The brief history of English learning in China

2019-11-07 03:49:26 校园英语·下旬 2019年10期

史伟 王丽峰

【Abstract】 English learning is popular in China, many kids go to language schools for it. English learning is important, at the same time, Chinese learning is very important too.

【Key words】 history;English learning

【作者简介】 史伟,王丽峰,河南工业大学外语学院。

1. Introduction

According to the newest report from the Global Language Surveillance Organization, English is experiencing a transformation that has never had in English history. English is one of the main international general-purpose languages in the world and China. Most international conferences take English as the first general purpose language. English is one of United Nations official working languages.

2.The history of English learning in China

In Han Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, there were two significant diplomacy-events, one event is that Zhang Qian went to the west, after learning English language; he widely propagated English in China, for example, “grape”, “eggplant”, “pomegranate”, “carrot” and so on(Xuhan, 2005). In A.D. 7 centuries, Tang Xuanzang went to western paradise for learning scriptures; he learned and took much Buddhist knowledge. Many English words also appeared in China, such as “Buddha”, “Monk”, “Goddess of Mercy”, “Tower”, and “Hell” and so on, most were assimilated by Chinese language, and they gradually became the basic vocabularies of Chinese language. It is between the late Qing Dynasty and May Fourth New Culture Movement. At this period, English achieved two great high peaks in Chinese language culture and Chinese literature interpretation. The first peak occurred in the first ten years of 20th century, there were numerous English works, especially a great many of English novels were translated into Chinese; the second peak took place in the late ten years of May Fourth New Culture Movement, many Chinese translators and writers began to be engaged in foreign literature, especially, they absorb nutrition from foreign literature works, so as to redevelop Chinese culture, enrich Chinese language, and reform society. Their translation also promoted the development of Chinese free verse, prose poetry, short story and so on, which to some extent enriched Chinese language culture. It is not exaggerated that the translation of Bible not only enriched the vocabularies, but also greatly promoted the development of Chinese language culture; this is the influence of Bible to Chinese language, also the influence of English language to Chinese language. At the time of Jiaqing Thirty- two year in Ming Dynasty, the first group of Portuguese arrived in China, for the need of life and business, they had to contact with Chinese, however, because of the differences between Chinese and Portuguese, they had to communicate by the tool of Chinese--Western language. Since the twenty years of Reform and Open policy, the effect of English on Chinese is unprecedented and obvious to all. The coming of information times and high frequency has made English language be a general language all over the world, English has also been the main working language in all kinds of international communication, besides, it is the key language of international Sci &Tech intercommunion; after the foundation of China, especially the economic reform, with the rapid development of socialism construction, and the more and more communication with foreigners, nowadays, English is becoming more and more important in the world , English learning is highly attracted by peoples attention.

3. Conclusion

From the above mentioned analysis and discussion, we know the history of English learning, and at same time, Chinese learning is growing fast too. Many kids are interested in traditional cultures and language. English learning helps us to communicate with the world better, Chinese learning make us get to know our own cultures better, and have motivation to carry on working hard to keep this historical culture to keep going for long terms. So, English learning is necessary, and Chinese learning is important too.


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