Happy Double Ninth Day

This year the Double Ninth Day, or 重阳节 (Chóngyángjié) in Chinese, falls on 4th October. It is traditionally an occasion for showing respect to the elderly or ancestors, as well as attaching special importance to families. One of the customary cultures of practice is to climb a hill to a high place (爬山登高 pá shān dēng gāo) and think of their departing family members with good wishes.

In contemporary times it is an occasion for outdoor exercising (户外运动 hùwài yùndòng) such as excursion (远足 yuǎn zú). In Belfast, the Cave Hill is such a great outdoor site for both local and international residents to go hiking. The photos below are from Ziqing Wei (魏子晴), a postgraduate in interpreting, who recently went out with her friends to climb the Cave Hill for fun.

‘远离城市的浮躁和喧嚣,感受大自然,在山顶眺望远方海天相接处,享受内心的宁静。’

Translation: It’s great to be able to distance myself from the hustle and bustle of the urban life and to appreciate the peace of mind when I can embrace the nature, looking afar from the top of the Hill until the end where the sky and the sea disappear into thin air.

Chinese course enrolment and call for volunteers

With the approaching of the new semester we are pleased to announce that the Language Centre course enrolment starts at 00:30 on Thursday 1st September. We offer over 80 classes in 14 different languages, including Chinese, that have both online and in person teaching. All classes will commence week beginning Monday 10 Oct 2022.

Online registration will be closed on Thursday 6 Oct and we welcome all to make an early registration as courses are extremely popular and fill up quickly.

Class schedule and registration links are accessible via Language Centre website.

Chinese language courses are offered from level 1 to level 5.

Call for volunteers

We are looking for talented students and staff members to volunteer for our Chinese language and cultural events at Queen’s. It could be in the form of a variety of cultural performances, or language/culture-related topics and skills, and is open to both Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese speaking volunteers.

We look forward to working with you in our future events.

Read the Chinese version here.

When The Teachers’ Day Meets Mid-Autumn Festival

Following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we think that it is appropriate and respectful to postpone our Mid-Autumn Festival celebration event. The event will be rescheduled and a further notice will be made soon.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a great occasion for family reunion in the Chinese culture, and we hope that you will join us in sending our condolences to the Royal Family on the loss of their most important family member.

Photo: The Lanyon Building with QUB flag flying at half-mast | ©LiangWANG

You may click to read QUB tribute in English and in Chinese.

It is so special that this year the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on today, Saturday 10th Sept, which coincides with the Teachers’ Day in China. Although we will not be able to get together in person to celebrate this double-festival day, we would like to send our warmest wishes to all who share this culture from QUB and elsewhere.

We have seen our students finding their ways of making mooncakes by themselves with passion and creativity. In the following video clip contributed by Qi SHUAI, you may find it interesting to see how mooncakes can be made by using local materials while she feels being distant (and homesick) from their home.

“去年中秋节的时候我还在家里收拾行囊准备开始我的留学之旅,而现在我已经出国一年了,离开父母整整一年了。中国有句古话“每逢佳节倍思亲”,自从出国开始,每次在异国他乡过中国传统节日时候总是更加认真也更加去认真过节。虽然很想念家里的亲人朋友,但也因为种种原因没有办法把回国列入档期。中秋节算是在中国人心中重要程度仅此于春节的传统节日,因为中秋的节日核心就是在月亮下和家人团团圆圆。但中国还有一句古话“明月千里寄相思”,离开家的我只能望月怀远,将寄明月,把想念化为一句句祝福和一块块月饼。”

(Translation: Last Mid-Autumn Festival I was still packing up at home for my overseas study and now it has been a year since I left my parents. As the Chinese saying goes, one would double-miss their family when it comes to festivals for reunion, I am always keen to celebrate the traditional Chinese festivals when I travel away from home. Once again, now I miss my family and friends so much, although I don’t know a date to return yet. The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important event after the Spring Festival to Chinese families, as the full and bright moon in autumn symbolises a great occasion for family reunion. However, as I’m at a distant place, I have to borrow another saying that one can only pass on thoughts to their beloved through sharing the full and bright moon. Hence, I look up and afar, praying that the Mid-Autumn moon will share my best wishes and my hand-made mooncakes to the people I love and care in China.)

We would also like to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to the faculties both in Queen’s and elsewhere for a very relaxing Chinese Teachers’ Day!

A photo of two frames with thank-you messages to teachers, a spider plant as decoration, taken in 2018 | ©LiangWANG

Well, then, did you know when the World Teachers’ Day is and if there are any special date for teachers in your culture? Please share with us in the comment box below.

For our Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations and Chinese Teachers’ Day posts in the past, you may wish to read the following entries:

Happy graduation

It was another day filled with celebrations, music, champagne, and smiles on campus as graduation continues. While we would like to say congratulations to all our graduates, we dedicate this special post to two students –

On Friday 1st July, Isabella (苏蔓伊) and Caleb (白威凯), two students from Queen’s Management School on International Business with Mandarin Chinese degree pathways, rejoiced with their families and their teacher Dr Liang WANG to cheer for their successful graduation from Queen’s.

Celebrations with a forget-me-not photo

They are the first cohort of graduates following this pathway at Queen’s and they deserve the great efforts after spending 3 years of study plus one year work placement. Congratulations!

We would like to send our very best wishes for their future and hope that they learn from what they have experienced for the preparation for what they aim to achieve.

千里之行,始于足下
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

For any students who are interested in our International Business with Mandarin Chinese programme, please visit the course page.

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International Museum Day

Happy International Museum Day! 国际博物馆日快乐 (Guójì Bówùguǎn Rì kuàilè)!

Falling on 18th May since 1977, the International Museum Day has been a unique occasion for the global communities of museum goers and professionals to celebrate. This year’s theme of celebration is ‘The Power of Museums’.

The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness about the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

International Council Of Museums

What does it mean by ‘The Power of Museums’ to you? How would it be possible that we, as visitors, can be empowered by museums? Today, we are delighted to invite WANG Xi (王曦), who specialises in museum with technologies for enhancing accessibility and just passed her PhD viva successfully, to explain her understanding of empowering visitors of special need through enhancing technological design in her project for the Titanic Museum (泰坦尼克博物馆 Tàitǎnníkè Bówùguǎn).

WANG Xi has been working at Queen’s University Belfast as a Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher since 2018 and completed her PhD in Translation Studies at the School of Arts, English and Languages in May 2022. Her research interests are in museum accessibility. She currently works with world leading tourist attraction Titanic Belfast and RNIB to investigate novel access options that employ new technologies to improve accessibility and visitor experience for blind and partially sighted visitors.

Research project: Investigating Technologies to Enrich Museum Audio Description for Enhancing Accessibility

Museums are typically dominated by visual experiences. This means that people who are blind or partially sighted (BPS) tend to be excluded from several aspects of the visitor experience, including emotional engagement. The purpose of this practice-led research project was to explore ways in which smart software-enabled technologies could be used to enrich audio description (AD) and to enhance accessibility and visitor experience for BPS visitors. Working with Titanic Belfast and RNIB NI, I pioneered three approaches that combine a commitment to low-cost accessibility solutions and emotionally engaged visitor experience.

Titanic Museum, Belfast | Image@XiWang

This project first presented a study of BPS visitor experience in Titanic Belfast, and applied for the first time existing models of visitor experience in the context of accessibility.

Visitors touching the carpets | Image@XiWang

Next, based on the feedback from this study, I developed and evaluated a new approach to accessibility which used a multisensory smart map to present a journey-based story of Titanic’s maiden voyage. The smart map used readily available materials and affordable technologies, such as Raspberry-Pi. It also used software-controlled multi-function buttons to enable BPS users to autonomously select the desired AD and level of detail.

Touching A Smart Map | Image@XiWang

Finally, I proposed a major extension to the standard passive audio descriptive device by developing an interactive voice-driven museum audio descriptive guide for Titanic Belfast (TBot), with built-in navigation instructions and a free format Question and Answer facility. This TBot uses text-to-speech technology to generate AD from a textual knowledge base, speech recognition for input, to voice-activate the device; and a design platform that easily enables museum staff to produce, update and customise the chatbot.

Thanks to the funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Training Programme, I was able to run the 4-year-long project to investigate, develop and test innovative access options for BPS visitors, using new technologies within diverse museum environments. It has contributed several methods to enrich AD for enhancing museum accessibility and visitor experience for BPS visitors both theoretically and practically.

Author: WANG Xi
Editor: Martin Duffy

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Celebrating Chinese Language Day

联合国中文节快乐!(Liánhé Guó Zhōngwén jié kuàilè) Happy UN Chinese Language Day!

The Chinese language is one of the six official languages used in the United Nations and together with Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish, each of them is designated with a date to ‘celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization’.

Celebrating Chinese Language Day at Queen’s, Image@LiangWang

On Wednesday 13th April, just before the university’s Easter closure, The Language Centre organised a small-scale celebration with students – both Chinese and non-Chinese – at the McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast. This is the first on-campus in-person Chinese event after a two-year-long isolation working from home.

Small but highly interactive with lots of fun, the cohort not only learned about the culture of this special day, but also explored a range of Chinese language resources and platforms in support of intercultural language learning both online and in physical settings.

The third semester language course enrolment remains open until Thursday 21st April. Check Mandarin Chinese course page for more details.

– With Kristoff, Sijie, Guangyan and Jiaqi (from left to right), Image@LiangWang

Call for participation –

  • Event 1 – We would like to hear your interesting stories about experience of using Chinese language in an intercultural context. This can be a Chinese-speaking person helping their international friends or learners of Chinese with the language, in which a misunderstanding or miscommunication took place, or a learner of Chinese encountering various situations when Chinese language was used in a creative but funny way.
  • Event 2Chinese and Irish Traditional Music – The Language of The Sound. We warmly welcome you, especially QUB students, to attend the student-led event at Queen’s on Saturday 28/05. Details and registration information will be published soon.
  • Event 3 – We are inviting volunteers to contribute to the Duanwu Festival (Friday 03/06) celebration in a variety of ways. It can be a culture workshop, performance, demo, talent show, photo or short video of your cultural celebration etc., as long as they are interactive and engaging.
  • Regular eventsChinese Culture Forum 2022. While we will do our best to arrange the sessions on topics or issues of potential interest, we are open to suggestions and proposals from you – whether you are a Queen’s staff member, or a student, or a visiting scholar, or a professional from the outside.

You are all welcome to contact us by filling the Reply box (background, proposed topic, ways of delivery, availability, etc.)

One day in London

Monday 28th March – What an intense and packed day at the UCL Institute of Education for our students Isabella and Caleb from Queen’s Management School, together with Dr Liang Wang from The Language Centre, to help with promoting the University and its International Business with Mandarin Chinese programme, among a cohort of a dozen of universities from the rest of the UK. 

It was great to be in attendance at the UK Schools and Universities Day 2022, sharing details of our offer, listening to what prospective students’ interests and concerns are, and joining in discussions on how to strengthen the ties between schools and universities across the UK in terms of Chinese language provision. As a final year student of International Business with Chinese, Isabella noted that: 

‘I learned a lot about what other universities across the UK were offering in relation to studying Mandarin Chinese, and spoke to staff of universities and schools from whom I understood there is a demand for studying Mandarin at university, particularly in conjunction with other subjects, such as business, sciences, arts, law and other languages.’ 

For any students who are interested in our International Business with Mandarin Chinese programme, please visit the course page.  

Longtaitou Festival

What’s Longtaitou Festival?

The traditional Chinese Longtaitou (龙抬头 Lóng tái tóu) Festival, or Dragon-Head-Raising Festival, falls on the second day of the second lunar month every year, and recognises the start of spring and farming. This year it falls on 4th March.

Dragon Dance at the Chinese New Year Celebrations at Queen’s in 2020

In Chinese mythology, 龙 (Chinese dragon or coined as Loong), with its connotations for good luck and supreme power, is also the god managing weather and water, bring rainfalls for crops to grow and harvest. So this Longtaitou Festival is mainly about praying for good weather in spring with good rainfalls, the key time for plowing the fields.

Learning Chinese language and culture at Queen’s

3rd Semester Language Course Registration is open and closes promptly at 17:00 on Thursday 21 April 2022. Classes are expected to be extremely popular and fill up quickly, so early registration is strongly recommended.

To register with a Mandarin Chinese course, please follow the course information page for more information with links to registrations.

2022 Chinese Language Video Festival launched

‘China Chic’: Chinese Language Video Festival launched to celebrate UN Chinese Language Day

CGTN.COM

The theme this year is “China Chic” – a modern take on traditional Chinese heritage from young people around the world. As China has continued to progress and innovate, unique cultural elements have been adapted to fit the very latest trends, with the younger generation increasingly aware of regional differences.

All non-native Chinese speakers from around the world are invited to submit an original video showcasing the beauty of Chinese traditions and how they are incorporated into the modern world.

Read CGTN for more details.

Translating Friel: ‘The Widowhood System’ (1964) as a Chinese audiobook

布莱恩.弗里尔的中国式重现——《咕家寡人》剧本朗读与研讨

  • Date: Friday 4th March 2022
  • Time: 18:30 – 19:45 GMT
  • Venue: Brian Friel Theatre, 20 University Square, Queen’s University, Belfast BT7 1NN
  • Language: English/Chinese
  • Booking: Eventbrite (free, but advanced booking essential)

Join us for an audio journey that brings together 1960s Northern Ireland and 21st Century China. Alongside excerpts from the original English version, Chinese Students from the Centre for Translating and Interpreting (CTI) at Queen’s University will narrate a new translated adaptation of Brian Friel’s short story ‘The Widowhood System’. 

The Widowhood System是一个由布莱恩.弗里尔写于二十世纪六十年代的爱尔兰故事。三个嗜酒如命的中年单身汉,为了追逐埋藏于心多年的赛鸽梦,开始了一场堂吉诃德式的养鸽之旅。殊不知,赛鸽的命运和他们的人生产生了奇妙的重合……

大半个世纪后,一群来到贝尔法斯特的中国留学生在故纸堆里发现了这个故事,他们决定用自己的方式把它讲述出来,于是便有了《咕家寡人》。

About this event

What effect does translation have in transporting a story across time and space? When the page is adapted for the stage, what role does a translator play? What happens when a translator, often considered as the one doing the paperwork, leaves their desk to work as a theatre practitioner?

In this script reading and discussion event, co-organized by CTI, Friel Reimagined, and the Brian Friel Theatre, the translator, Chuchu, the music producer, Kehan and the actors will present the original text, the translated work and the procedure of the adaptation— a Chinese audiobook based on the story ‘The Widowhood System’ by the great Irish playwright Brian Friel. With the original text in English, the Chinese voice actors reading the translated version, and the translator sharing the background of the translation and adaptation process, this event aims to provide a unique insight into how a translated play is produced and presented.

活动简介 

翻译,改编,排演,录制一出广播剧是一种怎样的体验?让一群21世纪的中国年轻人讲述一个1960年代的爱尔兰故事,会碰撞出什么奇妙的火花?

此次剧本朗读会,将由音乐制作人可瀚带领来自女王大学口笔译中心,以及计算机学院的中国演员们,呈现《咕家寡人》的部分内容。以舞台表演与原创音效相配合,给大家带来一场跨越时空的听觉盛宴。朗读结束后,译者楚楚将带领大家走进戏剧翻译的台前与幕后,揭秘《咕家寡人》的制作过程。大家也可以畅所欲言,和主创团队分享自己对于故事的感受,提出宝贵建议。

一起来听故事吧!说不定,你能在这个故事里,看到你自己。

Translator Profile 译者简介 

Shurui Yang, aka Chuchu, is a PhD in translation from Center of Translation and Interpreting. Supervised by Prof. David Johnston and Dr. Kathleen Kaess, she mainly focuses on translating Brian Friel’s work from English into Chinese.

杨姝睿(楚楚),女王大学口笔译中心翻译博士在读。师从戏剧翻译家David Johnston教授与Kathleen Kaess博士。主要研究方向为布莱恩·弗里尔的戏剧翻译。

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