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CHIN 312
Introduction to Classical Chinese Fall 2020
Division I

Class Details

This course is an introduction to the grammar and basic vocabulary of Classical Chinese, the standard written language of China from around the seventh century BCE through the 1920s (and for many centuries an important written language in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam as well). Aspects of Classical Chinese continue to play a role in both written (e.g., in newspaper, academic, and legal writing) and in spoken (e.g., proverbs and aphorisms) modern Chinese. Our work in this course will be based on reading, translating, and discussing philosophical, political, literary, and historical anecdotes from the Spring and Autumn (770-481 BCE) through the Han (206 BCE-220 CE) periods, as they served as the foundation for the language. We will conduct discussions of grammatical and philological issues primarily in English and most of our translation work will be from Classical Chinese into English. We will, however, frequently discuss the points of intersection between Classical and Modern Chinese. Students are required to have completed CHIN 202 or the equivalent. Students who have extensive reading knowledge of Chinese characters through other languages (such as Japanese) may also take this course with the instructor’s permission.
The Class: Format: seminar; For fall 2020, CHIN 312 will be offered as a hybrid in-person/online course.
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 2117
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: classroom performance, homework, quizzes, tests, and a final exam
Prerequisites: CHIN 202 or extensive reading knowledge of Chinese characters through other languages
Enrollment Preferences: current or prospective majors in the Department of Asian Studies
Distributions: Division I

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