Recite Classic Literature

A driving school in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province, has announced a plan that encourages college students to learn more about Chinese literature.
湖北武汉的一家驾校招生出奇招,大学生背诵国学经典,学车就能打折甚至免单。

If you don’ t see the connection, here’ s how it works: If you can recite(背诵) more than 30,000 characters(汉字) from classic Chinese literature works(国学经典), you will be able to take the driving lessons for free(免费). (The original price(原价) for a full course is 3,800 yuan, or 613 US dollars.) If you can recite more than 8,000 characters, you will get a discount(打折) of 1,500 yuan. And more than 1,000 characters, a discount of 200 yuan.

So far(到目前为止), many college students have taken on the challenge(挑战). Le Yanyan, a senior majoring(学…专业) in Chinese literature, even managed to win the free lessons.

Explaining why the school has come up with this plan, principal Ma Deming says he is a big fan of Sinology(国学迷) and wants to do his part in helping promote it. He adds that it contains lots of profound thoughts(深刻的思想) and teaches the basic principles to conduct oneself(做人的基本原则), which can be beneficial to college students.

重点词汇 Key Words:

国学 guó xué
Sinology
It is the academic study of Chinese culture including philosophy, history, literature, linguistics, architecture, etc. Here it refers to some classic literature works, such as Four Books and Five Classics(四书五经 sì shū wǔ jīng).

The Four Books(四书) illustrate the core value and belief system in Confucianism.
[dà xué] 大学 Great Learning
[zhōng yōng] 中庸 Doctrine of the Mean
[lún yǔ] 论语 Analects
[mèng zǐ] 孟子 Mencius

The Five Classics(五经) are five books that form part of the traditional Confucian canon.
[shī jīng] 诗经 Classic of Poetry
[shàng shū] 尚书 Book of Documents
[lǐ jì] 礼记 Book of Rites
[zhōu yì] 周易 Book of Changes
[chūn qiū] 春秋 Spring and Autumn Annals

背诵 bèi sòng
recite

Eg. 你只是在背诵自己死记硬背下来的东西。
You are merely reciting facts that you have learned by rote memorization.

每个孩子都得在班上背诵一首诗。
Each child had to recite a poem to the class.

免费 miǎn fèi
free of charge/free/for free

Eg. 我为你所做的一切都是免费的。
What I do for you is free.

免费得到了电影票。
He got a film ticket for free.


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