Chinese

The vastness of the land gives rise to diversity in language and dialect. Although 80% of the population use the traditional Chinese language, others speak regional dialects that differ enough in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar so as to make them difficult to understand. A speaker of the Min dialect may find it hard to understand a speaker of Cantonese. Fortunately, speakers of different dialects have the unified written language for communication, which was an accomplishment of the ruler Qin Shihuang over 2200 years ago.

Despite the common written language, there were still problems. Thus, in 1958, the government standardized Chinese by creating a common spoken language (known as Mandarin in many parts of the world). Based on the dialect of Beijing and adjacent areas, it has become the official language used in public settings.

The Writing

Chinese is older than other languages. Chinese writing is believed to have been in use for 5,000 to 6,000 years. Written text on bones and shells date back to about 1500 B.C., and represent the writings of kings seeking to communicate with gods before important events, such as going to war.

Chinese books have traditionally been bound on the right hand side, with the text starting at the top right corner of the page. Calligraphy and many Taiwanese newspapers still follow the old tradition, but most publications in China follow Western printing conventions today.

The Pronunciation

Since Chinese does not have a phonetic alphabet, Westerners have used Roman letters to transliterate its sounds. In 1958 China introduced Pinyin, a system for representing Chinese sounds using the Roman alphabet. This system is now used internationally.

The number of sounds used in today's Chinese is 430, but there are many more written characters. Tone and pitch help to differentiate among the different meanings of the same sound. For example, ma, can mean mother or three completely different things, depending on changes in tone.

Chinese uses pictographic writing, which can be quite intricate. Although the system was simplified by the government in 1956, the old style is still used by the Taiwanese and by many Chinese who went abroad.

A character is made up of a number of strokes with the pen. These strokes must be made just so, in the right direction and in the correct sequence. Many characters once resembled a picture of what they represented in the world, e.g., a mountain. Over the centuries they became more stylized and evolved into the modern characters. Each character represents one syllable and one meaning; however, characters can be combined to form a more complex character and idea (e.g., fire + fire = hot) or they can be used together to express a more complex concept (e.g., fire + mountain = volcano).

Source

The information above was taken from: Paul and Shumang Fredlein, Ni hao 1 - An Introduction to Chinese. 1995.

Instructors

Dr. Hiroko Yamashita
Chair of MLC, Professor of Japanese
Language taught:
Japanese
Office: EAS-3239
Phone number:
585-475-6074
Afrah Alfatli
Adjunct Professor of Arabic
Language taught:
Arabic
Office: 1-3219
Phone number:
585.475.2903
Natala Arapov
Natalya Arapov
Adjunct Professor of Russian
Language taught:
Russian
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-3219
Godys Argmengot
Godys Armengot Mejía
Lecturer of Spanish
Language taught:
Spanish
Office: EAS-3236
Phone number:
585-475-7627
Dr. Sara Armengot
Dr. Sara Armengot
Associate Professor of Spanish
Language taught:
Spanish
Office: EAS-3223
Phone number:
585-475-4343
Sandra Bradley
ASL Advisor
Language taught:
ASL
Office: LBJ-3616
Phone number:
Videophone: (585) 266-4551
Jo Bussler
Adjunct Professor of German
Language taught:
German
Office: G. Eastman Hall Rm. 3254
Phone number:
585-475-2903
Roberto Camps
Adjunct Professor of Spanish
Language taught:
Spanish
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-2903
Dr. Philippe Chavasse
Associate Professor of French, French Program Coordinator
Language taught:
French
Office: EAS-3233
Phone number:
585-475-3156
Dr. Zhong Chen
Assistant Professor of Chinese, Chinese Program Coordinator
Language taught:
Chinese
Office: EAS-3179
Phone number:
585-475-6917
Dr. Elisabetta D'Amanda
Principal Lecturer of Italian, Italian Program Coordinator
Language taught:
Italian
Office: EAS-3152
Phone number:
Birgit Deir
Adjunct Professor of German
Language taught:
German
Office: G. Eastman Hall Rm. 3219
Phone number:
585-475-4427
Patricia Durr
Deaf Cultural Studies Advisor
Language taught:
ASL
Office: LBJ-1283
Phone number:
Videophone: (585) 286-4693
Nadia Eldabh
Adjunct Professor of Arabic
Language taught:
Arabic
Office: EAS (Building 1) Room 3219
Phone number:
475-2903
Dr. Diane J. Forbes
Dr. Diane J. Forbes
Associate Professor Spanish, Spanish Program Coordinator
Language taught:
Spanish
Office: EAS-3197
Phone number:
585-475-6765
Vincent Incardona
Systems Administrator
Office: EAS-3241/ EAS-3263
Phone number:
585-475-7880
Mizuho Johnson
Adjunct Professor of Japanese
Language taught:
Japanese
Office: EAS-3211
Phone number:
475-2903
Wibke Klapetzky
Adjunct Professor of German
Language taught:
German
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-2903
Alexandra Kuzmich
Adjunct faculty of French
Language taught:
French and German
Office: GAN 3279
Phone number:
(585) 475-5438
Kévin Le Blévec
Lecturer of French/Technology Specialist
Language taught:
French
Office: EAS-3260
Phone number:
585-475-7234
Yu Fang Liu
Adjunct Professor of Chinese
Language taught:
Chinese
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-2903
Francia Gonzalez
Francia Marrot
Adjunct Professor of Spanish
Language taught:
Spanish
Office: EAS-3211
Phone number:
475-2903
Yukiko Maru
Yukiko Maru
Principal Lecturer of Japanese, Japanese Program Coordinator
Language taught:
Japanese
Office: EAS-3329
Phone number:
585-475-4558
Daniela Morschbacher
SILP Adjunct Professor of Portuguese
Language taught:
Portuguese
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
dxmgsl@rit.edu
Masako Murakami
Masako Murakami
Senior Lecturer of Japanese, Japanese Program Coordinator
Language taught:
Japanese
Office: EAS-3158
Phone number:
585-475-4418
Ping H. Pian
Adjunct Professor of Chinese
Language taught:
Chinese
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-2903
Kana Toda Pierce
Adjunct Professor of Japanese
Language taught:
Japanese
Office: G. Eastman Hall Rm. 3219
Phone number:
585-475-3219
Rosalba Pisaturo
Adjunct Professor of Italian, Adjunct Professor of Spanish
Language taught:
Italian, Spanish
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-4427
Linda Rossiter
Modern Langues and Cultures Sr. Staff Assistant
Office: EAS-3225
Phone number:
585-475-2018
Yolanta Samek
Adjunct Professor of French
Language taught:
French
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-3219
Dr. Ulrike Stroszeck
Dr. Ulrike Stroszeck
Principal Lecturer of German, German Program Coordinator
Language taught:
German
Office: EAS-3156
Phone number:
585-475-2921
Marina Sweany
Adjunct Professor of Russian
Language taught:
Russian
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-4427
Dr. Guoming Tian
Adjunct Professor of Chinese
Language taught:
Chinese
Office: EAS-3189
Phone number:
585-475-4092
Miriam Santana Valadez
Adjunct Professor of Spanish
Language taught:
Spanish
Office: 2282 LBJ Hall
Phone number:
585-475-6365v/tty
Dr. Marie-Josephe Van Vliet
Dr. Marie-Josephe Van Vliet
Adjunct Professor of French
Language taught:
French
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-2903
Mihoko Wakabayashi
Adjunct Professor of Japanese
Language taught:
Japanese
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
585-475-4427
Ai-ze Wang
Adjunct Professor of Chinese
Language taught:
Chinese
Office: EAS-3211
Phone number:
475-2903
Wilma Wierenga
Associate Professor Emeritus
Language taught:
German
Phone number:
Ida Wilder
Adjunct Professor of Italian
Language taught:
Italian
Office: EAS-3219
Phone number:
58-5475-4427

Conversation Table

The MLC Department offers weekly opportunities to practice conversations in specific languages with other students.

Location: Eastman Room 3171

Zhong Chen
9/11     Monday     4-5 PM
10/13   Friday        4-5 PM
11/6     Monday     4-5 PM

Aize Wang
9/28     Thursday    12:00-1:00 PM
10/26   Thursday    12:00-1:00 PM
11/30   Thursday    12:00-1:00 PM

Guoming Tian
9/20     Wednesday     11:00 AM - Noon
10/18   Wednesday     11:00 AM - Noon
11/15   Wednesday     11:00 AM - Noon

Ping Pian
10/3   Tuesday     5-6 PM
10/31 Tuesday     5-6 PM
12/5   Tuesday     5-6 PM

Tutoring

The MLC Department offers free tutoring opportunities for students once a week for one hour.

Tutor : Jenny

Tuesdays, 11am-12pm in room EAS 3181
Thursdays, 3pm-4pm in room EAS 3191

Resources

Tell Me More! Language Learning Software

Tell Me More! is a premier language learning company. Their latest product is an online Language Learning "Lab" which is available to all students at RIT. The Modern Languages Department strongly recommends this resource to any Language Student who is currently taking Italian classes

To use this exciting resource, please visit the Wallace Center's Login Portal (RIT Login Required):  http://library.tellmemore.com.ezproxy.rit.edu/?lid=Rochester&cc=Rochester

You'll need to set up a Tell Me More account when you visit the site for the first time in order to track your progress.

Tell Me More! also offers a Demo Site. If you are interested in checking out Tell Me More!, but do not want to make an account just yet, feel free to check it out here: http://www.tellmemore.com/edudemo.aspx Please Note: The demo site does not track progress.

Classroom Video (faculty only)