Confucius Institute Multilingual Magazines

Confucius Institute Multilingual Magazines – Newsletter No.23
孔子学院总部多语种期刊电子简报 第23期
The Confucius Institute Directors, teachers and volunteers form a dedicated and hardworking team. Please enjoy the stories of directors, we wish to share the experiences they have accumulated while engaging in cultural exchange.
Cover Story:The Stories of Directors
Relationship between Chinese and Local Directors
Much like most other Directors working at Confucius Institute for the first time, I inevitably encountered many trivial things I couldn’t help but get caught up in… More和大多数初次接触孔子学院工作的其他院长一样,我一开始也不可避免的陷入各种琐碎事情…… 更多
Chinese Culture and Language Class for the Young at Heart
Beyond the typical primary, intermediate and advanced Chinese classes, the Chinese culture and language courses established by the Confucius Institute at the University of Leipzig also include special ones, such as painting and calligraphy class, cooking class, and classes for overseas Chinese children. Among all those classes, the most unique one is the class for the young at heart. More莱比锡大学孔子学院开设的汉语和文化课程,除正常的汉语初级、中级、高级班以外,还有颇具特色的特别班。比如书画班、烹调班、华裔子女班等等。老年班是特别班中感人至深的一个班。更多
Two people I met in San Marino
In 2015, I was appointed as the Chinese director of the Confucius Institute at University of the Republic of San Marino and during my stay there I have been much impressed by my contact with local people. Terenzi, like an ordinary easy-going old man in the neighborhood. Sometimes, he loves playing jokes like an old naughty boy, and his assistant just calls him “Pinocchio ” for fun. Another story is about a mayor who impressed me deeply. More2015 年,我赴圣马力诺大学孔子学院担任中方院长,与当地人们的接触给我留下了深刻的印象。泰伦齐先生就像一位邻家老头,完全没有架子。有时候他像一个老顽童,他的助手戏称他是“匹诺曹”。另一个给我留下了深刻印象的,是当地一位市长。 更多
I could understand the cultural confidence that the ambassador’s words conveyed
When the speech was coming to an end, a student raised a question, “Mr. Ambassador, most Chinese students can understand you when you speak in German, but if our ambassador gives a Chinese speech in Germany, how many German people can understand him?” The ambassador replied with a smile, “You can understand because of the Goethe Institute and our unswerving efforts to promote German in foreign countries. If your ambassador gives a Chinese speech abroad, then I am wondering what you have done to introduce your language and culture.”At that time, Hu Chunchun was sitting there as one of the audience. More演讲快要结束时,一位同学问道,大使先生您在这里用德文做报告,大多数中国学生都能听懂。那如果我们的大使到德国去做报告,有多少德国人能听懂呢?大使笑道:“你们之所以能听懂是因为我们有歌德学院,我们这么多年不遗余力的在海外做宣传。如果你们的大使到国外做演讲,我想请问的是,你们为传播自己的语言文化做了些什么?” 当时胡春春就坐在台下听讲座。 更多


Scan the QR code for stories read for you

Thanks for subscribing to the Confucius Institute multilingual magazine electronic newsletter.
If you would like to cancel your subscription,
please send a blank email to

banner chino

The Chinese zodiac

The Shēngxiào literally “birth likeness”, is also known in English as the Chinese zodiac. Zodiac derives from the similar concept in western astrology and means “circle of animals”. It is a scheme and systematic plan of future action that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes according to a 12-year mathematical cycle. It remains popular in several East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Mongolia.

The 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac are:

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

According to the Lunar Calendar, on 2016 The Chinese New Year starts on February the 8th´pand it is the Year of the Monkey.

The monkey is a clever animal. It is usually compared to a smart person. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC), the dignified Chinese official title of marquis was pronounced ‘Hou’, the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. The animal was thereby bestowed with an auspicious meaning.

These are the Years in the Chinese Zodiac according to the year of birth.

If you want to know what is your Chinese Zodiac Animal and an explanation of each, please click on the link.


The Great Race[edit]

An ancient folk story tells that Cat and Rat were the worst swimmers in the animal kingdom. Although they were poor swimmers, they were both quite intelligent. To get to the meeting called by the Jade Emperor, they had to cross a river to reach the meeting place. The Jade Emperor had also decreed that the years on the calendar would be named for each animal in the order they arrived to the meeting. Cat and Rat decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of Ox. Ox, being naïve and good-natured, agreed to carry them both across. Midway across the river, Rat pushed Cat into the water. Then as Ox neared the other side of the river, Rat jumped ahead and reached the shore first. So he claimed first place in the competition and the zodiac.[9][10]

Following closely behind was strong Ox who was named the 2nd animal in the zodiac. After Ox, came Tiger, panting, while explaining to the Jade Emperor how difficult it was to cross the river with the heavy currents pushing it downstream all the time. But with its powerful strength, Tiger made to shore and was named the 3rd animal in the cycle.[8]

Suddenly, from a distance came a thumping sound, and the Rabbit arrived. It explained how it crossed the river: by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway through, it almost lost the race, but the Rabbit was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore. For that, it became the 4th animal in the Zodiac cycle. In 5th place was the Flying Dragon. Of course, the Jade Emperor was deeply curious as to why a swift flying creature such as the Dragon should fail to reach first place. The mighty Dragon explained that he had to stop and make rain to help all the people and creatures of the earth, and therefore he was held back. Then, on his way to the finish, he saw a little helpless Rabbit clinging onto a log so he did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore. The Jade Emperor was very pleased with the actions of the Dragon, and he was added into the zodiac cycle. As soon as he had done so, a galloping sound was heard, and the Horse appeared. Hidden on the Horse’s hoof was the Snake, whose sudden appearance gave the Horse a fright, thus making it fall back and giving the Snake the 6th spot, while the Horse placed 7th.

Not long after that, a little distance away, the Goat, Monkey, and Rooster came to the shore. These three creatures helped each other to get to where they are. The Rooster spotted a raft, and took the other two animals with it. Together, the Goat and the Monkey cleared the weeds, tugged and pulled and finally got the raft to the shore. Because of their combined efforts, the Emperor was very pleased and promptly named the Goat as the 8th creature, the Monkey as the 9th, and the Rooster the 10th.

The 11th animal was the Dog. Although he was supposed to be the best swimmer, he could not resist the temptation to play a little longer in the river. Though his explanation for being late was because he needed a good bath after a long spell. For that, he almost didn’t make it to the finish line. Just as the Jade Emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little Pig. The Pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast and then fell asleep. After the nap, the Pig continued the race and was named the 12th animal of the zodiac cycle. The cat drowned in 13th place and did not make it in the zodiac. It is said that is the reason why cats always chase Rats; to get back at them for what they have done.

Another folk story tells that on registration day, the Rat met up with the Ox. He thought to himself “Ox is the fastest, strongest animal!” So the little Rat played a trick on the Ox. He asked the Ox if he would like to listen to him sing. The Rat opened his mouth but said nothing. “How was that?” he asked the Ox and of course he replied “Sorry little Rat, I didn’t hear you.” The Rat told the Ox to let him jump onto his back so that he could sing it more clearly, and the Ox agreed. Soon without knowing, the Ox was walking to the signing post, forgetting the Rat on his back. When they reached there, the Rat jumped off and claimed first place. The Ox following and the rest.

In Buddhism, legend has it that Buddha summoned all of the animals of the earth to come before him before his departure from this earth, but only 12 animals actually came to bid him farewell. To reward the animals who came to him, he named a year after each of them. The years were given to them in the order they had arrived.

The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac must have been developed in the early stages of Chinese civilization over hundreds of years before it became the current edition; and it’s very hard to investigate the real origin. Most historians agree that Cat is not in the list since the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac were formed before cats were introduced to China from India with Buddhism.

Another story tells that God called the animals to a banquet that night. The Rat, who loved to play tricks on his neighbor, told the cat that the banquet was on the day after tomorrow. The cat believed his neighbour the Rat and slept whilst dreaming of the banquet. The next day, the Rat arrived first followed by the Ox, the Tiger and the rest of the animals. The order of the animals was decided by the order that they arrived. The cat was devastated and vowed that he would always hate the Rat. This is why cats chase Rats in folklore.

Marzo / March

marzo eventos

Abril /April


Mayo / May


June / Junio


Julio/ July


Agosto / August


Septiembre / September


Octubre / October


Noviembre / November