Language and culture are deeply intertwined, as language reflects the underlying culture.  Being Chinese literate,opens a new window, into another dimension, that brings in thoughts and wisdoms of the 5000 years history of Chinese civilisation. This site is dedicated to anyone facing the long and winding road ahead in their quests for mastery of the language and culture. 

The Chinese language is extremely rich and deep. It is certaintly not an easy language to master. Studying and understanding the Chinese language should also encompass the study of culture, history and philosophy. Thus without the overall understanding, one’s understanding of Chinese language will certaintly be inadequate.

I have developed a set of tools (Zicsoft Learn Chinese Dictionary) to help Chinese learners in this regards. Hopefully many of you will find it useful, as I have certaintly benefitted from it.

The issue of systematic demonisation of China by mainstream Western media is of immense  interest to me. One of the reasons for this sorry state of affair is that many are  ignorance of what really is happening in China today, due to the barrier of language or culture and past cold war mentality. There is also a prevailing  attitude of supremacy (due to past success of the West  in last two hundred years) as described by the eminent Singaporean thinker and diplomat, Kishore Mahbubani:

Well I think, the one of the paradox is about the times we live in by the way is that the best educated societies and the best informed societies in terms of the flows of information are the West, but the West lives in a cocoon. There is an incestuous dialogue that takes place among Western intellectuals. They talk to each other, reinforce each other’s notions and they think that their view of the world is real view of the world, but it represents the perception of 12% of the world’s population. The 88% who live outside the West have a much better understanding of the realities of the world than the West does, and this is one of the great paradoxes of our time. The people outside the West understand clearly what the strengths and weaknesses of Western societies are. The good that Western societies are doing and the harm that Western societies are doing: all that is also very well known in the rest of the world. So, I think this is the paradox that we face, that the West which is suppose to be representing the most open society, is the most open civilization, is progressively becoming closed-minded and its approach to rest of the world.

I believe one needs to think beyond the Western-centric box, and evaluate  wisdoms  from diverse civilizations, in order to have meaningful  understandings and of empathies  of many  issues facing people of different cultures and practices, in our increasingly small  but diverse world. Without adequate exposure and understanding of different perspectives, the thinking cap is actually narrow, self-referential and self-centred.

Unfortunately, many people  (especially the West) have  little exposure to narratives from outside the mainstream Western news media or views. Control of information is actual higly advance in the West. Most people in the West are just plainly unaware of the propaganda being disseminated  by the political and economic interest groups, believing that it could only happen in China or communist countries.

China is an old civilizational state that was forced in modernity. The Chinese civilization is being revitalised and modernised in the process. The Chinese are not shy to admit learning a lot from the West. Just as the  East has  learnt much  from the West,  there is also much that the West can learn from the East.


2 Responses to Introduction

  1. Hugo Lowenstein says:

    I wonder how I can email my ideas here? I have some China ideas, and I will like you to see them? Do they fit with the Chinese model? Thank you!

  2. kchew says:

    Hi Hugo,
    You can certainty post comments over here, if you don’t mind.

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