 2014

Monday, December 10, 2018

Pete Myers, 1939 – 1998

December 15, this coming weekend, marks the 20th death anniversary of Pete Myers, probably the past century’s greatest radio personality without a Wikipedia entry of his own.

Here is an excerpt from one of his programs, broadcast on October 11, 1992, an official day of mourning in the Netherlands, one week after the Bijlmer disaster.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Plans for English as an Official Taiwanese Language

Duties and a receptive mode (online and offline) are keeping me from blogging at the moment.

by-products

If I had blogged this month, one topic might have been about Taiwan’s (sensible, I believe) plans to make English their second official language. To survive under Chinese pressure, international perceptibility – i. e. communication – is a key issue for Taiwan.

There had been plans to make English official for some time, but they appear to have been taking shape this summer. Pan-blue leaning United Daily News (UDN) published an online article in March this year, quoting both people in favor and against the idea, including criticism by a Chengchi University professor:

Chengchi University professor Her One-Soon says that this, in ideological terms, is about surrender to Western power. “Currently, most of the countries of the world that have made English an official language have been colonized by Britain and America”, but has Taiwan? If [English] is really to become an official language, it only represents Taiwan’s inferiority complex towards its own language and culture.

政大語言所教授何萬順則說,這樣在意識形態上是向西方強權屈膝,「目前世界大多國家以英文做為官方語言,都是被英美殖民過」,但台灣有嗎?若是真的定為官方語言,只是代表台灣對自身語言文化的自卑。

If statistics of six years ago are something to go by, there may be more practical issues that would need to be solved. In November 2012, the English-language Taipei Times quoted a foreign education company’s study which said that proficiency in English was low.

Currently, Taiwan is ranked as a country with rather low proficiency by “Education First” (which emphasizes the importance of perceptibility by listing Taiwan as “Taiwan, China”).

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Donald Trump’s Quiztalks

When Donald Trump speaks without a script, it sounds like BBC Radio 4 entertainment – the I’m-sorry-I-haven’t-a-clue style, where people are supposed to talk without repeating a single word, or without mentioning a specific world. Something like …

Host: Mr. President, you are supposed to speak about clocks for sixty seconds, and you must use the word “clock” only once.
Trump: I don’t mind clocks. I like those things. I actually love them. We have a great relationship. The only problem with clocks is …
Detector: BUZZ!!!


Anyway. Why is the president supposed to participate in a game where winning is not important? That’s preposterous.

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