Dialogue in Chinenglish


a american:Hi.
waitress:You have what thing?
a american:Can you speak english?
waitress:If I not speak english, I am speaking what?
a american:Can anybody else speak english?
waitress:You yourself look. All people are playing, no people have time, you can wait, you wait, you not wait, you go.
a american:Good heavens. Anybody here can speak English?
waitress:Shout what shout, quiet a little, you on earth have what thing?
a american:I want to speak to your head.
waitress:Shit,you speak to my mouth not my head!

another one:
a Chinese child are 10 years old, he have learnt English for one month. one day, he are running on the way home, and he hit an american.
the Chinese Child: I am sorry!
the American: I am sorry too!( the Chinese Child thinks “too” is “two” , his teacher told him to be polite to foreigners )
the Chinese Child: I am sorry three!
the American: What are you sorry for?( the Chinese Child thinks “for” is “four” )
the Chinese Child: I am sorry five!

‘Chinglish’ is a portmanteau word, which means ‘Chinese English’, and refers to spoken or written English influenced by Chinese. This dialogue is an example of the stereotype created by the western society about the chinese and how they use the linguistic knowledge of English to comunicate.


Learning English in China

Chinese wild about learning English
a brief piece of news by CCTV.com on Chinese people learning English:

(aired on July 30th, 2008.)

China 30 years: Learning English
a brief and very interesting video on the history of the popularity of English in China:

Chinese people at English class

Here you can watch Chinese children in an oral English class.

In this video a Chinese boy sings a song by Celine Dion.

English as a Foreign Language: The Modern Day Trojan Horse?

This article, published in October 2005, discusses how the English language is used as a weapon for Westernization of China and also how it functions as a gatekeeper for higher education and better job positions.

“Throughout China, the National language, Mandarin, is spoken by only 53% (Yan 2005) of the Chinese population while most primary schools, all middle and senior-middle schools, colleges and universities have mandatory English instruction”.


Language attitudes and linguistic features in the 'China English' debate

"In this paper we shall first try to define the term ‘China English’ (with our own definition of this term deliberated in the ‘Discussion’ section) as a performance variety in the larger conceptualization of World Englishes. Following that, we will adduce some linguistic features of ‘China English’ from the relevant literature at four levels (phonology, lexis, syntax, and discourse pragmatics) and discuss the arguments in favor of developing localized pedagogic models in Expanding Circle countries such as China. Then we will report on the findings of our research project: college teachers’ and students’ perceptions of the ideal pedagogic model of college English in mainland China – ‘China English’ as opposed to a native-speaker-based standard. Our findings suggest that the preferred teaching model of college English in mainland Chinese classrooms is a standard variety of English (e.g. ‘General American’ or ‘Received Pronunciation’) supplemented with salient, well-codified, and properly implemented features of ‘China English’. The research design and overall findings will be discussed in light of a systematic comparison and contrast with those in a similar survey conducted with mainland Chinese university students."

by Deyuan He and David C. S. L.

An Exploration of Chinese EFL Learners’ Unwillingness to Communicate and Foreign Language Anxiety

"This article reports the results of a study of the unwillingness to communicate, and anxiety of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in English language classrooms. A 70-item survey of 547 first-year undergraduate non-English majors revealed that (a) Most of the students were willing to participate in interpersonal conversations, but many of them did not like to risk using/speaking English in class; (b) more than one third of the students felt anxious in their English language classrooms, and they feared being negatively evaluated and were apprehensive about public speaking and tests; (c) their unwillingness to communicate and their foreign language anxiety correlated significantly with each other and with their selfrated English proficiency and access to English; and (d) many of the variables of interest were good predictors of the students’ unwillingness to communicate and of their foreign language anxiety, which were also powerful predictors for each other."

by Meihua Liu and Jane Jackson.

China Network

"The China Network (a joint project of CRASSH and East Asian Studies) draws together scholars on three continents to ask: what processes of transmission mediate literary and cultural exchanges between China and the West? Giving central place to translation as a defining feature of Chinese modernism and modernity, the Network focuses on cultural translatability in the broadest sense. A series of workshops and international conferences was inaugurated at CRASSH in 2008; the second and third conferences will take place at Yale and Tsinghua Universities during 2009 on the topics of Conflict and Alternative Modalities of Modernity. The Network aims to stimulate exchanges between Chinese and Western academics, and to develop research capacity. In the West, contemporary China studies in literature and film has had to catch up with traditional and historical areas, while Chinese scholars have been quick to take up and translate a wide range of Western literary and cultural theorists."

In this website, you can find articles and workshops that have been and will be given on the subject from March 2008 to February 2010.

Directed by
Professor Mary Jacobus (Director, CRASSH)
Professor Hans van de Ven (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies).