Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Introduction: The Context of the Theory and Practice of China’s Language Policy

  3. Theory and Practice in the Center

  4. The Center Versus The Periphery in Practice

  5. Theorizing Personal Experiences from the Practice

  6. Theory and Practice Viewed from Minority Communities

  7. Foreign Language Education Policy and Modernization

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 317-317
    2. Luming Mao, Yue Min
      Pages 319-329
  8. Postscript

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 331-331
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 339-344

About this book


Language matters in China. It is about power, identity, opportunities, and, above all, passion and nationalism. During the past five decades China’s language engineering projects transformed its linguistic landscape, affecting over one billion people’s lives, including both the majority and minority populations. The Han majority have been juggling between their home vernaculars and the official speech, Putonghua – a speech of no native speakers – and reading their way through a labyrinth of the traditional, simplified, and Pinyin (Roman) scripts. Moreover, the various minority groups have been struggling between their native languages and Chinese, maintaining the former for their heritages and identities and learning the latter for quality education and socioeconomic advancement.

The contributors of this volume provide the first comprehensive scrutiny of this sweeping linguistic revolution from three unique perspectives. First, outside scholars critically question the parities between constitutional rights and actual practices and between policies and outcomes. Second, inside policy practitioners review their own project involvements and inside politics, pondering over missteps, undergoing soul-searching, and theorizing their personal experiences. Third, scholars of minority origin give inside views of policy implementations and challenges in their home communities. The volume sheds light on the complexity of language policy making and implementing as well as on the politics and ideology of language in contemporary China.


China Chinese Korea Pinyin Policy Politics language native speaker

Editors and affiliations

  • Minglang Zhou
    • 1
  • Hongkai Sun
    • 2
  1. 1.Dickinson CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of Social SciencesChina

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-8038-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4020-8039-5
  • Series Print ISSN 1571-5361
  • Buy this book on publisher's site