Chinese Language and Literature Essay
Chinese Language and Literature
The value of Chinese Language The knowledge of Chinese language opens many new perspectives for the people who have good command of this language. First of all, Chinese language opens the way to different important fields. These include: Chinese politics, economy, history or archaeology. The knowledge of Chinese language can help to study the unique culture of the ancient civilization. At the heart of Chinese civilization is its rich heritage of novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and other pieces of literature.
One should also not to forget about the fact that language itself reflects the values, the struggles, the sensibility, the joys and the sorrows of this great people. Also, it offers insights even into the most intimate feelings of people. The same happens to people who know the Chinese language. The knowledge of the language enables them to read books. Such an exposure to the historical heritage gives many changes for personal development of the people. The analysis of literary works may help you understand what stands behind the language, and what makes it powerful.
Some things that point to the value of Chinese language:
- China is one of the world’s oldest and richest continuous cultures that have been existing for about 5000 years old.
- China can be also regarded as one of the most populous nation in the world, with a population that has amounted to 1.28 billion people.
- Mandarin Chinese is the language that is being spoken by 873 million speakers what makes Chinese one of the most widely spoken first languages in the world. The estimations show that about one fifth of the planet speakers speak Chinese.
The dominant language in the country is Mandarin language. This language is spoken by the most influential Chinese communities of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Mongolia. At present, China has achieved the major dominance in the world.
In this part of my paper I want to draw your attention to some surprising facts that pertain to the Chinese language. The research shows that the Chinese language has a relatively uncomplicated grammar. Contrary to French, German or English, Chinese has no verb conjugation (in other words tense inflection). Also, this language has no noun declension, including gender and number distinctions. While learning Chinese you do not have to memorize different verb forms of “tell/told/told.” Under such circumstances, all you have to remember is just one word: kan. Also, while learning English a person has to distinguish between “hat” and “hats”. In Chinese we have a totally different situation. The only form that is present in this language is the word mao.
The basic word order of Chinese is subject is the verb object. The object exists just in the same form as it exists in English. The research proves that there is quite a number of the key terms. These are concerned with Mandarin Chinese. The terms are generally used for state, health, science, party, inflation, and even literature. These have been formed in the course of translations of key English concepts. When you are entering a different culture, you instantly get the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the modern key concepts. In this case you have to remember the following facts: Currently Mandarin Chinese is spoken by over 1 billion people around the world what constitutes about one fifth of the global population. Many students who are eager to familiarize themselves with the other cultures are learning Mandarin. Being comparatively easy, the language is studies with much enthusiasm and success. The study of Chinese literature can be used to bridge the cultural gap that can help humans understand their Chinese counterparts, thus creating a platform that would sustain knowledge and understanding of the terms that are crucial for effective communication.
In this part of my paper I will try to summarize briefly the key features of Chinese language and literature. The major focus of the discussion will be the ways in which which China's language and literature would be able to reflect other aspects of China's culture. These include: kinship, art, politics, religion, economics, and the Chinese world view in general. The fist and the foremost thing about each language and literature is that fact that both of these reflect and express social attitudes and values.
The most typical things about Chinese literature is the prevailing sexism. In fact, sexism exists both in languages and literatures. This can be regarded as not a mere feminist fabrication. In case there were no sexism, there would be no need for feminism. Sexism can be regarded as a thing that is more apparent for thecountries of the Near and Far East. The situation was especially true for Communist China.
A better understanding of the Chinese customs and traditions comes with the knowledge of the prehistoric major tendencies that have been governing China for quite a long time. During those times, the communities were led by matriarchs, what led to the discovery of Banpo near Xian evinces. (Singh, M., 1998, p.65)
Even the Chinese character for family name, xing can be regarded as the one that is composed of the graphs that are symbolizing a woman and birth or life. Consequently, these two symbols can be regarded as the ones that refer to the matriarchal origin of the family. The last years have been marked by the fact that China has been under a patrilineal system. Eventually it meant the society that has been dominated by males. The fact prove that males have dominated every aspect of social and political activity including Chinese literature and language. (Singh, M., 1998, p.77)
The classic canon, illustrates the other attitudes that exist within the society. While analysing the Book of Changes, one can see that male is being equated with the yang principle. This one is symbolized by the sun. The facts like these imply on the dominant role of males in the Chinese society. The book shows that man embodies everything that is good and positive, thus implying on the fact the status of man is identified with heaven.
The female, on the other hand, is equated with the yin principle. This principle is symbolized by the moon. The symbol of man is attributed to everything that is negative, evil and lowly. In general, the concept of the Chinese myth is based on the idea of creation that has become the basis of the Chinese literature of the past. The creation is represented as the process that is being achieved as the outcome of two elemental forces, yin and yang. These two forces were placed on an equal footing. This fact has already been proved by the cosmological emblem (of the Taoists). (Singh, M., 1998, p.102)
The other male-biased interpretations seems to stem from a patriarchal airier. Under such circumstances, sexism became firmly entrenched. The Confucian commentaries help to further define the status of the male in the Chinese society. The evidence proves that the Chinese male was attributed a governing role in the society. Yijing principle shows that man had a proper function are the society of the world. As for the role of women, its duty is to remain within the household. The identification of the sexual roles helped to solidify the sexism.
Sexism can be clearly detected in fiction. Here women are frequently depicted as immoral temptresses or adulteresses creatures that are not able to express true feelings. The example may serve the character of Pan Jinlian. The women eventually appear to be the murderer of her husband. In Jinping mei the women is represented as partially nymphomaniac creature. (Singh, M., 1998, p.65)
The final idea of the whole essay is that Chinese language and culture are unique in their own. Chinese language is quickly spreading around the world. As for the Chinese literary traditions, these have been much defined by the prevailing dogmas and sexist. Sexism tradition has established a clear role division.
Why study Chinese? Retrieved from: http://www.bu.edu/mlcl/about/why-study/chinese.html
Singh, M. (1998). Gender Issues in Children’s Literature. http://www.kidsource.com/ education/gender.issues.L.A.html Accessed on 23 October 2002.
Spender, D. (1993). Language and Reality: Who Made the World? In Jackson, S, et al. (Eds)
Women’s Studies: A Reader. Herfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf.