The Chinese program at The College of Wooster introduces students to Chinese language and culture, teaching the basic skills of reading, listening to, speaking and writing Chinese. The program also educates students about non-Western ideas, conceptual schemes, and modes of thought through courses taught in English on Chinese history, religion, literature, and film.

Besides providing practical training in Chinese for career purposes, the program is also designed to familiarize students with non-Western conceptual schemes and modes of thought. The courses in Chinese language and literature, together with related courses in the departments of Anthropology, History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, will give students a strong background in China and East Asia; and in turn these content courses also contribute to distribution requirements of majors such as Comparative Literature, Film Studies, and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Reasons to Study Chinese

  • Chinese is the language of nearly 1/4 of the world's population.
  • The ancient writing system had its etymological origins in pictures known as ideograms. Writing Chinese characters can be an aesthetic experience as Chinese calligraphy is a form of art. It also helps people remember things better when they know how to write 2,000 - 3,000 Chinese characters.
  • The written Chinese history dates back over 4,000 years.
  • China's economic growth rate and industrial potential are among the greatest in the world. In the 21st century, China is expected to play a important role in the world market economy. To know the language is essential to successful business negotiation and communication in China.
  • "A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language." (Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks) The study of Chinese gives the student a set of alternative values and world views.
  • The courses taken for a Chinese Minor can provide an understanding of a non-Western culture, a critical component of the Cultural Area Studies major.
  • The major in Comparative Literature emphasizes the ability to read the works of a national literature in the original. Studying CHinese provides the necessary language training to do comparative studies.
  • Since the International Relations major requires one language course beyond the beginning level, Chinese language and cultural courses can help fulfill the requirement for this major.