- In this online course, we'll tackle some challenging and famous passages, from early historiography (the Zuozhuan 左傳) to Tang and Song essays, to imaginative fiction from the Qing period. Many selections come from the Guwen Guanzhi 古文觀止, a collection of exemplary writing in the classical style (古文), and are studied in high school and university in China and Taiwan.
- Unit I: The Classical Period
- The Analects 論語, The Zuo Tradition 左傳, The Book of Documents 尚書
- Unit II: The First Millennium CE
- Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, Lu Fayan 陸法言, Luo Binwang 駱賓王, Han Yu 韓愈
- Unit III: The Second (and Third) Millennium CE
- Ouyang Xiu 歐陽脩, Su Shi 蘇軾, Zhang Dai 張岱, Yuan Mei 袁枚
Advanced Classical/Literary Chinese
Sharpen your Literary Chinese with selections from the Warring States to the Qing Dynasty
Online Course with 12+ hours of video lessons (plus Q&A sessions!), just
$299 $199 using discount code 'advancedclassical' at checkout!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Rated 4.8/5 by 1000's of Chinese learners
Student Testimonials (from previous Classical Chinese courses)
Netherlands (living in NZ)
Taiwan (living in Australia)
USA (living in China)
USA (living in Finland)
For All Learners
Anyone who wants to reach a high level in Chinese will benefit from this course. Modern formal writing (newspapers, contracts, professional and academic documents, etc.) draws heavily from Classical Chinese, so it's not just for historians!
The way a non-native should go about learning Classical/Literary Chinese is very different from the way a native speaker should. It's very difficult to find instruction in Classical Chinese for non-natives without enrolling in university courses—until now!
The course is entirely self-paced, and like all of our courses, you'll still be able to access all of the materials after you're finished. No need to stress about time—you can go through the lessons on your own time, and ask us for help whenever you need it!
- About this course
Note: schedule is subject to change
Unit I: First Millennium BCE
Unit II: First Millennium CE
Unit III: Second Millennium CE
- 12:【清】袁枚《子不語 · 南昌士人》
This course will be taught live, as a combination of lectures and Q&A (though if you can't make it to the live sessions you can watch the recordings later). We'll also hold weekly office hours via Zoom. An exam will be given at the end of the course, and a passing score at the end earns you a Certificate of Completion!
It's structured like a university-level Classical Chinese course aimed at non-native speakers who already have some experience with basic Classical Chinese. If you've completed an introductory textbook like those by Michael Fuller, Paul Rouzer, or Kai Vogelsang, this course will help you to develop your skills further.
During the course, we'll read some of the most well-known passages of Classical Chinese. Many of them are included in the high school and university curricula in Taiwan and China. This course will help you to sharpen your skills in reading Classical/Literary Chinese, and give you exposure to a variety of time periods and styles of writing.
Can I go at my own pace? Will I be able to access the course once it's finished?
Yes! We'll do one lesson per week, but once the course is finished, we'll keep everything available online so that you can go through it at your own pace.
How much Chinese do I need to know to take this course?
You'll need to be at a lower-intermediate level. Generally, if you're somewhere in the HSK 2-3 range, or TOCFL 2-ish, you should be fine. The course will be taught in English, and while we will use some references in Chinese, translations will be provided so that you won't get lost. You'll also need some experience with Classical Chinese, either through our Intro and Intermediate Classical/Literary Chinese, or another equivalent resource for beginners to Classical Chinese. If you're not sure about your level, get in touch!
How long does the course take to complete?
There are 12 lessons, and we'll be doing one lesson per week. The course begins on 20 February and ends on 10 May, 2024.
How much time will it require per lesson?
There will be one to two lectures each week (you can attend live or watch the recording), and each will be about an hour. You'll also need to devote some time each week to working through the texts yourself.
We'll also do a live "office hour" session once a week on Zoom, so you can pop in and ask questions if you'd like. There will also be a discussion forum, so if you can't make it to the office hours, you can still get your questions answered.
Will I need anything (apps, etc.) in order to take the course?
Nope! All readings will be provided in PDF form. Some of the readings are available in the Fuller textbook we used for the Intro and Intermediate courses, but the Fuller textbook is not required for this course.
What time will the live lessons be?
Lecture A will take place on Tuesdays at 11am JST, and Lecture B will be on Thursdays at 6pm JST. Some lessons will require a Lecture B, and some will not—we'll play it by ear each week. Live Q&A sessions will be Fridays at 11am JST.
Can I study at my own pace or do I have to take the course live?
Either way. I'm teaching it as a live course, but you don't need to feel pressured to keep pace!
Keep in mind that if you can't show up to the live session, you'll be able to watch the replay at any time. Many people don't show up for the live session, but just watch the replay at their own pace. That's totally fine! You'll get lifetime access to the course, so that's no problem.
What does "lifetime access" mean?
In practical terms, it means the course materials will be available online for as long as Outlier is in business. If we do ever go out of business or otherwise need to remove the course for any reason, we'll make the material available for you to download for a period of at least 6 months.
Can I get a refund if I decide the course isn't for me?
Yes! Our usual refund policy is "30 days from purchase," but since the course doesn't start until 20 February, I'm extending the refund date to "the 20th of March." If you decide you don't like the course for whatever reason, just reach out by then and I'll be happy to refund you.
Will there be assignments or homework?
You'll need to set aside time each week to work through the texts we're reading. There won't be any homework otherwise.
There will be a final exam after the course is finished.
Can we collaborate with other students or form study groups?
Definitely! Our live courses usually have a few hundred students enrolled, so there should be plenty of students of all backgrounds and interests in this course too.
And sure, working together is no problem! We'll have a private online community where you can work together, ask questions, share notes, etc.
Co-founder, Outlier Linguistics
Before co-founding Outlier, John studied Linguistics and Paleography in the Graduate Institute of Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University. He co-founded and later ran the Taipei Classical Chinese Reading Group, a weekly reading group consisting mostly of graduate Sinology students from western universities. He also taught classical Chinese to members of the group who had no previous instruction in the language. His coursework and research focused on excavated Warring States bamboo texts, historical Chinese character morphology, and the Shuowen Jiezi 說文解字 and its commentaries and criticism.
Sign up now!
Online Course with 16+ hours of video lessons (plus Q&A sessions!), just
$299 $199 using discount code 'advancedclassical' at checkout!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Rated 4.8/5 by hundreds of Chinese learners