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High Chinese

Chinese translation: Advanced Mandarin (High Chinese in Singapore)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:高级华文 (Singapore) or 汉语高级班 (Chinese mainland) - unicode utf-8
Chinese translation:Advanced Mandarin (High Chinese in Singapore)
Entered by: R. A. Stegemann
Options:
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13:07 Mar 9, 2004
English to Chinese translations [Non-PRO]
Education / Pedagogy / Singapore / language
English term or phrase: High Chinese
Hi everyone,

This is a question having to do with Singapore's education system. In the so-called orientation program of a child's fifth and sixth primary school years, he is placed one of three language streams EM1, EM2, and EM3. Chinese students who are placed into EM1 study something called High Chinese. What is the Chinese word for High Chinese? Also, if you might go one step further, how does it differ from its apparent opposite -- namely, low Chinese.

My first take on the situation is that EM2 and EM3 students study their native Chinese language, eg. Cantonese, but EM1 students study something close to what might be called Mandarin (Beijing) Chinese.
R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 04:42
"Higher Chinese" (高级华文) and "Chinese" (华文)
Explanation:
I have to beg to differ with shcheong. I see English as our native language. I think it has to do with the generation (sorry, shcheong... please don't take offence). For my parents' generation, they studied in Chinese schools but starting from my generation, everything is in English.

EM1 is equivalent to the "Special stream" I was in when I was at school. You have to be the top 10% of the cohort to get into EM1. In normal cases, Chinese students study Chinese as Second Language and English as first. However students in EM1 take Higher Chinese which merely means that they go on a more in-depth level, rather than at a faster rate.

When I was in school, we do not have the EM1-2-3 system yet but for for the secondary school level, we go by Normal, Express and Special stream. Students in Special stream study HIGHER CHINESE or "Chinese as First Language" as indicated on our Cambridge certificate while students in the Express and Normal stream take "Chinese as Second Language".

Students in the Express and Special stream study four years in the secondary school level and they take their General Cambridge Examination (GCE O'level) at the end of the four years. Special stream students would take their "Chinese as Second Language" exam in their third year and go for "Chinese as First Language" exam in their fourth year.

I would call it "Higher Chinese" (高级华文) and "Chinese" (华文).

We do not study two foreign language. Our first language is English; if you are a Chinese, you study Mandarin as your second language and if you are an Indian, you go for Tamil and so on.

You mentioned Cantonese... well, Singaporean-Chinese are fluent with dialects. I can speak Hokkein and Cantonese and I understand Teochew. We only use dialects at home or with friends but you will never see it in a school curriculum.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs 26 mins (2004-03-10 02:33:48 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Hamo - You might like to put this in the forum.
Selected response from:

Denyce Seow
Singapore
Local time: 03:42
Grading comment
I would like to thank everyone for their input. The problem appears to be with the English, however -- not the Chinese.

In effect most Singaporean primary students study two second languages: English and Mandarin. Only those who speak English and Mandarin in the home study their mother tongue in school.

According to Statistical Digest publshed by the government's Ministry of Education about 20% of all students pass through the EM1 stream.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2高级华文
shcheong
5 +2"Higher Chinese" (高级华文) and "Chinese" (华文)
Denyce Seow
5suggestion
jyuan_us


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
high chinese
高级华文


Explanation:
high chinese = 高级华文

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 mins (2004-03-09 13:24:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You say,
\"My first take on the situation is that EM2 and EM3 students study their native Chinese language, eg. Cantonese, but EM1 students study something close to what might be called Mandarin (Beijing) Chinese.\"

This is not true, because in Singapore, EM2 and EM3 students are no studying Cantonese or over Chinese dialects, they also study standard Chinese, ie.Mandarin (Beijing) Chinese. The only difference between EM1 and EM2,EM3 is, EM1 students study High Chinese and the rest study Normal Chinese.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 21 mins (2004-03-09 13:29:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You say,
\"My first take on the situation is that EM2 and EM3 students study their native Chinese language, eg. Cantonese, but EM1 students study something close to what might be called Mandarin (Beijing) Chinese.\"

This is not true, because in Singapore, EM2 and EM3 students are no studying Cantonese or over Chinese dialects, they also study standard Chinese, ie.Mandarin (Beijing) Chinese. The only difference between EM1 and EM2,EM3 is, EM1 students study High Chinese and the rest study Normal Chinese.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 58 mins (2004-03-09 15:06:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

response to your notes,

In Singapore, ONLY Chinese Singaporean is required to study Chinese, and Chinese is our mother tongue, or native language, not a foreign language, therefore, \"there must be many primary students studying two foreign languages\" is not true.


    Reference: http://www.ri.sch.edu.sg/Departments/language/chinese/hcl/
    Reference: http://www.zaobao.com/chinese/region/singapore/culture/singa...
shcheong
Singapore
Local time: 03:42

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Edward LIU
5 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Denyce Seow: ;)
13 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
high chinese
"Higher Chinese" (高级华文) and "Chinese" (华文)


Explanation:
I have to beg to differ with shcheong. I see English as our native language. I think it has to do with the generation (sorry, shcheong... please don't take offence). For my parents' generation, they studied in Chinese schools but starting from my generation, everything is in English.

EM1 is equivalent to the "Special stream" I was in when I was at school. You have to be the top 10% of the cohort to get into EM1. In normal cases, Chinese students study Chinese as Second Language and English as first. However students in EM1 take Higher Chinese which merely means that they go on a more in-depth level, rather than at a faster rate.

When I was in school, we do not have the EM1-2-3 system yet but for for the secondary school level, we go by Normal, Express and Special stream. Students in Special stream study HIGHER CHINESE or "Chinese as First Language" as indicated on our Cambridge certificate while students in the Express and Normal stream take "Chinese as Second Language".

Students in the Express and Special stream study four years in the secondary school level and they take their General Cambridge Examination (GCE O'level) at the end of the four years. Special stream students would take their "Chinese as Second Language" exam in their third year and go for "Chinese as First Language" exam in their fourth year.

I would call it "Higher Chinese" (高级华文) and "Chinese" (华文).

We do not study two foreign language. Our first language is English; if you are a Chinese, you study Mandarin as your second language and if you are an Indian, you go for Tamil and so on.

You mentioned Cantonese... well, Singaporean-Chinese are fluent with dialects. I can speak Hokkein and Cantonese and I understand Teochew. We only use dialects at home or with friends but you will never see it in a school curriculum.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs 26 mins (2004-03-10 02:33:48 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Hamo - You might like to put this in the forum.

Denyce Seow
Singapore
Local time: 03:42
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
I would like to thank everyone for their input. The problem appears to be with the English, however -- not the Chinese.

In effect most Singaporean primary students study two second languages: English and Mandarin. Only those who speak English and Mandarin in the home study their mother tongue in school.

According to Statistical Digest publshed by the government's Ministry of Education about 20% of all students pass through the EM1 stream.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  shcheong: In facts, our only different is what is native language. For me, "native language" is equivalent to mother tongue, and I believe that for Chinese Singaporean, their mother tongue is Chinese, and that is also the policy of Singapore government.
8 hrs
  -> Honestly, I don't even know what our "native language" is. I am better in my English than in my Chinese and I dare say that for most people in my generation. Chinese is a beautiful language and I hope the younger S'poreans will pay more attention to it.

agree  jyuan_us: sounds like beginner, intermediate and advanced. if high CHinese=advanced Chinese, it should be 华文高级班
2 days10 hrs
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4 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
high chinese
suggestion


Explanation:
if the translation is to be given to Singaporean to read, just follow one of the above. but if your audience is people in Mainland, these are familiars terms that accurately reflect what it is:

1. 中文/汉语快班 ( COMPARED TO 中班, 慢班)
2。 中文/汉语高级班( COMPARED TO 中级班, 初级班)

jyuan_us
United States
Local time: 15:42
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 78
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