"Mission Possible: Chinese for Europeans"
The project "Mission Possible: Chinese for Europeans" is funded under the Lifelong Learning programme (LLP), Key Activity 2: Languages, of the European Commission for the period 2009-2011.
KU TU Ltd. is a coordinator of the project. It addresses the objectives of the LLP to promote the benefits of language learning by raising awareness of and bringing the entirely distant Chinese language closer to Europeans. The project target group covers people whose everyday activities include direct or indirect relations with China. This target group will be reached through a network of business companies, cultural organisations and educational institutions created as a result of the project dissemination activities. The fact that today China is a strategic partner of the EU lays the foundation for solid cooperation with high number of organisations interested in facilitating their business and intercultural communication with China.
For achieving its objectives the partners developed a methodology for providing language information in Chinese related to the needs of the target group in an easily accessible way. They took as a basis the existing "pinyin" system for pronunciation of Chinese characters, analysed the specifics of the Chinese language and adapted them to the languages of the 5 partner countries (BG, LT, IT, PT, NL). The methodologists chose a lexical content of about 200 hieroglyphs and united them in specially developed "associative hieroglyph chains". The words in the chains are connected by semantic patters enabling the beneficiaries to perceive language information in Chinese. The associative hieroglyph chains were included in multimedia conversational sets available in Chinese-Bulgarian, Chinese-Lithuanian, Chinese-Italian, Chinese-Portuguese and Chinese-Dutch.
At a later stage, the potential beneficiaries were involved in practical workshops and went through blitz-courses in Chinese based on the developed methodology. They were able to share their experience with the project products at contact seminars organised at the end of the project in each partner country and aimed at attracting new potential project beneficiaries.