The Future of Global Language and the Rise of Chinese Terminologies (PKU Public Talk)

Public Lecture: Future of Global Language and Rise of Chinese Terminologies

by Thorsten Pattberg, IAHS, PKU

Oct 17, 2013 – Chinese words are underrepresented in the English language for a variety of reasons but mainly because –commencing from the 17th century – the entire Confucian tradition has been meticulously translated into convenient and familiar European vocabularies. For example, China’s single most important archetypes of wisdom, the ‘shengren,’ have been rendered as “saints,” “philosophers,” or “sages;” likewise the Confucian ‘junzi’ have been called “gentlemen,” “superior personalities,” or “noble people;” and so on. It will be argued, however, that the original terms and correct names should matter to the Chinese world, especially in today’s age of knowledge, branding and intellectual property rights, which surely extend, or should extend, into the realms of Culture. Henceforth, this talk supports the notion that more Chinese key concepts should be adopted into the future Global language.