Course Syllabus of Introduction to Chinese Characters
1. Course Summary
This course shall introduce the system of Chinese characters according to the modern student’s needs. It will be conducted in two semesters. The first semester focuses mainly on overall characteristics and peculiarities of Chinese characters, beginning with an explanation of the difference between ideographic and phonetic Chinese characters, and herewith to clarify various phenomena of Chinese characters (in form, pronunciation and meaning) from this basic difference, in addition providing an understanding of the dictionary and its usage. In the second semester, we shall survey the evolution of Chinese characters in specific eras: starting from the prehistoric age which marks the birth of Chinese characters, we trace how Chinese character structures blossom and unfold, and how the genesis of famous forms of calligraphy come to be. Finally, we shall conclude this course by making some observations of the modern reform and innovation of Chinese characters.
2. Course Objectives
After this class, the student should have good overall knowledge of the theory and history of Chinese characters as a firm basis for further understanding Chinese literature and culture. In addition this course is also good for would-be graduates who might want to do research work on Chinese characters.
3. Course Requirements
Please refer to the Chinese version of this syllabus for references. Also there are hand-outs written for this class which can be used together with the reference books.
5. Grade Calculation
Mid-Term Exam 30％
Final Exam 40％
Class Performance（including assignments, quiz tests, class participation and course notes） 30％
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