Chinese has no verb conjugation, no plural, no gender, no articles or subject and object forms. It’s very easy to speak Chinese, because Chinese grammar is so simple. That’s because in Chinese language as in culture everything depends on context. Relationship (guanxi) is the most important. All the children of one’s parent’s siblings are just called cousin in English. However in Chinese there is a different word for each particular relationship. This stems from how in traditional Chinese Confucian culture each individual’s duties and obligations towards others are dictated by their relationships, with family relationships being the most important. But then in Chinese “everyone” is da jia, literally “big family.” By studying the form of the most basic Chinese characters students will simultaneously gain insights into traditional Chinese cultural values. Student will be able to speak Chinese from the very first class. They will be able to speak a lot of daily conversation after one term.
Corequisite: Students must attend at least two Languages Series events (Mondays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm)