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Courses in Chinese

Please Note: Not all courses are taught every year. Please see the published Class Schedule for a listing of courses and sections available in any given term!

Course numbers ending in 99, 40X, 50x, as well as numbers 410 and 510 designate variable content courses that are occasional offerings. Please see the Course Schedule for the current term offerings.

You can also view the official and complete course descriptions in the University Bulletin under the section of "Foreign Languages and Literatures".


Chn 101, 102, 103: First-year Chinese (5, 5, 5)
An introduction to listening, speaking, reading and writing standard ("Mandarin") Chinese. The sequence is usually offered twice during each year: the regular sequence (101 Fall, 102 Winter, 103 Spring: one hour daily, 5 credits per quarter), and an accelerated sequence each summer (four hours per day, four days per week, 15 credits in 9 weeks). The first year sequence introduces most major grammatical structures, and builds a vocabulary based on about 520 characters. (Passable written proficiency begins at about 1500 characters, during Third-year Chinese; full literacy requires 3500 or more.)

Grades are determined by a combination of absolute achievement (determined by test scores, number of homework assignments completed on time, participation), and progress achieved in relation to ability at the beginning of the course.

Chn 199: Special Studies (credit to be arranged)

Chn 201, 202, 203: Second Year Chinese (5, 5, 5)
Textbook: Xiaoyuan Hanyu Speaking Chinese on Campus, by Stella Chen, Carrie Reed and Cao Yuping. Includes two CD Rom disks.

Continued work on developing skills in Chinese. Students are introduced to the simplified characters now used in Mainland China. The sequence is offered twice a year: the regular sequence (201 Fall, 202 Winter, 203 Spring: one hour daily, 5 credits per quarter), and an accelerated sequence offered during the summer (four hours per day, four days a week, 15 credits in 9 weeks). The second year sequence introduces all the major grammatical structures not introduced in the first year sequence and continues to build the student's vocabulary in Chinese. Approximately 600 new vocabulary words are introduced during the year with over 500 new characters. Greater emphasis is given to improving reading and writing skills than in the first year sequence but we continue to work on speaking and listening skills. Classes are team taught with a professor and native speakers.

Chn 299: Special Studies (credit to be arranged)

Chn 301, 302, 303: Third-year Chinese (4, 4, 4)
Intermediate conversation, reading, writing, vocabulary building, and grammar. Introduction to literary and expository texts. This course is offered every year, and also, depending on budget, in an accelerated summer sequence (12 credits in 8 weeks).

Students who are considerably more proficient than the third-year norm in either speaking or writing may be given longer or more elaborate assignments in their proficient areas. Students whose speaking and writing are both above the norm will be asked to take a higher level of the language. If in doubt, please consult the instructor.

Recommended prerequisite: CHN 203.

Chn 304: Newspaper Chinese (4)
Textbooks: There are no textbooks for this class. Rather, readings are taken from current Chinese newpapers.

This course introduces the student to the style of Chinese writing used in Chinese newspapers. The entire course is spent in reading articles from a variety of current Chinese newspapers. Class format is a readings type course. Course is offered every other year.

Recommended prerequisite: CHN 203.

Chn 306: Business Chinese (4)
(Not currently offered, due to budget constraints.) Practice in oral and written Chinese at the upper-intermediate level, with emphasis on business vocabulary and procedures. Recommended as a complement to Third-year Chinese.

Recommended prerequisites: CHN 203; CHN 303, 304.

Chn 311, 312: Introduction to Literary Chinese (4, 4)
Textbooks: Chudeng Xiaoxue Guowen Jiaokeshu (photocopy); A Course in Beginning Literary Chinese: Vocabulary and Grammar Notes for 'Chudeng Xiaoxue Guowen Jiaokeshu' (photocopy)

This course introduces the language of the classical period of Chinese literature, that is, the period of the late Zhou and Han dynasties. This literary language is of great importance in the study of Chinese since, up until the modern era, nearly all serious writing in Chinese was written in a form based on it. In fact, the text for this introductory course is a primer produced on the eve of the modern era which was used to teach children how to read and write in the literary language. Students, in mastering this literary language will have all of the literary history of China opened up to them. Though each age had its idiosyncrasies, and varying degrees of vernacular intrusion, the differences from age to age were minor compared to the similarities. It is also true that the modern literary language, which is based not on the classical language but more or less on the modern spoken standard, still has numerous intrusions from the older classical style. The courses are offered in sequence every other year during Fall and Winter Quarters. The class format is in the form of a readings course.

Recommended prerequisite: CHN 203.

Chn 341U: Topics in Chinese Literature and Thought: "Service and Retreat" (4)
Conducted in English; offered every other year. An introduction to the world of the pre-modern Chinese elite, presented through selections from core literature of the high tradition.

Students majoring or minoring in Chinese language, or in other fields with a China emphasis, may find this class useful. It belongs to the Asian Cluster, and in recent years has been offered as a Writing Intensive course (WIC), with the help of graduate writing assistants.

English is the language for all discussion and writing. The readings, however, are available in the original Chinese.

Chn 342U: Chinese Vernacular Literature (pre-20th century) (4)
Conducted in English; offered every other year. Complements CHN 341 ("Service & Retreat"), a course on pre-modern elite literature, by presenting examples of the more folk-based pre-modern works.

Chn 343: Modern Chinese Literature in Translation (4)
Textbooks: The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature by Joseph S. M. Lau and Howard Goldblatt; The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980 by Jonathan D. Spence.

This course introduces the major Chinese writers and their works from the beginning of the Twentieth Century up to the present day. Special emphasis is given to the writers of the New Literature movement, often referred to as "May 4th Writers." Attention is not only given to the writers themselves and their works, but also to the political and cultural environment that engendered the modern literary trends. Class format is lecture/discussion. A term paper is required. The course is offered every other year, generally in Spring Quarter.

Chn 399: Special Studies (credit to be arranged)

Chn 404/504: Cooperative Education/Internship (credit to be arranged)

Chn 405/505: Reading & Conference (credit to be arranged)

Chn 408/508: Workshop (credit to be arranged)

Chn 409/509: Practicum in Chinese (1 or 2 credits)
Individual projects involving the teaching of Chinese. Assignments, contents, and times to be arranged in consultation with supervising faculty. Offered every term; summer Practicum credit may also be available by arrangement.

Chn 410/510: Selected Topics (credit to be arranged)

Chn 411/511: Advanced Chinese (4)
Offered every other year; contents may vary. Development of facility with complex patterns in conversation, reading, and writing, clustered around a theme. Past units, conducted entirely in Chinese, have at times adopted a writing-intensive format, involving weekly assignments, with revisions, plus in-class writing and oral presentations.

Recommended prerequisites: CHN 303: Chn 304, 311, 312

Chn 412/512: Advanced Chinese (4)
Offered every other year; contents may vary. Currently, this course is designed as a unit entitled "The Philosophers," in which short selections from various schools of thought are read closely in the original, in a format similar to CHN 413/513.

Recommended prerequisites: CHN 303: Chn 304, 311, 312

Chn 413/513: Advanced Classical Chinese (4)
Offered every other spring, following CHN 312. Readings from classical works of various genres and styles--essays, historical narrative, poetry, from all dynasties, designed to solidify the structures learned in CHN 311 and 312, build further vocabulary and introduce the fundamentals of Chinese literary history.

Recommended prerequisites: third year coursework in Chinese, preferably including Chn 311 and 312.

Chn 420/520: Readings in Chinese Literature (4)
Offered every other year; contents may vary. Recent offerings have focused on close readings, including analysis and discussion, selected from the great classic novels of the Yuan through Qing dynasties.

Recommended prerequisites: CHN 303; Chn 304, 311, 312

Chn 421/521: Readings in Chinese Literature (4)
Offered every other year; contents may vary.

Recommended prerequisites: CHN 303: Chn 304, 311, 312

Chn 490/590: History of the Chinese Language (4)
Textbooks: Chinese by Jerry Norman, The Languages of China by S. Robert Ramsey (recommended).

This course provides a general overview of the historical development of the languages of the Chinese language family, including the phonological, morphological and syntactic development of the spoken language and the historical development of the Chinese characters. The course charts the evolution of dialects and the standard language, as well as the relationship between Chinese and the non-Chinese languages spoken in China. The development of lexicography in China is covered as well as current language policy and future prospects. Special attention is given to the development of a national standard and the political and linguistic problems attendant to that goal. By the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of all these aspects in the development of the modern language and have the tools necessary to do further investigation in specific topics concerning the Chinese languages. The course is offered every other year, usually during Spring Quarter. It meets for two hours per class session twice a week. The format of the class is lecture/discussion. A term paper is required.

Recommended prerequisites: at least one course in linguistics (Ling 290 or above), or proficiency in Chinese equivalent to Chn 203.