- the four main tones and the 5th toneless one
- the consonants and vowels of the Pinyin transliteration system
- vocabulary and sentence types from everyday conversation
- basic grammar rules on verbs, adjectives, sentence structure, etc.
- about 100 basic Chinese characters
Chinese is the most spoken language in the world and one of the official languages of the UN. It is used officially in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. It is also used in Malaysia and the business world of Southeast Asia to a large extent. The Chinese language has had a great impact on East Asian languages and cultures. Thousands of Chinese characters have been borrowed by the Japanese language, and about 65% of Korean words have their origin in Chinese.
Contrary to what many people believe, Chinese is not that difficult to learn. For example, the grammar is quite simple, the verbs are not conjugated and most words are short – only one or two syllables. Learning the Chinese characters takes time, but the graphic writing system is extremely interesting. The art of writing characters, i.e. calligraphy, is itself one of the most esteemed art forms in East Asia.
According to the latest language research made by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2007, only 581 characters make up 80% of common Chinese texts. And if you know 934 characters, for whatever you might wish to read in Chinese, you can already recognize 90% of the characters.
Interactive classroom activities
Individual and pair work
Internet learning at least 30%
Mid-term and final exams
Learning outcomes and assessment