Pinyin's rise fuels dispute over what's in a name

A debate is growing in cyberspace about a trend that has seen more mainland universities adopt pinyin - romanised versions of Mandarin script - for the official English translations of their names in recent years, with some people hailing the trend as a good reflection of

Monday, 23 July, 2012, 12:00am

To learn the language, live the culture

When Austrian Andreas Laimbock, 33, came to China in 2002 to learn Putonghua, he ran into a wall of discouraging obstacles. But the hardship proved inspirational, and four years ago he set up the LTL Mandarin School in Beijing to help foreigners master what can at times seem like 'a language from a different planet'.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Gift of tongues

There are times when Hayley Goldberg wishes she knew Chinese and could offer more help to her daughter Ativa. A Primary Two pupil, Ativa attends a local school in Ma On Shan, where every subject apart from English is taught and assessed in Chinese.

24 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Chinese Writer

Chinese Writer by Molatra is an app to help children learn Chinese in an enjoyable way. It's a character learning game that makes recognising characters and stroke order part of its game play. It teaches correct stroke orders of words with English explanations and audio cues with pinyin. Learners read, write and hear words while trying to beat the clock.

10 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Cruel bloggers criticise 'privileged' pair

The death of the two Chinese students has triggered heated debate online about 'privilege' because the victims were shot in a luxury car.

Many mainland media outlets emphasised the fact that Wu Ying and her friend Qu Ming, both 23, were shot in a BMW, a symbol of wealth for the mainland's average wage earners.

13 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Chinese speakers think out of the box

The brains of Chinese-language speakers work differently from those who speak western tongues, Chinese University scientists say - a finding that may have profound implications for those learning to read Chinese.

23 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

The Chinese side of the equation

One of the more perplexing questions of history asks why China - the birthplace of many technological discoveries at the heart of civilisation - took so long to achieve industrial revolution, centuries after it had come and gone in the West.

19 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Cultural experience

One of the best ways for expatriates in Hong Kong to experience Chinese culture is through learning Cantonese. Being able to interact with local people in their language provides an opportunity to build relationships that can enrich foreigners' experience of living away from their home country.

24 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Rapid spread of English 'is infecting Putonghua'

One of the world's leading experts of Putonghua believes that the influence of foreign languages, especially English, has greatly damaged the language in Hong Kong and even more on the mainland.

8 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

No understanding of China can come without study

At one level, Australia's engagement with China in the past decade can be judged to be a roaring success. China is now its largest trading partner and, late last month, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the government would release a white paper on how Australia should build its level of engagement with China over the course of the next few decades.

10 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

University alumnus drops bilingual teaching lawsuit

An alumnus who legally challenged Chinese University's decision to teach more courses in English dropped his case in the city's top court yesterday two hours into what was due to be a two-day hearing.

29 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Lessons would breed Chinese pride

I am writing to comment on whether nationalistic education, including nationalism, national identity and patriotic education, should be compulsory in schools.

21 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Hi-tech help for learning English

A Chinese University professor has developed software that takes a tradition that is synonymous with Swiss finishing schools into the 21st century.

Professor Helen Meng Mei-ling and research associates have created an internet-based computer-aided pronunciation training program that will help students learn the art of pronunciation.

12 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Censors wrong about 'purity' of language

The prosperity and cultural wealth of a nation or a city often depend on the ability to interact with the wider world. The opening up of China's economy to foreign investment and free-market principles in the late 1970s finally allowed its people to interact, learn and give back to the global economy.

11 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Japanese mix-up turns Snow White blue and leaves mainland publishers feeling grumpy

So, let me get this straight. Snow White has sex with her father and the Seven Dwarfs. After she eats the poisoned apple and dies, Prince Charming falls in love with her decaying body. Despite this perverse storyline, the professional translators for two large mainland publishing firms still thought they were rendering into Chinese the classic tale from the Brothers Grimm.

11 Dec 2010 - 12:00am