China is the world's most populous country and Chinese, spoken by more than a billion people, is arguably the world's largest language. Through the process of globalisation, China has a growing significance not only in the world economy but also in political and cultural interests. A person interested in studying China can watch history in the making as China continues to expand its influence. Studies in the language, culture and society of China lay the foundation for understanding the development taking place in China today and for building and maintaining contact with China in the future.
The Chinese language has a long history, rich culture and literature. A major distinction between Chinese and Western language groups is the use of tone to indicate lexical and grammatical meaning rather than inflectional forms. The writing system is derived from an original pictorial principle and to achieve a good understanding one must learn approximately 2500 characters. During the courses Chinese A and Chinese B, students will focus on reading simple texts.
By Chinese C and Chinese D, students have advanced to reading non-fiction, newspaper articles and literary texts. At the D-level, a student may choose to spend a term in China at one of our partner universities or spend a term writing a Bachelor's thesis in Chinese, or spend a term doing an internship at a government agency, business or other organisation connected to China and the Chinese language. Throughout the entire programme, students will study the Chinese language alongside other courses on the history of China and Chinese culture and society.