Writing styles

Confucius Institute Launches Book Examining Writing Styles in Singapore and China, Parenting & Education News & Top Stories


SINGAPORE – When using the Chinese language, Singaporeans tend to add a hint of English expressions or a hint of dialect in their correspondence with Chinese businessmen or officials, which can make their handwriting difficult to understand. .

To address these challenges and more, a book on Applied Writing in Chinese that compares writing styles in Singapore and China was launched Thursday, March 21 at the Bugis National Library.

The author of the book is Associate Professor Kou Hong, a former visiting scholar at the National Institute of Education and the Confucius Institute of Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

She told the Straits Times that the biggest differences in the two countries’ writing and communication styles are found in sentence structure and vocabulary.

“For Singapore, there is a mix of English expressions (translated) as well as the influence of certain dialects,” she said in Mandarin after the book’s launch.

Professor Kou is currently a faculty member at Shandong Police College in China, where he teaches applied writing to civil servants.

The book covers various categories of writing, including official letters, speeches, press releases, notices, and agreements.

It serves as a guide for Singaporean government officials, professionals and businessmen who need to communicate formally with their Chinese counterparts, said the Confucius Institute, which published the book.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat, who attended the event, said the book can be a useful resource for Singaporeans who want to deepen their Chinese language skills.

It costs $ 20 and can be purchased at the Confucius Institute or some bookstores including Union Book Co and Maha Yu Yi in Bras Basah.

Speaking to reporters after the launch, Mr. Chee said: “Language is closely linked to culture, values ​​and even how we think.” While English is more commonly used here, young people should find opportunities to use their mother tongue, he added.

“This will make us a more diverse and resilient society, and will also help us better connect to our region. “

He had previously stressed during a dialogue session at the launch of the book that the younger generation should be encouraged to use Chinese more in their daily lives.

“We must encourage the younger generation not to treat Chinese as another sizable subject … In our daily life, we must encourage them to speak more,” said Mr. Chee.

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