Interpreting the beauty of the Chinese language, and helping to aid in its popularization
Jing Yidan, Zheng Yuanjie and Su Cen visit Confucius Institute at Ricardo Palma University, Peru

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Ricardo Palma University [Time]    2016-12-01 13:39:37 

On October 28th (local time), the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) Latin America Delegation, consisting of 15 people, led by Vice-President of the association Hu Zhengyue, visited the Confucius Institute at Ricardo Palma University in Peru, where they held an exchange event. The delegation included Jing Yidan, Zheng Yuanjie, Su Cen and other persons of influence in various fields, such as politics, economics, culture, art and religion. President of Ricardo Palma University Iván Rodríguez Chávez met with the delegation.

Former Director-General of The Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shen Zhiliang giving a speech

Ricardo Palma University began the event with a performance of marinera, a form of dance unique to Peru. Next, former Director-General of The Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shen Zhiliang gave a speech. He said that, along with the development of friendly exchange between China and Peru, the current “Mandarin fever” in Peru and “Spanish fever” in China are continuing to rise in temperature; therefore, studying Chinese and Spanish will strengthen communications between the two countries, and will promote exchange between their respective think tanks, schools, media and artists, in which friendship between the people of the two countries is extremely important.

The three special guest speakers

Three special guests spoke at the event, namely television host Jing Yidan, the “King of Fairy Tales” Zheng Yuanjie, and author Su Cen. With the main theme of “The beautiful and ever-changing Chinese language”, each of the special guests spoke in turn, sharing their knowledge and love of the Chinese language.

Special guests gathering in Ricardo Palma University

First, Su Cen used the poem “The Reeds and Rushes” from The Book of Songs and the Chinese characters for “sheep” and “ginger” to interpret the musical and pictorial beauty of the language.

Next, Zheng Yuanjie shared with the audience his experience of writing an 800-character fairy tale that went on to earn 510 million yuan in charity funds for poor children in the northwest region of China. He also read this story, called Hongzao Nvhai(The Chinese jujube girl), for the first time in a public setting, its words filled with kindness, beauty and hope, bringing the atmosphere of the event to a climax.

Finally, Jing Yidan described the development and change of the Chinese language. She pointed out that, while the study of a language is standardized, in actual usage it is always changing. She gave examples including the “Chinese words of the year”, chosen by language research institutes and the media each year, focusing on which words are most popular, with words like 给力 (awesome) and 失联 (to lose contact) having already become part of the standard lexicon. She also stressed that translation holds very important meaning and functionality in cultural exchange, and encouraged students to learn Chinese, so as to contribute to the promotion of friendly ties and the strengthening of exchange and collaboration between China and Peru.

Students and teachers taking a group photo with the guests

At this exchange event, the three experts revealed the charm of the Chinese language from different perspectives, inciting inspiration for the students to learn Chinese. Following the event, the students and teachers all expressed that they greatly profited from the event, and lined up to ask for the guests’ autographs, after which they all took a group photo together.

Story by Fang Yu

Photos by Ming wei