Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lothar Spree passed away in Berlin

Another good man of the Sino-German connection, Lothar Spree, the late Shanghai media professor and educator at Tongji University in Shanghai, has passed away in Berlin on Dec 6, 2013. He was 71 years young. [Read obituary at Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) Offenbach]

5 Million People Visit Yasukuni War Shrine Every Year

TOKYO - An advertisement in Tokyo's Chuo Line, photographed on Dec 31, 2013. In Japan, visiting the Yasukuni (war) shrine is part of the Shinto tradition and a national ceremony, even a great family day (a War Museum is just around the corner). In the eyes of most Chinese and Koreans, however, the shrine is seen as a relic of Japan's Imperial past and a fetish and reminder of Japan's indifference toward the feelings of those East-Asian people and nations which suffered from Japan's war crimes during WW2. Hence the recent outrage over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Yaskuni on Christmas, Dec 26. [Read at BIG THINK]

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Algunos conceptos no traducidos suponen una gran fuente de conocimiento y pueden ser necesarios para entender mejor a China

El experto cree que llegó el momento de devolverle a Asia el gesto por toda la terminología occidental que asimiló en el pasado. Algunos conceptos no traducidos suponen una gran fuente de conocimiento y pueden ser necesarios para entender mejor a China.
Thorsten Pattberg declara que si realmente hay tanto interés en entender a China, uno de los primeros pasos debería ser averiguar cómo se educa a sus ciudadanos, en qué se diferencia su sistema académico de otros.

El experto ofrece un ejemplo que llama mucho la atención a los occidentales: en China no cuentan con el título de "doctor en Filosofía", sino que estudian el texto daxue (un clásico de la época de Confucio) -The Great Learning, en ingléscon el fin de conquistar la sabiduría (shengren) o ser un buen ciudadano, un hombre de familia (junzi). “Es más”, añade Pattberg, “la palabra filosofía no aparece en los textos clásicos chinos: llegó de Europa a través de Japón en el siglo XIX.”

Daxue sería algo similar a un manual para convertirse en un junzi o (idealmente) en un shengren,figuras clave en esta culturaComprender el significado total de estos términos en su ‘versión original’ es algo mucho más “bello” y “preciso”, cree Pattberg.

El lingüista alemán denuncia la tendencia histórica a evitar conceptos y terminología china en los libros de estudio, siempre se traducían. Los profesores europeos se tomaban la libertad de crear términos para ideas del pensamiento asiático. Estas traducciones de ideas originales del Este de Asia también son las que utilizan despues los turistas que llegan al país.

El imagen que Occidente creó de China siempre fue bastante confusa. Sería necesario adoptar un vocabularios básico chino en Occidente, afianzarlo y transmitirlo a futuras generaciones.

Thorsten Pattberg recuerda que, durante el s.XIX, los países asiáticos tomaron directamente una gran cantidad de palabras procedentes de Europa relacionada con el arte, la filosofía o la ciencia:

“Ha llegado el momento de darle algo a cambio a Asia”, dice. “Adoptar una serie de conceptos clave sería un gesto de reciprocidad”. Occidente ya no puede ser reacio a aprender terminología básica en chino, es importante que se dedique esfuerzo a su estudio. [READ AT DONTKNOW.NET]

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Zhongguo sixiang zai fanyi guocheng zhong de yihua (Pei Desi)

中国思想在翻译过程中的异化 (裴德思)
许多人在不断寻找能让他们了解中国的秘密钥匙或魔法公式。自然,在某个时刻他们会想知道中国的教育。中国(The Middle kingdom)有许多有名望的学府,但先让我们走近北京大学 --- 中国“文明”的母矿。
“文明”经常被译为“Civilization”,这是种误导。最近在北京大学的演讲中,著名语言学家辜正坤解释说,“文明”描述的是一个民族高水准的道德和文雅,而英文单词“Civilization”是源自城市居民对物质与技术的掌握,例如火箭与建筑。
[GO TO ENGLISH VERSION at CHINA.ORG]
Peking University”当然是它西化的称呼,以便于外国人能找到它的地址。然而中国人自己称他们的高等教育机构为“大学”:“Peking University”为“北京大学”或“北大”,“Tsinghua University”为“清华大学”。
“ ‘大学’并不是希腊语“Universitas”的翻译,而是指儒家经典之一的《大学》。”辜教授解释说。
《大学》经常被马虎地译为“The Great Learning”,但它其实是一部如何成为君子甚至圣人的指导手册。
“君子”是中国家庭伦理传统中理想化的人格模型,“圣人”则是最高等级的成员:他实践了完美的最高道德准则,即“德
[...] MORE ON RENREN (Registration required)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Protecting cultural diversity, originality, and multitude of all human thought

Pattberg: What is The Global Language Movement?
Pattberg commented on TED Talk: Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

When linguistics talk about the “death of languages,” they usually don't mean that as a metaphor. Words die - or better: they are murdered - every day. Read any Western China report these days and you will find that the piece is literally Chinese-free. Translation is to language what genocide is to people. Remarkably, language is the only field of the sciences where no revolution has taken place. Yes, we have more nice explanations and theories, all fine. But we are still destroying foreign words as if there was no tomorrow. The only way forward to a Global Language, as I see it, is to limit translation of foreign key terminologies and instead adopting them into our lexicons. This way, we would include all the world’s cultures’ socio-cultural originality into one and thereby value the cultural diversity, originality, and multitude of all human thought. Just saying.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chinese Not Afraid of US Military Threats 裴德思:中国已是世界大国并不在意美国压力

裴德思:中国已是世界大国并不在意美国压力
"博弈论者或许会将这幅情形与“围棋”联系起来。您或许听说过围棋,这是一种着名的桌上战略游戏,有黑白两种棋子。现在美国及其盟友的举动,就好像是在试图一步步包围中国的棋子,从外围逼迫中国棋子向内收缩,最终让中国屈服归顺。" [Read more at Tianxia Junshi]

Sunday, November 24, 2013

China's Mistress Culture: Sex And Power Are A Pair / 中国情妇文化:性与权力结伴同行

This Chinese translation of my article on China's Mistress Culture showed up at Topnews9. It didn't say the translator, though.
A scene from The Golden Lotus/Jin Pin Mei.

中国情妇文化:性与权力结伴同行


裴德思/作者

我必须告诉你一件有关中国的事:中国女人的作用,从道德层面而言可谓是“别出心裁”。
 
没有一家宾馆,按摩院,ktv或者城镇会议中心不是被“小姐”,护送人员(鸨婆),女服务员(陪女)或其他种类的妓女频繁光顾的。每个陷入非正常交往关系(即“被玩弄”)的女性都会获得一种特殊的称号:
 
先是“二奶”(二老婆),一个女人(她或许已有家室或孩子)会与一个已婚或未婚的男人沉溺于婚外情。这就是所谓的“第三者”——拿爱情当儿戏的人。
 
位于顶点的角色,其地位可直接挑战妻子(老婆)的,就是情妇。情妇,即蛇蝎美人,不仅可以让男人体验偷腥的刺激和快感,也是最能显示男人身份的象征:包养情妇意味着你很有钱!
 
从技术上看,只有已婚男人才能拥有情妇,否则,若这个男人是单身,我们则会将他的女伴—无论有几个—单纯地看作他的“女朋友”。中国人包养情妇的传统与基督徒眼中的通奸别无二致——是一种原罪;但在中国这不过是一种风俗习惯罢了。
 
因此,当西方人第一次来中国的时候,他们常常会被中国人对婚姻、浪漫和性之间严格的界限搞得摸不着头脑。在中国,这三种场景通常对应三个不同身份的女人。[Read Full Text Here

(推荐人:韦以锡) (编辑:林昌峰) [Read it in English at Asia Times]

Pattberg: Add Daxue, Junzi, and Shengren to the Global Language

Dr. Pattberg explains why certain Chinese words are mandatory for global citizenship:
"China cannot make the West learn the Chinese language. But what it can do is to promote certain key terminologies back into world history. China, to this day, keeps the spirit of the Daxue. It is a living shengren culture." - T. Pattberg
In a recent feature article at Big Think, the global think tank, Dr. Pattberg argues that the future Global Language will have to include many more Chinese key terminologies. The reason why those terminologies are missing now lies in erroneous European translations of Chinese names in the past. Foreign concepts and categories were simply replaced with convenient European words in order to keep what the Germans call 'Deutungshoheit' - the sovereignty over the definition of thought. This kind of 'Language Imperialism' in the 21st Century, says Pattberg, is no longer adequate or called-for. On the contrary, he believes that the world is now ready for Chinese words and what better place to find some than Inside Peking University - China's mother lode of higher education! [Read at BIG THINK]
Thorsten Pattberg is a German writer, scholar, and cultural critic. He received his PhD from Peking University, spent time at Tokyo University and Harvard University, is a former research fellow at The Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University and is the author of ‘Shengren’ and ‘The East-West Dichotomy’

Monday, November 18, 2013

No Head of State Should Be Allowed In Office Without Having Spent Time In Asia And Learnt An Asian Language

“In fact, no executive, expatriate, leader of a party, director or a large organization, let alone head of state, should be allowed to assume such a post without having spent some time in Asia and learnt the local language.” The East-WestDichotomy (2013)

Thorsten Pattberg with Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia
Found memories of Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and now a Member of Parliament, who speaks fluent Chinese.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What exactly is “Socialism with Chinese characteristics?”

Everything the Party does is de-facto 'Socialism'

BEIJING - Outside observers who believe China to be a full-blown capitalist society are often confused by its government’s “socialist” rhetoric. That’s because China escapes most Western-defined categories, or at least it believes and desires to do so, hence the well-known appendix “with Chinese characteristics.” For simplification, we may as well conclude that everything the Communist Party does is de-facto socialism; and, in reverse, that the Party cannot do “not socialism.” [Read it at Big Think]

Monday, November 11, 2013

Islam should contribute to our global civilization


Islam should contribute to our global civilization and come to the table where the future rules of the games are formulated.
This rough version of a transcript from a shaky interview on Building-Bridges-TV (Istanbul) came to light recently at Diplomacy Post. The website looks great, lots of prominent analysts, philosophers, political analysts etc. The team around Burcu Cekmece, the Executive Producer at the Building Bridges Initiative, is very dedicated and persistent. Hope that I can join and write a column about recent events in China and how the relate to Turkey and the Middle East. China has officially 20 million Muslims, although unofficial numbers say more than 40 million. I also hope to be able to write something about the Turkish-German relations and the European Union. So much to do, so little time...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's the Global Language?

Pattberg on Global Language and The End of Translation, Beijing 2013
What's the Global Language?
"The true 'global language' would be radically different from today's English (or any other major language); it would need to adopt the originality and the tens of thousands of words provided by humankind's other language traditions on top of it." -- T. Pattberg, The East-West Dichotomy (2013), Foreign Language Press, Beijing
I'm so excited to begin offering more public talks on 'Global language' and the 'End of translation' this winter 2013/2014, and I can't wait to expand the universe of Chinese (and other non-European) concepts and terminologies during my stay in Japan (and, hopefully, a brief excursion to the US).

Meanwhile, check out the new edition of The East-West Dichotomy (2013) available soon in book stores in China, university libraries, and in global online stores. I still have some free author copies, just send me an email at pattberg 'at' pku.edu.cn. Best!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with YANG Rui, famed Chinese journalist and CCTV International Presenter

YANG RUI and Thorsten Pattberg, Beijing Forum 2013
BEIJING FORUM 2013 – No other media figure has helped to accommodate if not to shape China’s rise more in the recent decade than YANG Rui, the CCTV International Presenter and host of ‘Dialogue’, an English-speaking political TV program. Mr. Yang has been called the Larry King of China, and his show Dialogue is watched by tens of millions. He recently drew criticism in particular for his anti-foreign, xenophobic remarks on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, and in general for his aggressive personality and stance against foreign media that tends to report China in an unfavorable light. I met him at the Alliance of Civilizations meeting during the Beijing Forum 2013, where he shared his views on how China should be presented and respected by international media, and how especially CCTV tries to convey a China image from the point of view of the majority of the Chinese, which is naturally and often very different from Western-based media. Mr. Yang enjoys cult-status and has attracted a huge fellowship of Chinese students who regularly flock to his CCTV show(s) not only to student current international affairs and culture trends but also to study Political and Culture English. Among expats and foreign students in China, Yang Rui is known as probably the most international and recognizable Chinese media personality of the decade. [VISIT EAST-WEST DICHOTOMY]

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pattberg: Translations reduce the world to what we already know

Thorsten Pattberg, Peking University, 2013
This article appeared in Trouw, a Dutch newspaper, on Aug 17, 2013

"Translations reduce the world to what we already know" reads a provocative quote in a recent opinion article entitled ‘Learning about China using the correct words’ published by Trouw newspaper on August 17. The quote originates from the German linguist Thorsten Pattberg who works at Peking University. His plea to let some Chinese words untranslated is defended by the Hong Kong-based communications specialist Adrienne Simons. –Hans van der Gaarden

“China is unloved and unknown. This is primarily a communication and language problem. What the West sees in China, it often sees through English language glasses. That obscures the view more than we think.”

“Talking past each other results in a relationship based on misunderstanding, mistrust and removal. It’s no different between countries. But China has become too big and too influential to be kept at a distance.”

“This means that Asian academics, artists and journalists cultural should introduce Chinese concepts using the original terms, instead of thinking about how Americans would call those things. It also means that Western opinion makers should do likewise and make an effort to understand China in the future, and what better way is there than learning Chinese words.”

The original op-ed is written in Dutch. It can be READ HERE.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A language for all - Una lingua per tutti

Thorsten Pattberg: Knowledge is a Polyglot (Big Think, 2013)
A language for all - Una lingua per tutti

By Mario Schiani

Given that there are so many languages, living and dead languages, official languages and unofficial ones, and, of course, a plethora of dialects, it can be said that the world is not lacking communication codes. In fact, there are too many languages which often caused poor mutual understanding in our otherwise rich European history. Sometimes, language itself constitutes an obstacle, rather than the means to work around communication problems. Someone – in our case a German linguist with the improbable name of Thorsten Pattberg – proposes, or perhaps provides us with, a “global language” through which humanity can finally harmonize its differences... [READ MORE]

Posto che esistono lingue vive e lingue morte, lingue ufficiali e lingue ufficiose oltre, naturalmente, a una pletora di dialetti, si può affermare che, al mondo, i codici di comunicazione non mancano. Ce ne sono anche troppi, se vogliamo, e le lingue, anche nella nostra Europa così ricca di Storia e povera di reciproca comprensione, a volte costituiscono l’ostacolo e non il mezzo con cui aggirarlo. Qualcuno - nel nostro caso un linguista tedesco dall’improbabile nome di Thorsten Pattberg - propone, o forse prevede, una “lingua globale” grazie alla quale l’umanità possa finalmente armonizzare le sue differenze... [READ MORE]
Follow Mario Schiani at La Provinciadicomo.it

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pattberg: How We Will Write in the Future (Video)

BEIJING - In order to preserve the full power and authenticity of any culture really we would have to preserve them their key terminologies -those words and concepts that are demonstrably difficult, if not impossible, to translate without infringing onto their culture's intellectual property rights. The English language has already adopted loads of foreign loanwords, but often in an arbitrary manner, more by chance and goodwill than by any disciplined, organized, and accountable methodology. In other words, for example Western translators, until now, practically could do whatever they wanted with Asian concepts; and Asian ideas, no matter how old and no matter how genuine, enjoyed little to no moral, scientific, or legal protection from being omitted, prohibited, or translated into convenient, often over-used European concepts. This has got to change some day, maybe not so distant a day in the near future...

Thorsten Pattberg advocates for a global language, and by that he has something very specific in mind. We need to continue to translate, of course, in order to communicate. But when it comes to the key terminologies of a culture, "we should not translate them but rather we should adopt them," Pattberg says. "The only way, as I see it, to create the global language is really to find a scientific way to adopt as many key terminologies as possible and to unite all the languages’ vocabularies into one."  [READ FULL TRANSCRIPT] [WATCH VIDEO]
Many thanks to Daniel Honan, Managing Editor, Big Think, and Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd, Producers, Big Think

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beijing Traditional Music Festival 2013

20131013日,首届乐教文化国际学术研讨会
Chinese scholars of Music Education show great interest in German basic music education and how Germany preserves its own cultural identity (e. g. Germanic, Christian, Folkloric) through its state education, the church, and the community (e. g. music schools, dancing schools, etc.). Many Chinese scholars lament the fact that Chinese music education tends to westernize too much and thereby abandon its own 'Music of China', including Chinese tales, songs, dances and music instruments. There are 40 million children in this country learning to play Western classics on the piano instead of, say, re-enacting Chinese music on the puqin, pipa, huqin or erhu, to name but a few Chinese musical instruments. Fantastic conference and interesting panels.
中新网9月27日电 第五届“北京传统音乐节”将于2013年10月9日—13日在北京举行,昨日举行发布会。据了解,本届音乐节的主题为“礼乐重建”,龚琳娜、马金泉等数百名音乐家将参演。
大师班培训共举行三个专场,包括清华大学彭林教授的《先秦时代的乐器、乐理与乐教》、韩国汉城庆熙大学舞蹈研究所陈玉秀的《雅乐舞动态结构初阶段的应用——身心自我觉察》、大阪大学的Triyono Bramantyo博士的《印度尼西亚宫廷音乐》。

Sunday, October 6, 2013

On Global Language, End of Translation, and Non-Western Concepts

"The problem with that is, I think, that China is underrepresented in World history because Chinese terminologies are largely erased or omitted. A ‘China report’ in Western media without a single Chinese term is literally “Chinese-free”. And that’s a scandal." --Pattberg
[Interview with Danish Radio24syv ] [READ FULL TRANSCRIPT]

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pattberg - German “China-Man” –Diplomacy.edu

 
“It is often said that language is the key to understanding China's culture and tradition. The question is, which one should it be.” --Pattberg
Kind endorsement by Diplomacy.edu: “The current entry: 002 - Thorsten PATTBERG: The End of Translation  is a brilliant indictment of Western silent intellectual arrogance.

The West maintains Deutungshoheit – “having the sovereignty over the definition of thought”. Any non-Western thought may be “translated” into Western categories and accommodated into Western conceptual molds. So Chinese “thought” is just a translation of our own, hence never original. We are not even aware of it." [READ AT DIPLOMACY.EDU]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg and Frank Sieren - Vertrauen Wagen (Peking University Conference)

Thorsten Pattberg with Frank Sieren, Bestselling Author, Journalist, and Political Commentator


PEKING UNIVERSITY - I have been frequenting Beijing since 2003 –lived, studied, and created here- but never met in person who is possibly the Number One of all German “China-Experts”: Frank Sieren. Mr. Sieren is best known for his close relation to former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt who is a known "Friend of China" and who met many of China’s most influential leaders, including the great dictator Mao Zedong himself. Sieren and Schmidt produced very influential books, articles, and interviews. As a result, Frank Sieren became a superstar in all things related to China in the German-speaking world (his books became bestsellers in Germany and have been translated into Chinese), and a famed public speaker and moderator on Sino-German relations –political and cultural. He lives in China –in Beijing, mainly- for almost two decades now. Not always easy, I guess –the air quality, the traffic jams, the party dictatorship- but as the expat saying goes: Someone’s got to do it! Best of luck! [GO TO FRANK SIEREN'S WEBSITE]

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former German Minister of Justice

PEKING - Ms. Däubler-Gmelin was the German Minister of Justice from 1998-2002; so, technically, she was my boss (my Minister, so to speak) during my employment at the Court of Law in Munster, NRW. Now we met in China - It's a small world. She is one of the few, very few Germans - during my long years at PKU - who is not intimidated by the Chinese Communist Party's megalomania and hubris, and she feels free to exercise criticism against any authoritarian regime where needed. She would not betray her principles. This is called integrity. That's what you learn when you work in the German judiciary. It is precisely for her outspokenness and sense for justice and the rule of law, I think, that she is respected (or feared) among democrats, human rights activists, and politicians on the left and the right, here and abroad. Just saying. [BACK TO MAIN]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Wang Jisi, China’s most respected expert on the United States

裴德思和王缉思(09/2013

Wang Jisi is Professor and the Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University. In 2012, he was named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers and “China’s most respected expert on the United States” by Foreign Policy magazine. He is or was also the supervisor of quite a few of my friends here, so it was good to see him in public at ThinkInChina in Bridge Cafe in Beijing today. Go to Wang’s TalkGo to ThinkInChinaGo to Foreign Policy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shengren is ”Mordantly humorous study of misunderstanding of Confucius” (Wordpixelsblog)

Thorsten Pattberg, author of 'Shengren'
Mordantly humorous study of misunderstanding of Confucius” (by Wordpixelsblog)

Extract from Linda Colman’s Misunderstanding Laozi through the Discourse of Modernity:

“In a mordantly humorous study of misunderstandings of Confucius as a thinker, based on the perpetuation of an error in translation, Thorsten Pattberg demonstrates the pitfalls of using dogmatic language––whether religious or philosophical––when translating a classic work such as Confucius’ Analects. The historic error of mistranslating “sheng(ren)” as ‘saint(s)’ or ‘philosopher(s)’ rather than the more appropriate ‘sage(s)’ has compounded the initial error of construing Confucius as a saint or a philosopher, and has compounded misunderstandings of Confucius’ work.
 
Scholar Beware!

Pattberg’s analysis of the misunderstandings that have resulted from mistranslation of this one very important word includes a discussion of cultural assumptions underlying the Western, especially German, philosophical tradition, which make the use of such language ill-suited to the exegesis of classical Chinese literature. [See especially Ch. 11: “Nonsensical Philosophical Reading,” and Ch. 15: “The Great Man Theory.”]”


Linda Colman is a culture critic and writer at The Booklist Lady

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Somewhat Eccentric German Philologist Calls For New “Global Language” --Empower Lingua

For A More Colorful Global Language - The Color Run Beijing 2013

BEIJING - “A somewhat eccentric German philologist and research fellow at The Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University named Thorsten Pattberg, is calling for the construction of a new “global language”. This somewhat absurd declaration is mired in the rhetoric of cosmopolitan utopianism but is also enforced by an intriguing argument about Chinese translation.


Pattberg wrote an article for Chinese website English people daily in which he argued that much Chinese translation relies on the assumption that a suitable equivalent exists in the English language. The English language already has loads of loan words including jungle which comes from Hindi and alcohol which comes from Arabic, so he argues, why don’t we just incorporate the non-translatable Chinese words into English and make a “global language”. [READ AT EMPOWER LINGUA] [READ AT PEOPLE’S DAILY] [READ AT STRAITS TIMES] [GO TO EAST-WEST DICHOTOMY]

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Ashis Nandy, Famed Indian Sociologist and Public Intellectual

Thorsten Pattberg with Ashis Nandy, famed Indian sociologist and public intellectual
BEIJING - Described as the champion of India’s lower classes and promoter of human rights, justice, and equality in an India that is notoriously plagued by corruption, caste, and almost unbearable income inequality, letting alone political chaos. Ashis Nandy is one of the leading figures of post-colonial studies in India, and known for his bold, controversial, and fearless critique of the establishment. Recently, Nandy is engaging in the Dialogue among Civilizations with China, and joined the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies of Peking University at the Deng Feng Forum in Henan province entitled: Chinese Civilization and World Civilization.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

China Is Hoarding Gold Like Smaug the Dragon - It's About Prestige

BEIJING - It is obvious that China is up to something hoarding gold like a dragon. In fact, it is taking a leap forward to control the world currency and to replace it with the yuan, Dr. Thorsten Pattberg, China expert at the Peking University, told RT.
China is vowing to make more reforms, among them cutting red tape and establishing the yuan as a world currency. The 7th Annual Meeting of the New Champions is opening in the Chinese city of Dalian, the gathering has become known as a 'summer Davos'. RT has talked to Dr. Pattberg about China's prospects for introducing a new world currency.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Public Intellectual and the Marketing of World History

The Public Intellectual and the Marketing of World History 2013 - Thorsten Pattberg
THERE IS a current trend in the way world history is manufactured that deserves closer scrutiny: It is the complete surrender of the humanities to marketing mechanisms and branding strategies.
CAMBRIDGE - We don’t have to leave England to find the revolution. Niall Ferguson, the British historian – and now Harvard professor -, recently published an opinion article in the German Times in which he ruminates about ’6 Killer applications’ that the West invented to undo its competitors.
Ferguson goes on to say that, after having dominated world history for centuries, someone pushed the “wrong buttons” and we lost our pristine vantage. Meanwhile, the “new players in Asia” have picked up the rules of the game.
I dread to think it isn't quite as dramatic as the philosopher would have it: World history is still written by the Fergusons – and Harvardians – of this world. Social climbers from the east are rare in this sport. I agree, though, that indeed everyone seems to be talking about the rise of Asia these days.
What’s also new is the trending of fashionable internet fads or business allusions toward world historical events. Public intellectuals these days enjoy “the mass media” effect and have fully emerged, and have they ever, into the world of blogging, vlogging, and social media. [...]

Sunday, September 8, 2013

American Buddhism: Thorsten Pattberg with Heng Sure, famed American Buddhist and Public Intellectual

Heng Sure (USA), Thorsten Pattberg (Germany) [Shaolin, Dengfeng, 2013]
ZHENGZHOU, CHINA - Renowned for his contribution to American Buddhism and known throughout the world for his eloquence, passion, and vision of bringing the Dharma to the tables where the dialogue among civilizations takes place, Heng Sure (born Christopher R. Clowery) has dedicated his life to the Buddhist cause. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk at the City of then Thousand Buddhas as early as 1976, and since then has ministered to the needs of the global community and, along the way, became one of the most visible American Buddhists today, and teacher of hundreds of accomplished disciples spread all over the world.


Master Heng Sure’s talks are amplified by his confident use of countless Sanskrit/Buddhist original terms that, I think, best reflect the inventiveness and creativity of the Buddhism founders. Your author has the vision that a similar approach using Chinese terms can be achieved for Confucianism (using original Chinese terms instead of European translations).

It is no coincidence that Buddhism is relatively well known in the West, while the Western understanding of Confucianism is still a murky confusion – there are still too few scholars interested in introducing Chinese categories to the West. [That is about to change.] [View Article on Chinese Terminologies and World History]. [Back to Main]
P.S. By the way, Heng Sure singsand plays the guitar masterfully.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Tampalawela Dhammaratana, UNESCO Consultant, Division for Philosophy and Ethics

Dr. Tampalawela Dhammaratana, a Buddhist grandmaster and Frenchand Sri Lankan national, lives in Paris and embarked on a life-long journey for the promotion of Buddhism in the world. He is currently the Director of Buddhist Links at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The East is a Promotion, Peking University, Comparing China and the West Conference, Summer 2013

The East is a Promotion, Peking University, Comparing China and the West Conference, Summer 2013
Thorsten Pattberg: Talk at Peking University, Comparing China and the West Conference, Summer 2013
[Talk] "The East is a career," reads the quote by Benjamin Disraeli in the preamble of Edward Said's 1978 masterpiece Orientalism. Since Deng Xiaoping's opening-up policy, millions of European entrepreneurs, scholars and adventurers have swarmed eastward and flocked into China. They got their careers, now they want a promotion. Here's how…

[Key Words] Confucian Way of New Europe, Lofty Pragmatism, Love for Learning, Return of the Shengren, Translation History, China in World History
Thorsten Pattberg on Lofty pragmatism, secularization, Brussels, Chinese technocrats, Harmonious Society, Wenming, Three-Tier School System, Filial Piety Xiao, New Humanism, Untranslatable Words, and the China Family System
“Everyone knows that we couldn't possibly have experienced both histories at the same time. Europe experienced only half of the human story. The Europeans can revisit documents, but nothing can remedy their lack of experience when it comes to China’s history.”

“Let me conclude with two things that I see when I look at China: creativity and potential. China experienced different histories and invented original concepts -  like wenming, daxue, shengren, junzi, and so on - that we don’t have in the west, and the Chinese do things here differently than we do, say, in Berlin or London.” [Visit The East-West Dichotomy] [Visit Big Think]

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chinese American Confucianism Vs. American Chinese Confucianism

The two modes of Confucianism in the United States: Chinese American Confucianism means that Chinese language elements slowly sink into American society. American Chinese Confucianism, on the other hand, refers to English words fueling a bit on Chinese meanings. [...]  [READ ARTICLE HERE]

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

China Is Unloved And Unknown - My Cup of Chinese Tea

China is unloved and unknown - My Cup of Chinese T - Pei Desi, Germany
China is unloved and unknown. This is primarily a language and communication problem.
"China is onbemind én onbekend. Dat is vooral ook een communicatie- en taalprobleem. Wat het Westen van China ziet, gebeurt vaak door een Engelse taalbril. Dat vertroebelt het zicht meer dan we denken. Het Engels wordt vaak gezien als de internationale taal bij uitstek, maar is niet geschikt is om duizenden concepten uit oosterse culturen in woorden te vatten. ‘Vertalingen reduceren de wereld tot wat we al weten,’ aldus taaldeskundige Thorsten Pattberg van aan de Universiteit van Beijing. ‘Het verbaast mij altijd dat mensen elkaar in de haren vliegen over merknamen, patenten en intellectueel eigendom, maar het recht op eigen definities van culturele sleutelbegrippen gewoon weggeven.’"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with ZHUO Xinping Director of the Institute of World Religions at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASS)

Thorsten Pattberg with ZHUO Xinping, Aug 2013
Professor ZHUO Xinping is the Director of the Institute of World Religions at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASS). He is also a former graduate of the University of Munich, Germany, and speaks fluent German with a wonderful Bavarian accent. De Mass, de Brezn, da Butter!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Irritating China - US should work with China, Not contain it

Dr. Thorsten Pattberg RT TV exclusive interview (extract)

BEIJING/MOSCOW - Discussing geopolitics, military build-up and US containment strategy against China:
Recent contra-China developments in Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Russia, India, etc. (Aug 16, 2013) [Video extract]

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pattberg Urges “China Experts” To Use Chinese Terminologies in Their English Reports

THORSTEN PATTBERG, Peking University
Pattberg Urges “China Experts” To Use Chinese Terminologies in Their English Reports

In this op-ed piece to China Daily, cultural critic and activist Thorsten Pattberg warns China against importing history and terminologies from the West; instead, he says, China must contribute its own originality to world history, and Chinese terms to global language. In the long run, both East and West would benefit: China can keep its inventiveness, while the West learns something new. As an example, we are reminded of Japan which has contributed far more loanwords into the English language than China.

Pattberg also criticizes the “China experts” from a CCTV “Special” program about the “Chinese Dream”. The program – telecast nationwide - invited five foreigners or Western-educated Chinese to explain the Chinese Dream and the future of China; they did so in English and without ever using a single Chinese terminology. [The ‘Chinese Dream’ originally reads ‘Zhongguo Meng’]

[In fact, there were six guests on the program: The “foreign” experts were: Daniel A. Bell (Canadian), Zhang Xudong (New York University), M. D. Nalapat (India), Einar Rangen (American), Tu Weiming (American), and Wang Jianfei (PhD Berkeley).]

Pattberg thinks that such an awkward situation could only happen in China: Not only is China importing its own history from the West, that history also comes totally Chinese-free!

“[…] whenever Western readers come across the term "Chinese Dream", they will try to understand it through their concept of the American Dream.

Ironically, they talked about how China must provide global knowledge and universalism. How is it going to do that, if China can’t even keep its own terminologies?

Dr. Thorsten Pattberg (Peking University) publishes widely on the East-Westdichotomy, Shengren, Language imperialism, Comparative cultural studies, Globallanguage, World history, the Competition for terminologies, the End oftranslation, and the Rise of non-European terminologies.

*****
Read article by star journalist Frank Ching about ‘Who is aChinese?’ in which he explains why the Chinese government seems to think that all ethnic Chinese belong to China even though they are often nationals of a foreign power.