A Cultural Dictionary of The Chinese Language : 500 Proverbs, Idioms and Maxims 文化五百条 book cover
1st Edition

A Cultural Dictionary of The Chinese Language
500 Proverbs, Idioms and Maxims 文化五百条

ISBN 9781138907300
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A Cultural Dictionary of the Chinese Language introduces the 500 most important cultural traits of the Chinese as reflected in language use, especially in Chinese idioms (chengyu), proverbs and colloquial expressions (suyu).

Communicative competence, the ultimate goal of language learning, consists of not only linguistic, but intercultural competence, which enables the language learner to speak with fluency and understanding. The Chinese language is richly imbued with cultural wisdoms and values underlying the appropriateness of idioms in the Chinese language.

The Dictionary provides Intermediate and B1-C1 level learners as well as scholars of the Chinese language with an essential reference book as well as a useful cultural reader.

Table of Contents

Introduction | Acknowledgments | List of Entries | 1. Overall (总论)  | 2. National Character (民族性格) | 3. Religion, Philosophy, Politics, History (宗教, 哲学, 政治, 历史) |  4. Life, Society, Arts, Literature (生活, 社会, 艺术, 文学) | 5. Social Relations, Family, Women, Education (社会关系, 家庭, 女人, 教育) |  6.  Nature, Animals, Language (自然, 动物, 语言) | Appendix 1: English index of entries | Appendix 2: Alphabetical index of Chinese entries | Appendix 3: Alphabetical index of Chinese expressions in footnotes | Appendix 4: Index of entries by their cultural value | Appendix 5: A brief chronology of Chinese history (to 1912)

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Liwei Jiao is Lecturer of Chinese at Brown University, USA. Besides his rich 20-years of experience of teaching Chinese at various levels at Renmin University of China, the University of Durham and the University of Pennsylvania, he publishes extensively in Chinese phraseology, language and culture, and Chinese phonetics. Among his many publications are 500 Common Chinese Idioms (co-authored, 2010), 500 Common Chinese Proverbs and Colloquial Expressions (co-authored, 2013), The Routledge Advance Chinese Multimedia Course (co-authored, 2009, 2014); and A Thematic Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese (co-authored, 2019). He is a contributor to the Routledge Encyclopedia of the Chinese Language (ed. Chan Sin Wai, 2016) and Encyclopedia of China (3rd edition, forthcoming).


A Cultural Dictionary of the Chinese Language is less a dictionary than a well-indexed compendium of cultural insights and lore embedded in Chinese linguistic usages, aphorisms, and epigrams.....aimed at intermediate students of China, its language, and culture, and even the most advanced (and some native speakers) will find it informative and insightful. This is a must-have reference for anyone seeking to understand the sources of Chinese behavior.

 Chas W. Freeman, Jr., Ambassador (Ret.), principal American interpreter during President Nixon's path-breaking 1972 visit to Beijing.