Confusing Ideas - Vernacular Chinese and Classical Chinese
In contrast with those public confusing ideas, the true Chinese language consists of two parts: vernacular Chinese and ancient classical Chinese, although all Chinese use a same set of Han characters.
Vernacular Chinese is using for daily life including science and technology learning, that is why it is also called Modern Chinese sometimes. Famous vernacular Chinese is Mandarin and Cantonese, In fact these names are used to present the difference of them on accent.
Mandarin is a worldly and pop language in daily life. It's not the language to be educated in school. It is a "vulgarization" of classical Chinese language.
And the traditional classical Chinese is used for inheriting the wisdom and culture. Nobody could understand the Chinese culture and traditional wisdom, Confucius, Taoism, FengShui, YinYang, TaiJi etc...., without learning ancient Chinese language. Classical Chinese language is the source of the Chinese traditional wisdom in the more than five thousand years history of China.
In passed five thousand years, children learnt classics by classical Chinese. Then they became the prospected persons and carried out those important responsibilities in societies.
Word vs. Character
The radically difference from the Western language, the key characteristic of Chinese language is using the "square character". That means Chinese language use every single "character" to present certain meanings. At this point, Mandarin looks much more like a "western" language, it commonly using "words", a lots of Chinese characters' groups.
For true Chinese language, due to the magic value of the Chinese square characters itself, classical text is more shorter but meaning is so fulfill. No classical language the students would not understand what is the true Chinese culture, even the students already are very familiar with Mandarin.
As all of Chinese language only use a same set of Chinese characters, typically ten hundreds characters, the secrete of classical Chinese more deep meaningful is due to the special methods of classical Chinese used to combining single Chinese characters together. This also is the nature “temperament” of Chinese characters itself.
In fact, if students want to learn Chinese language faster(more than three times), they only need just directly learning classical Chinese language that would be much more easier than learning Mandarin at the beginning.
As we all understanding that the most difference issue between the states and China is the political environment. This means all of the universities in China must obey the political propensity. But any universities in the states would not need to do like that. Because this point, the universities of China always are not creative in education, neither contents they teach nor the way they teaching. One more basic reason is, all of the universities in China belongs to the government. The government has the whole rights to decide the persons' position in the university: from the president to any administration officers.
In the short words, recent years (even more than ten years) although almost all of great masters of Chinese culture are encouraging the schools must retrieve teaching classical Chinese by traditional way, just from the beginning of learning true Chinese in any schools, the universities still only keep the way to teach Mandarin mainly in Chinese language learning.
By our understanding, the universities in the states want to give their students global sightseeing and widely feeling for vary kinds of cultures in any sites of the world. Due to the globalization tendency, how to lead students finding the true traditional cultures(not just one colorful copy of modern culture with other vary cultural elements from different areas), is the key issue of successful study abroad policy.
At this point, ChuShan Institute is almost unique abroad school now providing the true traditional Chinese culture education through traditional teaching way for foreign students, not only language, but also with more core culture values involved.
There are many wonderful performance and reaction from the foreign students in ChuShan Institute's activities and courses. That means we could help worldwide universities set up unique study abroad procedures especially in true Chinese culture learning and experiencing.
We hope to help students would not only fallen in vernacular Chinese through this unique Chinese traditional culture course.
By teaching the truly traditional Chinese cultures, the teachings of ancient sage, ancient wisdom, and environmental consciousness, the ChuShan team's goal is to guide people to live with peace, wisdom and happiness.
By the way, our teaching group have done the efforts on retrieving and activating in really life for traditional Chinese culture more than twenty years. The students of ChuShan Institute would naturally get their Mandarin abilities during our classical language course and culture activities in the society, with no extra cost.