Posts tagged ‘Romania’

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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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Blog and Press Review: Frugal New Year

Warning: the following translation from a classic is just my guesswork – if you copy that for your homework, the mistakes will be your fault, not mine. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Frugal New Year: the Xi Style

The year of the dog is upon us, and it must be a dog’s life if you are a cadre in the Xi Jinping era. That’s what you might believe, anyway, if you read secretary general Xi Jinping’s spiritual nourishment for comrades. After all, in a totalitarian society, administration, legislation, crackdowns and Something Understood all need to come from the same source.

People’s Daily has published three instalments of Xi Jinping thought. The first: go and visit the poor, and ask about their suffering, find solutions to the problems and dump the worries. The second: have an affectionate reunion with your family, as a good family style promotes virtue.

For the third instalment, the sermon turns to the New Book of Tang:
奢靡之始,危亡之渐 (which means something like “what begins lavishly will move towards danger”, I suppose).

I can only find the Chinese original [no English edition] of the  New Book of Tang online, and there, in chapter 105, Chu Suiliang, an advisor with morals, tells his surprised sovereign the meaning of things that only appear to be innocent at first glance:

帝尝怪:“舜造漆器,禹雕其俎,谏者十馀不止,小物何必尔邪?”遂良曰:“雕琢害力农,纂绣伤女工,奢靡之始,危亡之渐也。漆器不止,必金为之,金又不止,必玉为之,故谏者救其源,不使得开。及夫横流,则无复事矣。”帝咨美之。

The emperor said: “Shun made the lacquer, Yu gave us the embroideries, but the remonstrances never seem to end. How can small things be evil?”
Suiliang said: “ornate artwork harms the peasantry, and embroidery hurts the working women. What begins lavishly, will indeed move towards danger. It doesn’t end at lacquerware, it takes gold, too. It doesn’t end there, but jade will be required, too. Those who remonstrate do not want to see things pass the point of no return.”

If my impression of the Chinese texts is basically correct, Xi seems to present himself as someone who speaks truth to power – which is corny at best, and quite probably populist. The latter, anyway, is a tool lavishly handed around among the Davos jetset more recently, and it probably works fine, especially at the grass-roots level, with people who routinely delude themselves.

Roar back, if you still dare, fly or tiger.

Xi Jinping probably found a lot to copy from Ronald Reagan. His May 4 speech in 2013 resembled Reagan’s endless-opportunities speech in 1984. While frequently considered risk averse when it comes to reform, optimism, a “determination … to educate his audience” and “unobtrusive and imperceptible moral influence” (OK – it depends on how much corniness you’ve grown up with) are features Xi’s propaganda style seems to share with the late US president’s.

Footnote: when it comes to education on the ground, education of the public appears to be anything but imperceptible, as The Capital in the North reported in January.

Central Europe (1): After the “Czech Reversal”

The China Digital Times has an article by a Czech academic, describing Chinese influence in Eastern Europe (although the Czech Republic is hardly “eastern” European), and more particularly about a “China Energy Fund Committee” (CEFC). Czech president Miloš Zeman, who is quoted there with some of his characteristically tasteless remarks (about Chinese eyes, before he changed his mind), has explicit opinions about journalism, too.

Central Europe (2): German Mittelstand’s Main Thing

If the German Mittelstand can’t be found in China, it’s probably because they are investing and selling in the Visegrád countries, and beyond. the Handelsblatt‘s English-language edition has a critical assessment of Mittelstand companies role in Central Europe, quoting an apolitical German trade functionary to prove its point:

Ultimately, politics is not that important for businesspeople. Order books are full: That’s the main thing.

Obviously, German politicians (and journalists, for that matter) aren’t nearly as sanguine, and following US President Trump’s attendence at a Three Seas Initiative summit in July 2017, the Economist even recorded Teutonic tremors:

Germany is already concerned about China’s “16+1” initiative with central and eastern European states, a series of investment projects that the Chinese expect will build influence in the region. The Germans are also putting pressure on the Polish government over its illiberal attacks on independent newspapers, judges and NGOs. And they are fending off Polish criticisms that their proposed “Nord Stream 2” gas pipeline from Russia to Germany will make Europe more dependent on Russia.

But the Mittelstand shows no such unease. In fact, smaller and medium-sized companies often feel easier about countries that are closer to Germany, both regionally and culturally – it takes less time to travel, less time spent abroad, less worries about intercultural competence (or its absence), and less worries about market barriers or technology theft.

Hualien, Taiwan

Most people will have heard and read about the earthquake that caused deaths and injuries, especially in Hualien, on Tuesday.

But the place should be known for its beauty, too. There’s a travel blog about the Taroko Gorge, apparently written by a Singaporean, with some practical advice which  should be quite up to date (based on a visit in November 2016). That, plus some history.

The Spy Radio that anyone can hear

No, that’s not the BBC. They’ve only produced a video about numbers stations.

But what’s the fun in them if anyone can listen? I want some numbers of my own.

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Related

Budapest Guidelines, in Chinese and in English, Nov 2017

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Shortwave Logs: Radio Romania International (RRI)

If you are looking for a European broadcaster on shortwave, the BBC World Service may come to your mind – or Radio Romania International (RRI). The latter’s range of program languages is quite diverse: English, Chinese, French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and German. One a week, on Sundays, there’s a broadcast in Hebrew, too, with a review of the week1).

— Some history

According to the station’s website, first experimental radio programmes for target areas beyond Romania’s borders were aired in 1927. Broadcasting became official on November 1, 1928, on 747 kHz (401.6 meters) – apparently targeted at a domestic audience, in Romanian only. French and English programs followed in 1932, “to inform the diplomatic corps in the Romanian capital city”, and weekly programs in French and German were targeted at central and western Europe. Before the second world war, all foreign broadcasts depended on medium wave transmitters. When the first shortwave transmissions began, the focus appears to have been on the Balkans, and the Middle East. According to RRI, [i] t seems that the first letter received from abroad came from Egypt.

It’s a detailed account of RRI’s history (and that of its preceding organizations, all headquartered in Bucharest’s General Berthelot Street), and will most likely contain some information that is new to the reader.

Olt County's coat of arms, 1985 and post-1989

Olt County’s coat of arms, as depicted on a QSL card of December 1985, and as of these days (click picture for Wiki entry)

— Languages, Programs, Contraditions

RRI provides news, background reports and some cultural coverage. Much of the content is the same in English, German, and Chinese, but focus may differ somewhat. While there is news, some background information and cultural programming in all these languages, listeners’ preferred topics seem to count, too. German listeners frequently enquire about European and social issues – something that appears to be of less interest to Chinese listeners. The scope of Chinese programs may also be somewhat limited by air time: thirty minutes per broadcast in Chinese, rather than sixty, as is the case with some of the broadcasts in English, French, and German.

When it comes to international exchange or openness, RRI certainly can’t be accused of discrimination. The Institut Francais is shown among their partners on the French service’s web pages, and a link to the “Confucius Institute” in Bucharest adorns the Chinese-language main page, side by side with one to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (with no specified status).

According to RRI’s English service’s website, RRI’s Chinese service, which first went on air on October 1, 1999, benefited from […] Chinese language experts […] as well as our colleagues from Radio China International, the Romanian language department […].2)

Given the kind of “news” being broadcast by China Radio International (CRI), this kind of cooperation doesn’t look appropriate.

Some caveats: undue Beijing’s influence isn’t limited to RRI in particular, or to southeastern Europe in general3) (as suspected by some German quarters). A number of German universities have opted for cooperation with the agency from Beijing, for example, and areas of cooperation are hardly less sensitive.

Also, RRI’s news broadcasts in Chinese don’t appear to differ from those of the English or German departments. When Chinese listeners hear about Romanian citizens who take to the street, opposing changes to the country’s legal system, or Japan’s prime minister emphasizing liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as Japan’s and Romania’s shared values and principles, it may be met with more open minds, than if broadcast by a source that is deemed hostile by its audience.

All the same, turning October 1, 1949 into common ground between the audience and the station’s first broadcast in Chinese (October 1, 1994) spells a major contradiction, when suggesting at the same time, on a different history page, that RRI services turned towards the future, towards once again building a bridge between Romania and the democratic world and re-establishing the link between Romanians living abroad and those back home, a link that had been weakened on purpose by the totalitarian regime.

— Audience

RRI doesn’t offer detailed statistics – few international broadcasters do. It seems likely, however, that a presence on shortwave makes a difference for the better. I wouldn’t hear or read much about the country, if its signals didn’t come in handy. I’m suspecting that within Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, you can listen to RRI with a pressing iron (any appliance with spiral coils should do).

What has kept this blogger from giving feedback to the station is their online policy. It seems that everything that is mentioned in their listener’s-feedback programs goes right online, as a transcript. Facebookers probably won’t mind, but more traditional listeners may be a different story.

Either way, RRI certainly has its fans, and its multipliers.

— Shortwave

Shortwave plays an important role, at least when it comes to middle-aged and old listeners. For one, there’s the technical aspect. Nobody is encouraged to disassemble and reassemble his smartphone, or to boost its transmission power or its sensitivity. Use of shortwave, however, involves technical aspects, and people interested in some DIY. And while an app user may brush any source of information away after a few seconds, shortwave listeners’ attention span is likely to be sturdier.

It would seem to me that among a number of other aspects (sound not least – I find digital sound ugly), shortwave broadcasting signals respect for the listeners. It is more costly than web-based communication, it doesn’t provide broadcasters with as much information about how “efficient”, in terms of listener numbers, their productions actually are (which means that even the invisible listener matters), and it doesn’t ask if a listener lives under circumstances that allow for internet access – be it for economic or censorship reasons.

Shortwave is therefore a unique RRI feature. Bulgaria abandoned its shortwave transmissions years ago, so did Radio Poland, Radio Ukraine International, and Radio Prague (except for some airtime on German or American shortwave stations respectively). Radio Budapest, once one of the most popular Eastern European external broadcasters, is history.

— Recent RRI logs

Broadcasts in Chinese, German, and Hebrew
Time UTC Lang. Date Freq. S I N P O
07:00 German Jan21 7345 5 5 5 4 4
13:30 Chinese Jan21 9610 4 5 5 3 4
17:05 Hebrew Jan21 9790 4 5 5 3 4

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Footnotes

1) RRI’s website states 19:05 hours as the beginning of the transmission, which is standard time in Romania, and in Israel (17:05 GMT/UTC).
2) The Romanian department at CRI still exists, with an online presence, and medium/shortwave transmissions.
3) The “Spiegel” interview in German.

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