After ten weeks following the second half of the HeadStart2 Mandarin course, a language course available for free courtesy of the USA Government, this week I will start sharing reviews of books that could add to both your language and cultural knowledge.
While I found few interesting books in other languages, I will focus just on those published in English.
The first book, “Chinese Internet Language: A Study of Identity Constructions” (see http://www.librarything.com/work/15025821/book/109253526 for ISBN, review, etc) has a mildly misleading title as it is actually much more than what you would expect by a book published within the series “LINCOM Studies in Chinese Linguistics”.
An appropriate choice, as the author is from… the Defense Language Institute (i.e. basically the source of the Headstart2 courses).
It starts with an extensive (and, so far, in my readings, unique) history of how China joined the Internet, along with an interesting analysis of the demographics of Internet presence, and the impact of English on everyday Chinese (at least for Netizens).
The title? A phrase that the author states is quite common between younger Netizens.
You can probably find this book in any academic library with an Asian languages section, but I think that probably could be useful also for any non-Chinese manager focused on developing business in or with China, as its “data content” in some areas exceeds even the useful “The State of China Atlas” (see http://www.librarything.com/work/1754121/book/79481851 for ISBN, etc).
Obviously, it is also interesting the linguistic side, i.e. the “lingo” of Netizens as a tribe, e.g. how they call “newbies” and “experts”.
Of course- as with any “tribal language”… read before you talk (or write), as otherwise you will risk obtaining the opposite of what you aim to achieve- i.e. you will confirm that you are *not* a Netizen 🙂
Additional bonus: according to the author (and others), English is still “trendy” for Netizens (who happen to be disproportionally highly educated and relatively young).
Last point: the book is short, written as a dissertation, and therefore relatively concise.
Have a nice week!
PS Please read the introduction to understand how to use this website 🙂