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This subject offers an introduction to literary Chinese (wenyan) which was the formal written language of imperial China and the foundation of modern written Chinese. A knowledge of literary Chinese is thus indispensable in attaining higher level literacy in Chinese. Literary Chinese also includes texts written in classical Chinese in antiquity. In this subject students will read masterpieces of Chinese philosophy and literature from antiquity to the Tang period. Students will develop skills in reading texts written in full-form characters and acquire a basic knowledge of the particles and syntax of literary Chinese. They will also explore the origin and meaning of Chinese proverbs and the function of wenyan in contemporary usage.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
acquire foundational skills in the reading of classical Chinese through intensive reading of selective texts from the Chinese tradition;
gain a broad familiarity with the key genres of literary and philosophical texts in ancient China through extensive reading in English translation;
demonstrate the ability to understand basic syntax and vocabulary in classical Chinese;
be able to comprehend the traditional form of the Chinese script that was in use before the contemporary period;
consolidate skills in time management and organisation through the timely completion of assessment items.
Last updated: 15 May 2020