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Interlanguage Pragmatics-Chinese





  1. Definition of linguistics

  2. Native and nonnative speakers

  3. Thesis

  1. History

  1. The emergence of missionaries

  2. Introduction of mission schools

  3. Introduction of Chinese literacy books

  1. Subjective

  1. Politeness

  2. Strategy

  3. Linguistic form to convey

  1. Conclusion

  1. of research

  2. Differences between the subjective

  3. Factors that led to these differences


Linguisticsis the study of languages, and some people have specialized and arewell trained to do this line of work. This work is hectic and at thesame time enjoyable since linguistics will have to move in withpeople from a different community or ethnic group and stay with themfor quite a long period (Ning &amp Montanaro, 2012). This is becauseto study a certain language, one needs to be acutely aware of theculture of these individuals, to become one of them. However, somecommunities are too secretive with their culture and may givelinguistics biased or rather outdated information. Nonnatives arethose individuals that do not understand or have proficiency in aparticular language of the people they live with from childhood. Tolive among people from different cultures and that speak a differentlanguage is difficult and in most cases communication may not beeffective. Therefore, it is important to study and learn the languageto mix freely and participate in activities in the region. Scholarsnowadays extend their education and travel abroad to continuelearning. It is only right that such individuals learn and know aboutthe people that inhabit the place they are going so as to comprehendhow to communicate with them effectively without beingmisinterpreted. This is because the way people live, relate, andcommunicate with each other in a particular community is differentfrom other societies (Barmeyer &amp Franklin, 2016). The objectiveof this essay is to study and analyze the history of the nonnativespeakers of the Chinese language and how they relate to the nativespeakers regarding politeness, the strategy applied to learn thelanguage, and the form in which they convey the language.


Accordingto research, China was one of the colonies of Egypt, and theirlanguage is believed to have matured from there. Other studies claimthat the Chinese characters were derived from hieroglyphs of theEgyptians. These studies continue to argue that the characters weredrawn representations of actions and feelings but not words. This isthe reason why many find it difficult to learn the language (Barmeyer&amp Franklin, 2016). A famous British architect, John Webb had hisown version of the story in and in his book &quotA HistoricalEndeavoring a Probability That the Language of the Empire of China isthe Primitive Language (1969)&quot. He claimed that Chinese was thelanguage people used to speak before God made people speak indifferent tongues. Following such claims, several other scholarsagreed with Webb. One of the most famous researchers was Bacon, whobelieved that it was only in the Chinese language that characters arenot represented by letters and gross but by notions and other things.

Themissionaries were the first non-native people in the land of Chinaand were the ones that started the serious learning of the languagein the West. The ministers’ main aim was to teach the natives aboutthe Bible and spread Christianity. The language barrier was thebiggest problem they faced since the natives only understood onelanguage (Ning &amp Montanaro, 2012). The first missionaries toarrive in Chinese land were believed to visit in the sixteenthcentury. They include Michele Ruggieri, Jesuits, and Matteo Ricci.These individuals are said to have mastered the language without theaid of any book and were considered to be among the first sinologistsfrom the West side. Ruggieri constructed the first mission school inMacau and taught the natives about Christianity. The school becamefamous, and many foreigners streamed into the country to be taughtthe language. Also, Ruggieri translated the Chinese language to Latinso as assist people from his region to learn about Chinese cultureand language.

Thereligious tract was also written by him and was the first bookwritten by a Westerner, in Chinese. On the other hand, the emergenceof these missionaries led to a lot of scientific innovations in theregion. Matteo Ricci was this individual and his work, and hisknowledge of the language was known all around by a lot of people andit was not long before he became one of the Chinese literati. Thiswas advantageous to him since it promoted his mission work and had alot of native followers and admirers. Furthermore, some of hisscientific books were collected and stored in the Siku Quanshu whichwas the imperial collector of Chinese literature works and classics(Pan &amp Kádár, 2013).

Thefirst Portuguese-Chinese dictionary was written by Ricci andRuggieri, with the help of Sabastiano Fernandez in between 1583 and1588. Another Chinese-Portuguese dictionary was written in the fallof winter in 1598 (Pan &amp Kádár, 2013). Ricci and Fernandezwere helped this time by Lazzaro Cattaneo, who was said to have amusical ear. These three individuals made the study of Chinese easierby introducing particular diacritical marks, which helped in themaking of the tones of Romanized Chinese.

Theearliest grammar in Chinese was first produced by Dominicanmissionaries that originated from Spain. Francisco Varo was one ofthe authors, and his work can still be referred to date. Nonetheless,it is essential to state that the grammar applied during this timewas sketchy hence not reliable. The first reliable grammar was fromJoseph Henri Marie de Premare whose work was appreciated and loved bymany. Also, his books were studied in schools by Chinese languagescholars. Many other publishers came into existence, and Chineselanguage became even more popular and internationally recognized.Over the years, China has grown concerning technology and educationand many countries have made initiatives to partner with it innumerous projects (Wang, 2011). The availability of the multipleresources in the country has led to many people from all around theglobe especially from the third world countries to stream into thecountry to continue with their studies and also learn the language.



Nonnativespeakers need to be aware that the way the inherent talkers view themwill differ on one point or another. This is to mean that certainmorals need to be observed so as to communicate with theseindividuals effectively. Politeness is a virtue that nonnatives needto know and practice each and every time. In most cases, secondlanguage speakers are from other ethnic groups and the way they carrythemselves around the natives is important (Pan &amp Kádár,2013). This is because of the difference in culture between these twoparties. Nonnatives need to portray themselves in such a way thatthey will be helped during research or when stranded. Politeness willearn them the trust of the natives, who can then assist them wherethey can in their projects. Failure to be polite will not get themfar, and some valuable information could be hidden from them.Moreover, a polite nonnative learner can observe the Chinese languagewith patience and diligence. The Chinese culture emphasizes the valueof respect between the young individuals and the elders, andpoliteness can be depicted when a person is reverential.


Thestrategy applied by nonnatives to acquire information is anotherimportant aspect that these individuals need to be aware of. Earlymissionaries had a rough time in learning the Chinese culture andlanguage. In this case, politeness is not necessary, even though itshould be applicable. The missionaries came into the country with theaim of spreading Christianity. At this time, the natives knew verylittle about these people and were reluctant before finally acceptingthem in their communities.

Thestrategies applied by these nonnatives were remarkable and earnedthem a lot trust in the region. To begin with, Ruggeiri constructedschools for the native. These schools were important to the membersof the community for their children got to learn how to read andwrite (Wang, 2011). This strategy applied made the missionaries to bewelcomed and they got all the information they needed to know, andthis made their lives easier and better. Also, Matteo ensured that hehad learned and perfected the Chinese to the point that he wrotebooks and taught the natives about science. His innovations whichwere much appreciated earned him more favors in the region and hisname is recognized in the Chinese literature to date.

LinguisticForm to Convey

Accordingto Kecskés (2014), the way through which nonnative convey theirmessage is important during communication. The form they communicatewith the community residents will determine if they will be acceptedor rejected in a given society. The language barrier remains asignificant challenge for scholars that move to China. Therefore, itis important for such individuals to know at least a little bit ofthe language to enable them be comfortable and carry out theirerrands without feeling insecure. Numerous scholars have advisednonnatives to know more about the Chinese culture so as to assistthem in conveying their message appropriately (Standaert, 2016).Statistics show that most natives will tend to help the individualswho have knowledge of their lifestyle compared to those with no clueat all of what they want. This method differs from politeness andapplication of strategies because the nonnative has to know moreabout Chinese culture.


Insummary, the way nonnatives carry themselves is important, but at thesame time requires specific approaches. Each plan needs to becritically conveyed so that they can get the information they need.Politeness will enable them to mix freely with the native but willnot earn them much trust. The application of strategies will gain theforeign learners the confidence of the indigenous speakers and willalso open for them great opportunities. The oral form to conveymessages, on the other hand, will make the natives to interact withthe nonnative and help them in their studies. There are a couple offactors that lead to these differences and culture is one of them.The Chinese culture is unique by itself, and not many people arefully aware of it. This is to mean that a nonnative with a littleknowledge of the culture has an advantage over the one with no clueabout it. Also, race is another factor that leads to thesedifferences such that a nonnative from an Asian country will onlyhave to be polite to get information from the Chinese locals.However, this will be difficult when the nonnative is from anotherpart of the world such as the West or Africa. Here, the nonnativewill have to be more convincing for them to retrieve information.China is one of the global giants in the world regarding population,economic, and military prowess, which makes the Chinese language asignificant communication element when conducting business.


Barmeyer,C., &amp Franklin, P. (2016). InterculturalManagement: A Case-Based Approach to Achieving Complementarity andSynergy.Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kecskés,I. (2014). Interculturalpragmatics.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ning,C., &amp Montanaro, J. S. (2012). Encounters:Chinese language and culture.New Haven: Yale University Press.

Pan,Y., &amp Kádár, D. Z. (2013). Chinesediscourse and interaction: Theory and practice.London: Equinox.

Standaert,N. (2016). Theintercultural weaving of historical texts: Chinese and Europeanstories about Emperor Ku and his concubines.Leiden Boston: Brill.

Wang,V. X. (2011). Makingrequests by Chinese EFL learners.Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. Co.