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.
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.
For any students who are interested in our International Business with Mandarin Chinese programme, please visit the course page.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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 2 – Chinese 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 events – Chinese 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.)
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.
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.
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.
‘China Chic’: Chinese Language Video Festival launched to celebrate UN Chinese Language Day
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.
Venue: Brian Friel Theatre, 20 University Square, Queen’s University, Belfast BT7 1NN
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……
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.
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.
Please note that The Language Centre is not involved in this competition provision. Any queries regarding this competition shall be sent to the organiser directly.
2022 Chinese Competition of Charitable Projects & Business Innovations for UK University Students
Following the successful running of the online Chinese Competition of Charitable Projects and Business Innovations for UK University Students in 2020 and 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Competition will be held in April 2022, organised by Centre for Language Education and Cooperation, UK.
Competition Date: 10th April 2022 (Sunday)
Format: Zoom Online
Contestants’ Qualifications: Undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students studying at schools, faculties, departments, Confucius Institutes and language centers of the UK universities and people who take part-time courses, short courses and/or evening classes at the UK universities in 2021 to 2022. The mother tongue is not Chinese and the key family members’ mother tongue is not Chinese.
Theme: Topics related to charitable projects and business innovations, including but not limited to charitable projects, business plans, product introductions, introduction of companies and enterprises, business cases, project initiatives and market researches.
Content: Speech presentation*: 8 to 10 minutes Q&A: 5 minutes *Remarks: If there are videos produced by the contestant imbedded in the presentation, the videos can be no more than twice and longer than 1 minute.
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Prizes: Contestants who rank top 6 of the competition will be awarded certificates and partial contribution to the return airfare of undertaking work placement and/or attending business Chinese classes in China. The rest of the contestants will be awarded certificate of participation of the competition and souvenirs.
Enrollment: 1) Contestants please complete and submit the online application form together with the speech synopsis and other required supporting documents no later than 5pm on 11th March (Friday) 2) Participating universities please email the signed and dated confirmation form to the Organising Committee on later than 5pm on the 11th March (Friday).
Number of Contestants: In principle no more than 3 contestants from each participating university.
Support from the industry: Senior business personnel of the UK based key Chinese entreprises and companies and the local British counterparts will join the judging panel of the competition and provide awards for the competition as well as offer work placement for prominent contestants of the competition.
Contact: Name: Christina Zhang Email: email@example.com
The Chinese New Year is conventionally known as Spring Festival (春节 chūnjié) in China, which welcomes the arrival of spring despite of the cold weather that remains. People are full of hope for a new start in their life when the world comes back to life.
With thanks to our talented graduate Tang LI, we hope that you will be able to enjoy this melody and beautiful Chinese sign language dance.
Song: Early Spring (《春三月》)
Performer: Tang LI, graduate from Queen’s University Management School
The meaning and translation of the Chinese sign language dance:
niǎo’r rào zhǐyuān shēngshēng sù 鸟儿 绕 纸鸢 声声 诉 The birds dance with the paper kite, cooing and wooing. sānyuè lái bǎi cǎo kāi 三 月 来 百 草 开 The grass blooms in March yíng xiāng mǎn xiù wàn wù sū 盈 香 满 袖 万 物 苏 The air is full of fragrance as the earth comes back to life. chóng míng hé zhe huānxiào xīnshì shū 虫 鸣 和 着 欢笑 心事 舒 The insects sing cheerfully, with no worries in mind. sānyuè lái nuǎn yáng fù 三 月 来 暖 阳 复 The world has warmed since March xiāng xié qù tàqīng chù 相 携 去 踏青 处 as the people venture out, a new green world to find mò shàng huā kāi mǎn lù xiāng rù tǔ 陌 上 花 开 满 路 香 入 土 Flowers bloom everywhere alongside the paths and the soil was soaked with incense. sānyuè lái yǒu guī rén 三 月 来 有 归 人 As people return in March mǎ tà qiǎn cǎo shēng cuīcù 马 踏 浅 草 声 催促 with horses treading the shallow grass, chūn yǒu qī guī yǒu rì 春 有 期 归 有 日 Spring has its term and people know to expect it. jīn guī tú 今 归 途 As people return again sānyuè lái shēng qíngsù 三 月 来 生 情愫 They plant their sentiment in March chūn gāng fù 春 刚 复 As Spring arrives again qíng rù gǔ 情 入 骨 The sentiment is so profound that it has been rooted to the people’s bones jiè lǚ dōng fēng hù sù 借 缕 东 风 互 诉 whispering to one another through the spring breeze xiāng ài mù 相 爱 慕 their love and affection for each other.
Writing Spring Festival Couplets (春联 chūnlián) and characters such as Fu (福 fú, fortune) and the character of the due zodiac sign, is one of the most common and important customs when celebrating Chinese New Year among Chinese households both home and abroad.
We are grateful to our guest calligrapher, Mr Xiaodong Huang, Director of Tian Yingzhang Calligaphy Academy (Shenzhen), to demonstrate his calligraphy with the greeting message through Spring Festival Couplets and hope you enjoy it.
[Script] A Spring Festival greeting from Shenzhen, China. [Sound] On the arrival of the New Year, I wish you all a year of power and forth, and that all your hopes become true.
0:17 [script] The arrival of the New Year brings the fortune to us. The character Fu means fortune and it’s coming.
0:37 [script] There are many ways of writing the character Fu (福 fú, fortune).
1:08 [script] The regular script of writing the character of Hu (虎 hǔ, tiger).
1:48 [script] The semi-cursive script of writing the character of Hu (虎 hǔ, tiger)
2:14 [script] The cursive script of writing the character of Hu (虎 hǔ, tiger)
2:27 [script] There is no Spring Festival without spring couplet. The first half reads ‘The golden tiger brings its power to powder the spring’ in meaning.
4:32 [script] The second half reads ‘The great fortune blesses peace at the transition between the old and new years’.
5:30 [sound] A Chinese folk song starts
6:30 [script] The title of spring couplet reads ‘Awe-inspiring grandeur remains forever’.