Learn Mandarin Chinese
Study one of the world's most important languages
Postcards from around the world cover a bulletin board in Shao-Pin Luo’s office—notes from former students on their post-degree travels. Most are written in English, but there are some in Chinese too, which impresses and delights their former professor.
“I love that my Chinese class meant at lot to them and that they keep in touch,” says a proud Dr. Luo, who teaches all the Chinese classes at Dalhousie University.
Dalhousie began small with Chinese studies, offering one class in beginner’s Mandarin for 33 students in 2006. Since then, the program has grown considerably. About 120 students take Mandarin at the introductory, intermediate and advanced levels. As well, there’s a class in Asian Cinema taught by filmphile Simon Kow, professor of humanities at the University of King’s College.
Why study Chinese?
Students want to learn Chinese because they are:
- Fascinated by Chinese culture and Chinese language;
- Business students with an eye on the ever-expanding Chinese market;
- Of Chinese descent and interested in learning the language of their ancestors;
- Students with wanderlust, like Niko Bell, a former students, who cycled through rural China and blogged about his adventures.
“Learning Chinese is a challenge so you really need to have curiosity and imagination to take it on,” says Dr. Luo, whose first language is Mandarin. “My students jump right in ... it’s incredibly stimulating and inspiring for me as a teacher.”
Zach Chartier, a first-year economics major from Dundas, Ontario, is one of those students. He's interested in learning Mandarin to travel and conduct business. The chance to learn the language is one of the major reasons he chose Dalhousie over other universities. He organized the Dalhousie Chinese Society, a student society which brings together Canadian and Chinese students for conversation and friendship.
“It’s a social thing. We get together and try out our Chinese,” he says. “Chinese can be difficult to wrap your head around if you’re an English speaker, so any practice you can get is helpful.”
Chinese cultural events
We host a variety of cultural and linguisitic events throughout the academic year, such as: