Exploring Language and Culture: English vs. Chinese Idioms

Are human experiences universal or culturally specific? This has been an ongoing debate when it comes to cultural studies. Through the analysis of property of culture and proverb, it can be known that proverb can help one to understand a culture. The way proverb reveals culture diversity can be connected with the patterns of value dimension, which conveys the information of a culture’s deep meaning. Although culture diversity mainly reveals the culture difference, there are common aspects between cultures. This talk uses a comparative analysis looking into Chinese and English proverbs. It aims to take you on a journey of exploring fun facts about proverbs used in both languages.  It is suitable for any language lovers and anyone who’s curious about Chinese language and culture. 


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Catherine Xiang (MEd, PhD) is an established author and applied linguist with rich experience in the higher education as well as high profile consultancy industry to businesses that wish to engage with China. She is Coordinator of East Asian Languages at LSE, Programme Director for BSc International Relations and Chinese; as well as UK Director for LSE Confucius Institute for Business London. Originally from Shanghai, she is skilled in intercultural communication, translation, foreign languages, lecturing, TV and public speaking. She is also an expert in e-learning and innovation in language learning. Her recent publications include Mastering Chinese – a Complete Textbook for Beginners, Audio-visual Media in Language Education and the forthcoming – China Ready – Chinese for Tourism and Hospitality. In addition to her roles at LSE, she is an executive member of the British Chinese Language Teaching Society, a school governor and chief examiner of Charted Institute of Linguists. She has recently launched her own YouTube channel espresso” teaching the relationship between Chinese characters and words.

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