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).

Modernity, Translated Literature and the Formation of Modern Chinese Literary Tradition

"In the current age of globalization, discussing the issue of modernity from a cross-cultural and theoretical perspective has become one of the most cutting edge theoretical topics among today’s Chinese scholars of literary and cultural studies. For many of those involved in the debate on postmodernism with regard to the Chinese practice were not fully prepared to participate in the debate in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is therefore not surprising that modernity in the Chinese context is almost a 'translated' one, the one which has not yet been fully accomplished before postmodernism came. But since many of the scholars of postmodernism are from literary studies, it is quite natural for them to reflect on the issue of modernity after the decline of literary postmodernism in the Western context. We should, therefore, recognize the fact that like postmodernism or postmodernity, modernity is first of all an academic term coming from the West covering different disciplines and research areas. It is necessary to have a retrospect on its origin and development in the Western context before dealing with its evolution and practice in China, which has certainly contributed a great deal to the formation of modern Chinese literary tradition."

by Wang Ning.

The Politics of Minor Languages, Or: the Logic of Creation in the Age of Deterritorialization of Language

"Descartes, when writing on the method of philosophical thinking, writes in French, not in Latin, because the latter is the language of his teachers; Frantz Kafka, when composing his masterpieces, composes in the German language of Prague, not in his Czech vernacular, or his mother tongue Yiddish, or the mythical language of his ancestors Hebrew, even not in the invaders’ language German, because all these languages are impossibilities in writing at the time; Samuel Becket, when producing most of his plays and other writings, produces in English or French, not in Irish as he is Irishman. The situation that all these authors are in is one of bi- or multi-lingualism, in which a minor use of language is attempted politically or unpolitically to start a stutter, to invent a new place for movements in the 'cramped space' of the subaltern, and to create 'lines of flight' in the direction of deterritorialization of language. This is the very situation in which new englishes find themselves, and in which English not only witnesses the rise of its varieties or dialects, but also becomes localized or nativized by the vernacular. This minor use of language may result in both deterritorialization and reterritorialization of English as the major language at the same time which will usher in a new era not only of minor languages but also of minor literatures in new englishes."

by Chen Yongguo (Tsinghua University, P. R. China).