Thanks to the generosity Prof. Caesar E. Farrah, late professor of Arabic language and history, Asian Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce a new scholarship for students of Arabic. Through the Middle East Outreach Consortium (MEOC) scholarship, students receive support for a year of Arabic language study. This year we have two recipients: Benjamin Eischens and Kimberly Wilson. Benjamin, a Linguistics major and Asian Languages and Literatures minor, focusing in Arabic, is currently working on his second year of Arabic at the University. Beyond the standard language classes, Benjamin also applied his knowledge of Arabic in a research paper for his "Languages of the World" course last fall. He is planning to study abroad next year. Last semester, Kimberly, a Political Science and Global Studies double major, went to the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco to continue her Arabic studies. In addition to her class work, she used Arabic in her daily interaction with her host family and other people in Fez, including when she volunteered at a shelter for abused young girls. Congratulations to Benjamin and Kimberly.February 5th, 2014
The Japanese Language Program invited the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) of Minnesota to hold JET information sessions on October 28 and October 31. The JETAA members gave enthusiastic presentations for an audience of thirty-five interested students. The presenters were: Mario Acito (ALL alumnus, 2010-2013 Kyoto ), Amanda Costello (ALL alumna, 2005-2007 Hyogo), Kate Myer (U of M graduate, currently in U of M grad school and taking 3rd year Japanese, 2006-2010 Nagasaki), and Kate Thersleff (Events Coordinator of JETAA of Minnesota; U of M-Morris graduate, 2005-2008 Wakayama).
Since 1987, the Japanese government has hired over 55,000 young people from around the world to live and work as an assistant language teacher or a coordinator for international relations in Japan. We are very proud that the Japanese Language Program sends several students to Japan through the JET Program every year. We sent seven students to Japan in 2013.December 5th, 2013
November 11, 2013 is Richard Mather's one hundredth birthday! Mather was born in Baoding, China and grew up there until he came to United States to go to college, graduating summa cum laude in 1935 from Princeton University. His plans to return to China were interrupted by the war and he instead went on to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue his PhD in Chinese literature, studying with Peter Boodberg and others.
Mather came to the University of Minnesota in 1949 to found the study of Chinese language and literature. In the following decades, he was a major force in Chinese studies at the university and across the nation. He was central to establishing the field of early medieval Chinese studies with his monumental translation, A New Account of Tales of the World (University of Minnesota Press, 1976). Even after his 1984 retirement Mather was very active, publishing The Poet Shen Yüeh: The Reticent Marquis (Princeton UP, 1988) and the two-volume The Age of Eternal Brilliance: Three Lyric Poets of the Yung-ming Era (Brill, 2003). His New Account was reissued in a revised second edition by U of Michigan Press in 2002.
His beloved wife Virginia, to whom the Age of Brilliance was simply dedicated as "For Ginny", passed away in 2012. Richard currently lives with his daughter in Northern Minnesota.
The Department of Asian Languages and Literatures established the Richard B. and Virginia Mather Fellowship in Asian Languages and Literatures to help support graduate students in our new PhD program.November 11th, 2013
Anthony Dodge is one of the best students of Chinese in the world. We know that because he won a first prize in the international Chinese language competition, Chinese Bridge: Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, held in China this summer. One of 123 students from seventy-seven countries, Anthony was the only student from United States to be a top-ten finalist. The month-long competition sponsored by the Chinese government was in four stages, each of which was a nationally broadcast television program. These included speeches, talent contests (Anthony played the cello and the Chinese erhu), acting in short plays, live performances, and even a scavenger hunt in an amusement park (in which Anthony also came in first).
Anthony began his Chinese studies in ALL as a freshman, and completed four years of language instruction with us, including two short study-abroads. He graduated in May and is now studying Chinese literature at Nanjing University with a scholarship from the Confucius Institute. After that he hopes to pursue an MBA at Tsinghua University in Beijing--as a Chinese Bridge first prize winner, he already has a scholarship to do so!
Ling Wang, Director of Instruction for Chinese program, told Anthony "Your great achievements will inspire all Chinese-language learners at UMN to become enthusiastic and motivated students."October 8th, 2013
Hangtae Cho, PhD, Director of Language Instruction, is internationally renowned for his development of our Korean language program, which features training for non-heritage learners. It is the nation's largest program of this type, and the second largest of any Korean program in the United States. Thus, Hangtae was recently invited to the 23rd International Conference hosted by the International Association for Korean Language Education on August 10-11, 2013 in Seoul, Korea to present on "Case Study of Dealing with Mixed Language Classes for Heritage and Non-Heritage Students".
The conference gathered world renowned Korean language scholars to discuss the theme, "Developing Strategies in Korean Language Classrooms". After attending the conference, Hangtae also gave a special lecture, "Past, Present and Future of Korean Education in US," to graduate students of Korean language education at Korea University (his alma mater) during his visit to Korea.
Hangtae said that it was a great opportunity to share his ideas in an international academic arena.
Conference website: http://www.iakle.com/August 28th, 2013
Upon invitation of the Chinese Consulate General of Chicago, the University of Minnesota hosted the annual U. S. Midwest Chinese Bridge Speech Contest. Organized by the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, with support from College of Liberal Arts, Confucius Institute and Institute of Global Studies, the event brought nearly sixty students from seventeen universities and colleges across the region, including University of Iowa, University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. The all-day event included speech and talent contest at six language levels. Judging was organized by Professor Gu Licheng of Northwestern, implementing a double-blind process.
Ling Wang, Director of Chinese Language and her colleagues, especially Chi-ping Li, worked long hours to organize the whole event and to train our students. We were kind and considerate hosts, but also fierce competitors. Our students in ALL secured a majority of the prizes, including eight of twelve first place awards! The day ended with an awards banquet that also featured professional local performers.
Meet director Feng Xiaoning 冯小宁, one of China's most popular filmmakers, watch his most recent blockbuster 1894: The Sino-Japanese War at Sea, which was named Best Picture in 2012 by the China Movie Channel, and engage in a dialogue with the filmmaker himself, who will conduct a Q & A following the screening.
This epic war drama is set in the late 19th century and aims to reinterpret the historical facts of the War of Jiawu between China's Manchurian Qing Empire and Japan. In light of the recent
Sino-Japanese island dispute in the South China Sea, this film provides important historical context for current events.
This event is free and open to the public.
October 23, 2012, 6:00PM - 8:30PM
100 Rapson Hall Auditorium, East Bank, U of Minnesota
This event is co-sponsored by Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, the University of Minnesota and US-China Cultural Media Group.October 23rd, 2012
Students in our Chinese Program walked away with almost all the first and second prizes in the regional Midwest Chinese Bridge Speech Contest at Northwestern University this May. In fact, every ALL student sent to the competition placed either first or second. There were fifty-five contestants from nine Midwest universities in the competition. Joel Brown, first prize winner in the third level, will be one of the two representatives from our region sent to compete in the world-wide speech contest in Beijing, China later this year.
Each contestant presented a short prepared speech (without referring to notes), and then performed a Chinese cultural talent. The students in our program presented a variety of talents such as: singing, dancing, performing a short play, and acting out a talk show. Each competitor's final score was based on their weighted combination of the speech (80%) and the talent (20%). The competition was judged by high-school teachers from the Chicago, IL, area.
Pictured left to right: Joshua Quinn, Luke Jerviss, Ling Wang, Chi-ping Li, Yefei Jin, James Thomas Lein, Joseph Carl, Joel Brown
The winners are:
Arrangements for trip to Northwestern University were supported by the Confucius Institute and the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures.May 24th, 2012
With forty contestants from ten Midwest universities in this Chinese language competition, our students all (ALL!) took first prizes in their categories. Joel Peter Wagner won the only first prize of Level One; Level Two granted two first prizes, our students, Anthony Dodge and Heather Kaus, won both of them. In other words, our three students won all the first prizes for level one and level two. Heather was also chosen to go to China and represent the University in the 10th "China Bridge" international language competition.
This is a tribute to both the students and teachers in our Chinese language Program, led by Director Ling Wang.
The Second College Student Chinese Speech Contest of the Midwest Area was held at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, on April 23, 2011 with forty graduate and undergraduate Chinese language students from ten universities competing in this showcase of Chinese language programs from the region. The event was supported by Hanban and the Consulate General of PRC to Chicago, and was organized by the Confucius Institute and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Purdue University.
Hong Wei, Director of Confucius Institute at Purdue University, sent a congratulation letter, saying "Your students made a foremost impression on each of us, with their extraordinary speech and performance talents." "Associate Vice President and Dean Meredith McQuaid says, "What wonderful news -- we are not surprised, but we are delighted. They have had excellent instruction and they are obviously very smart people."
Arrangements for trip to Purdue were supported by the Confucius Institute and the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures.June 28th, 2011
On May 6, the Japanese Language Program hosted a charity event "Arigato 'Thank you'" to help the Japan earthquake tsunami relief effort. The event, which was held at Nolte 140, started at 6:00 pm and the room was immediately packed with over 150 people.
Since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, the Japanese people and those who have a connection with Japan have been receiving support from all over the world. The instructors and TAs in the Japanese Language Program decided to hold an event where they could express their appreciation, and also support the Japan relief effort.
Despite the short period of time to prepare and in the midst of the busy teaching schedule, the event was a big success. The event started with a YouTube slide show "Pray for Japan", followed by beautiful music by the band "Julight" from the Oriental Music Club (U of M student organization). After that, Mu-min (Japanese women's chorus group in the Twin Cities area) sang several Japanese songs. The audience sang "Ue o muite arukoo 'Let's walk facing up'" aka "Sukiyaki song" together, led by Mu-min.
At the event, attendees wrote a message to Japan on their cherry blossom pedal shaped program and made a big cherry blossom tree together. Outside the room, there was a bazaar where people enjoyed searching for good deals.
The Japanese Language Program is grateful for the help from their friends, without which the event could not have happened. The thank yous go to:
The total of the donated money was $1,109.75. The money was collected and sent to the Japanese Red Cross by the Japan Student Association.
Arigato!June 28th, 2011