Chinese Idiom Stories and Chinese Philosophies season 1
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Chinese Idiom Stories and Chinese Philosophies season 1

learn popular Chinese idioms and the link of their source stories with four major schools of classical Chinese philsophy
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
226 students enrolled
Created by Hong Zeng
Last updated 6/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $20 Discount: 40% off
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  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • They will learn most popular Chinese idioms and their usage, their source stories in philosophical and historical work
  • They will learn the central values of four major classical Chinese philosophies
  • They will learn the connection between these idiom stories and the major thoughts of classical Chinese philosophy
View Curriculum
  • Preferably the students have learned College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Beginning Level

    Chinese idioms were originated from the ancient Chinese historical and philosophical works, crystallizing the wisdom of Chinese culture through thousands of years. They have become familiar daily language of today spoken by ordinary Chinese people in daily life. Being able to use them adroitly will lend vividness, authenticity, humor and refinement to your conversation and writing. The language in the Chinese idiom stories studied in this course encompasses the realms of politics, literature, military, philosophy and culture, which will enrich your Chinese vocabulary in all fields. This course particularly emphasizes the link of Chinese idiom stories with the four greatest indigenous classical Chinese philosophies. For example, you will study the idioms coming from Confucius’ Analects, that embody the Confucian ideas of benevolent rule, importance of study, the relationship between monarch and ministers; you will study the idioms coming from Taoist philosopher Lao Zi ‘s Tao Te Ching and Zhuang Zi’s Complete Works of Zhuang Zi, which exemplify Taoist ideas of the opposition of cosmic and human knowledge, the omniscient perspective from the sky achieved through self-emptiness, the Taoist conception of intuitive wisdom versus acquired learning, Taoist idea of making no distinction, and opposition to Confucian ethical order, Taoist dialectics in which the opposites are transformable into each other; you will also learn the Pacifist idea of Mohism, its advocacy of universal love and opposition to war, and its strikingly ingenious use of analogy in winning arguments over rivals with much greater worldly power; you will also study the forceful measure of army and law advocated by Legalism, its idea of highly unified and centralized power consolidated by war and forceful state machine, its demand of uniformity and consistency, which are in sharp contrast to the Pacifist idea of Mohism. All these central values of different schools of philosophies are learned through riveting, compelling idiom stories with ingenious arguments different from the typical methods of argument in the Western tradition. These stories give flesh and blood and humor to these profound philosophies.

     For each idiom story, there are three lectures, the first lecture is text practice of the idiom stories: I will lead you to learn the vocabulary, explain to you sentence by sentence the text, and lead you to read the text twice, and ask you questions about the texts; the second lecture will teach you how to use the idioms in sentences, both grammatically and meaningfully. The source stories of these idioms all carry each school’s philosophical implication where they come from, but evolves into more generic meaning in which the philosophical implication is receded. The third lecture will be my talk-head video speaking these stories, so that you can review them and understand them without the text.

    Chinese idioms are living fossils of language that are still extremely popular in daily conversation today, and will definitely lend humor, refinement, vividness and authenticity in your communication with Chinese people. You will find your Chinese acquire a new height with this course.

Who is the target audience?
  • Students interested in Chinese language and culture
  • preferably having taken my College Mandarin Chinese on Your Own Beginning Level
Compare to Other Chinese Language Courses
Curriculum For This Course
43 Lectures
1 Lecture 03:53
idioms originated from Confucianism
14 Lectures 02:20:57

苛政猛于虎也 acting video

始作俑者text practice part 1

始作俑者 text practice 2

始作俑者 acting video

废寝忘食 text practice part 1

废寝忘食 text practice part 2

废寝忘食 acting video

完璧归赵 part 1

完璧归赵 part 2

完璧归赵 acting video


如鱼得水 acting video

How to Use Idioms part 1
Idioms originated from Taoism
20 Lectures 03:09:12
井底之蛙 text practice part 1

井底之蛙text practice part 2

井底之蛙 acting video

东施效颦 text practice

东施效颦 acting video

塞翁失马 part 1 text practice

塞翁失马 part 2 text practice

塞翁失马 acting video

安居乐业 text practice

安居乐业 acting video

朝三暮四 text practice

朝三暮四 acting video

游刃有余 part 1 text practice

游刃有余 part 2 text practice

游刃有余 acting video

相濡以沫 text practice

相濡以沫 acting video

鹏程万里text practice

鹏程万里 acting video

How to Use Idioms part 2
Idioms originated from Mohism and Legalism
8 Lectures 01:07:57
墨守成规text practice part 1

墨守成规 text practice part 2

墨守成规 acting video

自相矛盾 text practice

自相矛盾 acting video

守株待兔 text practice

守株待兔 acting video

How to use idioms part 3
About the Instructor
Hong Zeng
4.6 Average rating
178 Reviews
5,473 Students
25 Courses
Professor of Chinese language and literature; comparative literature; film study

I am an award-winning professor of Chinese, director of "Hong Zeng's Chinese Language and Culture". I have taught Mandarin Chinese at all levels in prestigious American colleges altogether for 16 years. I have taught nine years as a tenure-track professor of Chinese at Carleton College, ranked No. 1 in undergraduate teaching in all liberal arts colleges in America, and have directed the Chinese program for two years at Hamline University (the first university in Minnesota). In both my second year coming to Carleton and Hamline, I more than doubled their Beginning Chinese Class enrollment. I have also taught at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I have two PhDs, one in Chinese and comparative literature from UNC, Chapel Hill, the other in second language education, literary translation and English literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University. I have published five books in America (including two from Macmillan) on Chinese and comparative literature, film study, language study and language philosophy that are well-endorsed by world-renowned experts and book review journals in my field. I have earned 30000 dollars large grant from Asian Network in Chinese study.