SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia

Intermediate Modern Chinese Language 2

Module Code:
Unit value:
1 Unit, 45 CATS

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of this course, a student should be able to converse on a number of subjects with terminological accuracy and to translate and interpret passages covering a range of topics.

A student should also have acquired knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Chinese in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students).


Total of 22 weeks of teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week (with UG class). In addition Masters students will receive an additional 6 hours of lectures and an additional 6 hours seminars/tutorials in total over the course.

Scope and syllabus

Syllabus: Translating into Chinese; oral and aural skills (interpreting from and into Chinese); the role of language in language-based scholarship and research.
Objectives: This course focuses on practical skills (listening, speaking, translation and interpreting). In listening and speaking, the students will be exposed to a variety of audio and visual materials and required to discuss issues raised in the materials. In interpreting and translation, the students will focus on the differences between Chinese and English, not only in terms of grammar and vocabulary, but also style and register.
A series of special PG lectures with associated seminars structured around the six themes Structure, Texts, Identity, Society, Translation and Transformation (provided for PG students studying different languages) introduces students to general questions of the role of language in language-based scholarship and research and provides them with the critical and methodological skills to relate their language acquisition to the thematic aspects of the studies.

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination (45%). One 3,000 word essay due on the first day of term 3 (30%). One 20-minute oral examination (10%). Continuous assessment for translation (5%), for interpreting (5%) and for listening & speaking (5%).

Suggested reading

  • Austin, Peter, ed., 2008, 1000 Languages: The world-wide history of living and lost tongues, London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Baker, Mona, 1992, In Other Words: A coursebook on translation, London: Routledge.
    Duranti, Alessandro, 1997, Linguistic Anthropology, Cambridge: CUP.
  • Geertz, Clifford, 1973/2000, The Interpretation of Cultures: selected essays, New York: Basic Books.
  • Pinker, Steven, 1994, The Language Instinct: the new science of language and mind, London: Allan Lane.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules