A Study of Language Problems in Sino-Western Communication in Modern Times
2019-09-12 21:09

Chapter One  Introduction

第一章 简介

1.1 Background of the Study

1.1 研究背景

In modern times, the West and China meet many language problems in their communication. As a lingua franca in the communities of Western traders founded in the ports of Chinese coast and some inland markets, CPE plays a fundamental role in the development of China-West contacts. To some extent, it also reflects the vicissitudes of the history of Chinese society. Therefore, it is meaningful to conduct more research on it. However, in academic circles, although it has been acknowledged that there is an indispensible relationship between CPE and pidgins and that CPE has aroused attention among scholars at home and abroad, little has been written on this topic, especially in China. Consequently, it is necessary to carry out further research on the evolution, true meaning and influence of CPE.


1.2 Significance of the Study

1.2 研究意义

First, it is true that all living languages are constantly changing and CPE is no exception. Conducting a study of it can help us deeply understand its impact on Chinese and English language and its practical functions in the development of Chinese society.


Second, since CPE is a new language variety rather than broken English, conducting a study of its linguistic features and causes can offer certain historical and methodological references to modern linguists and educators.


Third, because CPE is a substantial part in the phylogeny of linguistics and the linguistic forces shaping pidgins are exceptional, conducting a study of it can offer valuable insights into the study of pidgins and bring about some advances in certain areas of applied and theoretical linguistics.


1.3 Structure of the Study

1.3 研究结构

Chapter One introduces the background, significance, structure of the thesis. Chapter Two is the literature review including the research process of mixed languages and Chinese and overseas scholars’ research on CPE. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a theoretical framework for the thesis. Chapter Three is a simple introduction to pidgins and creoles. Chapter Four is a case study of CPE including its history, causes and learning approaches, characteristics, relations between interpreters, and its influences. Chapter Five will conclude the thesis with a summary and point out the limitations and implications of the thesis and directions of further research.



Chapter Two  Literature Review

第二章 文献综述

2.1 Theories of the Study of Mixed Languages

2.1 混合语言的研究理论

2.1.1 Monogenesis Theory

2.1.1 单源论

Monogenesis was first put forward by Whinnom (1956). When he was doing a research of Philippine-Spanish creole and Indonesian-Portuguese creole, he found that there were a lot of similarities in lexical and syntactic structures between them with the fact that the superstrate and substrate language were different, which had no readymade explanation. He advocated that the former was evolved from the latter. In other words, when Indonesian-Portuguese creole spreaded to Philippines, vocabularies derived from Portuguese were replaced by Spanish, but the original syntax and phrase structure were retained. Further, he speculated that Indonesian-Portuguese creole was evolved in the same way, deriving from the “lingua franca” popular in the Middle Ages of Mediterranean.


Monogenesis got the support of many people after standing out in a seminar in the University of the West Indies in 1959. At and after the seminar, a common view that most pidgins and creoles had the same origin was formed: they were derived from pidgins based on the superstrate of Portuguese in the east coast of Africa in the sixteenth century which were derived from lingua franca. As a result, lingua franca was the origin of all mixed languages.


2.1.2 Simplification Theory

2.1.2 简化理论

Simplification theory is sometimes called “baby talk theory” that means that pidgins are simplified superstrate language. It is in essence similar to the language used by parents when talking to children. Visibly, it is easy to understand. For example, such key features of pidgins as the lack of linking verb, morphological changes and complex syntactic structures can be found from early childhood language.


Simplification was first brought up as a theoretic mechanism by Bloomfield (1933). With the development of language acquisition research in the 1970s, a growing number of scholars supported this theory. Besides, some scholars even applied it in the research of Second Language Acquisition.


2.1.3 Language Universals Theory

2.1.3 语言共性理论

Language universals theory advocates that mixed language represents the essence of human language. And human language is the same in nature and is governed by general syntactic rules. Differences of various kinds of natural languages come from non-essential peripheral grammar or change in license within the parameters of universal grammar while mixed languages sublate peripheral grammar and leave only universal grammar. That’s why there are so many similarities among various kinds of mixed languages.


There are two schools of this theory. One explains that the formation of pidgins is with universal grammar and advocates that in the process of the formation of pidgins, people just choose the universal grammar to use because that’s what can be accepted by everyone. The other advocates that pidgins are too rough and only creoles are steady enough to show the characteristics of universal grammar and that people are born with linguistic competence, the universal grammar. In other words, creoles are in the early stages of the development of human language and they don’t have peripheral grammar. That’s why all creoles are similar in exception to vocabularies.


2.1.4 Substrate Influence Theory


As a theoretical framework, substrate influence is a theory used to explain the origin of mixed language. Most scholars just recognize that there are some substrate language features in mixed language, but Taylor (1971, 1977) held that effects of substrate language could be used to explain the similarities among some mixed languages. He indicated that there were many similarities in creoles’ structure in the Caribbean coast and most of these similarities could be found in Yoruba in the coast of west African. Therefore, if we assume that some members of Kwa which are similar to Yoruba are the common substrate language of Caribbean creoles, then we could offer a reasonable explanation for these similarities.

作为一种理论框架,下层语言影响理论是一种用来解释混合语言起源的理论。大多数学者只是认识到混合语言中存在着一些下层语言的特征,但是泰勒(1971, 1977)认为下层语言的作用可以用来解释一些混合语言之间的相似性。他指出加勒比海岸克里奥耳语的结构有许多相似之处,其中大部分相似之处可以在西非海岸的约鲁巴语中找到。因此,如果我们假设一些与约鲁巴语相似的克瓦语族中的语言和加勒比克里奥耳语相似的话,那么我们就可以对这些相似性做出合理的解释。

2.1.5 Comprehensive Theory

2.1.5 综合理论

The theories mentioned above mainly occurred from the 1960s to 1970s. From the late 1980s, researchers studying mixed language seemed less rigid and most of them tended not to deny or adhere to a certain theory but learned widely from others, which accelerated the appearance of comprehensive theory. They advocated that in the process of the formation of pidgins, people with superstrate and substrate language both simplified their languages to communicate. And in the process of communication, those acceptable to both sides were retained and became pidgins known to us today.


With the development of human society and the study of linguistics, comprehensive theory might have a more promising future.


2.2 The Study of Mixed Languages


2.2.1 The Study of Mixed Languages in an Early Age


In modern world history, most mixed languages are produced with the expansion of colonialism in which the language of colonial powers is referred as superstrate language, which creates an illusion that all mixed languages are varieties of European languages. Besides, because of the contradictions between colonialists and colonized people, simple language problems are always tend to be mixed with social and political issues, which makes many Europeans see pidgins and creoles as ruined European languages and colonists deem colonized people retard who are unable to learn the language of the colonial master.


However, there were some scholars who had seen the special status of mixed language and done some researches with serious scientific attitude. Generally speaking, the first one to do such research is Van Name (1869-1870) who studied creole languages respectively based on French, Spanish, German and English, finding out a lot common points among them and pointing out that creoles were derived from pidgins.

然而,也有一些学者看到了混合语言的特殊地位,并以严肃的科学态度进行了一些研究。一般来说,最早进行这类研究的是Van Name(1869-1870),他分别以法语、西班牙语、德语和英语为基础研究了克里奥耳语,发现了克里奥耳语和这些语言之间的许多共同点,并指出克里奥耳语起源于皮钦语。

Until 1880s, some articles about mixed language appeared. German linguist Hugo Shuchardt made a summary of those articles and a deep research of creoles related to Portuguese, theoretically exploring the mechanism of formation and development of it for the first time.


Until 1930s, the research center of mixed language transferred from Europe to America. After that, the research of it became on-the-spot investigation of America-creoles and pidgins. The analyses and researches based on the first-hand materials greatly promoted the development of mixed language study. However, it still didn’t form an independent discipline and even the research results were rarely known in the field of linguistics.


During World War II, in the need of entering a global war, America enhanced the research and teaching of languages in the world, which promoted the development of linguistics and brought a new stage of mixed language study.


2.2.2 The Study of Mixed Languages After 1950s

2.2.2 20世纪50年代以后的混合语言研究

From the 1950s, linguistics began to flourish and the research of mixed language had a further development. In1959, the scholars participated in a seminar of mixed language to discuss creoles and related linguistic issues. In the1960s, the study of it even had a foothold in higher education.


In the late1960s, there were upheavals in many countries and intense struggles among different ideologies. On the one hand, increasing awareness of national language promoted the development of mixed language research; on the other hand, ideological divides brought growing factionalism. From 1973, a group of mixed language experts published a research communication to make comprehensive reports on a variety of mixed language studies. In 1989, the Society of Pidgin and Creole Languages was established. Since then, the research of mixed language had become an indispensible part of international linguistics.


With further development of sociolinguistics and efforts of linguists, the last few years have seen increasingly intensive study of mixed languages all over the world, so that we have grasped much more information about them than before. For example, based on previous studies, Sarah G. Thomason (2001) proposed many refreshing original views. Raymond Hickey (2010) made a deeper exploration of mixed language from many aspects.

近年来,随着社会语言学的进一步发展和语言学家的努力,世界各国对混合语言的研究越来越深入,掌握的信息也越来越多。例如,莎拉 G. 托马森(2001)在前人研究的基础上提出了许多新颖的观点。雷德蒙·希基(2010)从多个方面对混合语言进行了更深入的探索。

The advancement of mixed language research reflects the growth of linguistics and the significance of such research. More and more scholars have realized that the formation and development of mixed language have provided a practical model of language evolution, and the research of it is likely to trigger a leap in the understanding of language nature. In other words, the future of mixed language research is promising.


2.3 Chinese and Overseas Scholars’ Research on Chinese Pidgin English

2.3 中外学者对中国洋泾浜英语的研究

2.3.1 Studies in Materials and General Studies

2.3.1 材料研究和一般研究

In terms of quality and quantity, there is a big difference in the data collection and processing of CPE between Chinese and English literature.


For Chinese literature, there are only a few valuable materials finished in the Qing dynasty. For example, 张海鹏(1995:591) noted that there were more than hundreds of pieces of English reference materials in a piece of reading notes of a Huizhou merchant.


In terms of research, before the 1980s, only Chen Yuan had done some involvements. 陈原(1979:53) referred CPE as “an extreme of language pollution”, which reflected the negative awareness of Chinese academic circle at that time.


After 1980s, evaluation and description of CPE increased and value evaluation began to shift towards academic evaluation. For example, 叶蜚声,徐通锵(1981) conducted a rather objective and accurate introduction; 季压西,陈伟民(2002) conducted a more systematical discussion about the history, features and impacts of CPE.


Comparatively, foreigners have paid more attention to early CPE than Chinese and there are considerable corpuses in English literature. The early corpus is mainly in the travelogues and memoirs of Western travelers coming to China. For example, Noble (1762) recorded some information of Canton, Macau and other places in the 1740s, which is one of the rare documents and has irreplaceable significance to the study on CPE. One of the most significant literatures in the 1800s is Williams (1836) and in the 1900s is Hall (1944).


In terms of research, Dennys (1870) seems to be the earliest English literature to discuss CPE from an academic point of view. He briefly discussed the causes, features, language functions and language problems of CPE.


In the early 1900s, Reinecke (1937) put forward a clear point of view of the generation, development, dissemination and dissolution of CPE. At the beginning of Second World War, Hall became the first one to delve into CPE mainly from the perspective of linguistics, and ultimately created a pidgin language discipline.


2.3.2 Studies in Origin

2.3.2 起源研究

When it comes to the origin of CPE, in Chinese sources, it seems to be more homogenous because most texts discovered are phrasebooks. Such phrasebooks are believed to exist from at least the 1830s. For example, at that time, the Chinese servants, coolies and shopkeepers learned ‘Pigeon English’ by reading a small pamphlet called Devils’ Talk; besides, The Common Language of the Red-haired Foreigners is the earlier record brochure of English words and phrases appearing in Canton and became popular in the folk as textbooks or reference books of Cantonese English learning.


The second half of the nineteenth century was the heyday of the Canton trade. The opening of new treaty ports served as a catalyst of the spread of CPE. As a result, there was a greater demand for pidgin speaking people and phrasebooks; therefore, more comprehensive phrasebooks were offered in the market. For example, The Chinese and English Instructor by Tong Ting-kü in 1862 which is still the single most comprehensive and valuable CPE text until now.


Comparatively, there are two popular hypotheses of the origin of CPE in English literature: Monogenesis and Simplification.


Monogenesis states that all pidgins and creoles are descendants of the original lingua franca in the Mediterranean including CPE. The appeal of this hypothesis is that it could explain the structural similarities among pidgins and creoles, which made it popular in the 1960s and 1970s when most specialists viewed them as grammatically similar. However, owing to intensive study of pidgins all over the world, this hypothesis gradually lost much of its initial appeal.


Simplification theory was brought up as a theoretic mechanism by Bloomfield (1933). It advocates that in the process of language contact, because of some language and social factors, members of new contact community will develop a common means of communication by simplifying their bilateral language. Nevertheless, sometimes, this process is relatively passive because there is no reason to assume that the lexifier language is always a target language that speakers of other communities want to learn.


Take CPE for example, Chinese speakers were said to have created it partly because in the eyes of bureaucrats and literati, English is inferior foreign language, which made them unwilling to learn and even more unwilling to permit English or other foreigners to learn Chinese.


2.3.3 Studies in Language Features

2.3.3 语言特征研究

CPE mainly consists of English and Chinese, which is acknowledged by all scholars regardless of what views they hold. However, according to research, it does contain some language elements of Portuguese and some language sources of South and Southeast Asia.


Hunter (1882) and Williams (1836) have founded those heterogeneous word components and conducted an explanation of this phenomenon. They thought that before the appearance of CPE, there were already widespread pidgin Portuguese in Macau and Canton which was used as a medium of communication between Chinese and Western people. In the transformation from pidgin Portuguese to CPE, some language elements of the former were blended in the latter, becoming the heterologous components of CPE.


The Chinese also noticed that at the time. According to contemporary scholars' research,《澳门记略》was a famous Chinese historical work about Macau. In this book, the author described that the words and phrases derived from Portuguese were used by Chinese there. And《海录》also involved some information of Portuguese and pidgin Portuguese. However, they just noticed the phenomenon but failed to rise to the level of theory.


Some scholars think that a small part of the words of CPE are derived from South and Southeast Asia. On the one hand, according to the world maritime history, Robertson put forward the nautical jargon theory in 1971 which advocated that because of the complicated sources of seafarers after the Middle Age, when creating a unified maritime jargon, seafarers with different nationalities brought their own native language ingredients in it. Therefore, it had multiple components and sources. That is to say, pidgin languages affected by it must also have a variety of language elements. According to this theory, language ingredients of South and Southeast Asia in CPE were the result of maritime jargon spoken by seafarers.


On the other hand, some foreigners in China argued that some CPE words derived from South and Southeast Asia were the result of loanword. These words were first borrowed to Portuguese by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, and then used by the British arrived at there. With the successive arrival of the British and Portuguese in China, these words were brought to China and continued to use in pidgin Portuguese and CPE.


Then, for the language features of CPE, some foreign scholars conducted a detailed analysis of its phonetic system. Hall (1944) was the most detailed and systematic study.  But it is worth noting that he and other scholars actually advocated that CPE had no tone, therefore, they only induced the vowel and consonant system of it.


As to words and phrases which are more important than phonetics in CPE, the existing relevant arguments are only illustrative examples, rather than an exhaustive analysis. The reasons may be as follows: the corpus of CPE is scarce and scattered; it is hard to do annotation and back-translation and scholars’ knowledge might be limited.


2.3.4 Studies in Dissemination

2.3.4 传播研究

There are two main aspects of the dissemination of CPE: interpersonal communication and space communication.


Until now, serious study of interpersonal communication of CPE is still scarce and the earlier records are mainly made by Westerners in China, reflecting the situation of Canton and Macau. As a main means of learning CPE by directly contacting with foreigners, Williams (1836) noted that Chinese people would stay at the Thirteen Hongs in Canton, small shops or other places all day to learn Canton English.


Moreover, Hunter noted that there were teaching books in Canton at that time. Downing (1838) pointed out that these books were quite widespread there. However, the CPE “teachers” were often very poor, because the students would leave to make a living by a few isolated words and phrases just learnt. Even so, it seems that to conform to social needs, as a means of interpersonal communication, “school” education had been established in Canton at that time even both irregular and unstable.


For CPE, the space dissemination is more important. Based on previous research results, 张振江conducted more detailed discussion and pointed out that the space dissemination quickly began after the end of the Opium War. And there are three main dissemination paths: to Hong Kong; to the mainland of China and to the Pacific region.


The first route: to Hong Kong. Before the Opium War, CPE had spreaded to Hong Kong, but was limited to a minimum area. After the British occupation of Hong Kong, foreigners in Canton and some Chinese relocated to Hong Kong. And in 1856, to run away from social upheaval, Chinese people from Canton and other places arrived at Hong Kong. For lack of language talents who were proficient in each other’s language, CPE continued to act as a communication media in administration, business and other fields until the middle of the twentieth century.


The second route: to the mainland of China. After the Opium War, foreign forces rapidly spreaded to the trade ports and gradually entered Wuhan, Beijing and other regions. Because few foreigners could speak Chinese, they took those who served for them in Canton there for help and these Chinese people were also willing to migrate as interpreter and comprador of foreigners. Afterwards, Cantonese interpreters and compradors came in a throng and they still used CPE after arriving and taught the local people, so pidgins in all areas had the same origin and distinct characteristic of Canton dialect.


The third route: to the Pacific region. After the Opium War, the Qing government was forced to allow people’s legal migration, so the people in Canton dialect migrated to North America, Hawaii and Australia. As a result, CPE brought by these immigrants became one of the sources of the Pacific islands pidgin English. Moreover, due to the demand for labor in America, quite a few Chinese people moved to America and distributed in several areas such as San Francisco, forming the Chinatown where CPE was maintained to communicate with people in English and it was widely used until the beginning of the twentieth century.



Chapter Three  Pidgins and Creoles

第三章 皮钦语和克里奥耳语

3.1 A Simple Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles

3.1 皮钦语和克里奥耳语的简单介绍

Pidgin is a simplified language combining vocabulary of different languages. It is developed by people dwelling in the same area but without a common language to communicate. In other words, it is a standard language to some extent but with a reduced or simplified grammar structure, vocabulary or phonological variation. The reasons for pidgins to occur include political, economic and social factors, especially for trade matters.


Creole is a stable natural language evolved from a mixture of different languages. The list of creole languages shows that about 100 of them have arisen since 1500 and are predominantly based on European languages such as English and French because of the slave trade at that time. The lexicon of them is largely supplied by the parent languages, however, there are often clear phonetic, semantic and grammar shifts.


3.2 The Relationship Between Pidgins and Creoles

3.2 皮钦语和克里奥尔语之间的关系

Creoles exist when pidgins become a first language of a new generation. In other words, a pidgin is always involved in the early stage of a creole. The relationships between them are as follows:


There are some similarities between them. First, they exist more in coastal areas rather than inland areas because of trade; second, like pidgins, creoles generate in such language contact situations that typically involve two or more than two languages; third, they typically draw their lexicon primarily from a single language; finally, like the grammar of pidgins, the grammar of creoles is a compromise created by its creators among cross languages.


There are also some differences between them. First, pidginization is second language learning because it is not a native language and mainly for communication in trade while creolization is first language learning because creoles generate when pidgins become a first language; second, pidginization involves some kind of simplification, considerable phonological variation of a language, and extensive borrowed words from local languages while creolization involves extended morphology and syntax, regular phonology, and a rational and stable system; finally, as the official language of Haiti, creoles are still in use while pidgins are almost out of use today.


3.3 English-Based Atlantic Creoles

3.3 基于英语的大西洋克里奥尔语

The expansion of Britain not only facilitated the spread of Standard English but more pidgins and creoles around the world. That is to say, Britain was more successful than any other nation in implanting its language around the globe not only for the number of people using English but the English varieties in the world community. There are two chief groups owing to historical, geographical and linguistic factors: the Atlantic group in West Africa and the Caribbean area between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the Pacific group in Australia during the nineteenth century.


The Atlantic group consists principally of plantation creoles which are structurally similar to the other Atlantic creoles based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French, and they share many common features because of typological similarity of the Niger-Congo languages. Pidgins and creoles English developed during the seventeenth century on both sides of the Atlantic, such as in the Caribbean where the British established plantation colonies, and in the West Africa around the isolated areas where they captured slaves for their New World colonies. The slave owners and slaves crossed both sides of Atlantic Ocean, which made it possible to explain some of the striking similarities among different varieties of Atlantic Creole English.

大西洋这一支主要由殖民地克里奥尔语组成,其结构与基于葡萄牙语、西班牙语、荷兰语和法语而产生的其它大西洋克里奥尔语相似。由于和尼日尔 - 刚果语言的类型相似,它们具有许多共同特征。 皮钦语和克里奥尔英语在十七世纪于大西洋两岸发展起来,例如由英国建立的农场殖民地的加勒比海地区,以及在西非的一些偏远地区。在这些偏远地区,英国人为建立新世界殖民地捕获了许多的奴隶。奴隶主和奴隶越过大西洋两岸,这也在一定程度上解释了大西洋克里奥尔语英语不同变体之间存在惊人的相似性的原因。

Finally, because of social and linguistic factors, there were two branches: the restructured English spoken by North American Indians and the Caribbean Creoles spoken in Britain.


3.4 English-Based Pacific Pidgins and Creoles

3.4 基于英语的太平洋皮钦语和克里奥尔语

There is a consensus opinion that the restructured varieties of English of the Pacific are quite different from those of the Atlantic in terms of both linguistic structures and socio-historical situations of their speakers. First, they were affected by substrate languages belonging to disparate families of languages. Second, most of them evolved into extended pidgins and even indigenized creoles while the Atlantic varieties of English were almost all creoles as the continua of early pidgins. Third, most of them evolved in the nineteenth century while nearly all of the Atlantic varieties of English generated during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


CPE developed around Canton by 1700, and in the second half of the nineteenth century, exactly in 1851, gold rush sprang up in Ballarat. It boosted the number of Chinese immigrants mainly working in various gold fields in Australia, and most of them originated from Canton of China where at that time CPE was widely used. Thus, they were speakers in various dialects of Cantonese. In other words, they brought CPE to the mining areas where they lived at that time; moreover, during the second half of the nineteenth century, the Pacific islanders were brought as indentured laborers to work on plantations in Queensland in northeastern Australia and elsewhere. The sociolinguistic conditions there promoted the generation of Melanesian Pidgin English, a stable English variety spoken by Aborigines and Melanesian laborers.



Chapter Four  Chinese Pidgin English

第四章 中国洋泾浜英语

4.1 History of Chinese Pidgin English

4.1 中国洋泾浜英语的历史

4.1.1 Portuguese Colonists and Cantāo Portuguēs

4.1.1 葡萄牙殖民者和广东葡语

According to historical records, the Portuguese is the first batch of the West to conduct colonial activities in the East, and also the first batch of Westerners in China, which made Portuguese become the earliest occidental language contacting with oriental language.


Portuguese settlers had been coveting the vast and rich China and provoking with the intention of encroaching on China's southeast coastal areas from the early 16th century. In 1514, Portuguese ships arrived in the coveted Canton coast for the first time. In 1523, after being expelled from Canton, they colluded with Japanese pirates to harass the waters of South China Sea and occupy some islands, but were deported from China finally. In 1553, they changed the strategy to privately bribe an official of the Ming Dynasty and land Macau on the pretext of insolating salvages. In 1557, they sneaked into Macau to build small warehouses, obtained residency by deception and bribery, and formally announced port opening, occupying Macau for a long time.

葡萄牙定居者一直对于广大而富饶的中国垂涎欲滴。他们从16世纪初开始展现出了想要侵占中国东南沿海地区的野心。 1514年,葡萄牙船队首次抵达令其垂涎欲滴的广州海岸。 1523年,在被驱逐出广州后,他们与日本海盗勾结,骚扰南海水域并占领了一些岛屿。但最终他们被驱逐出了中国。 1553年,他们改变了策略,私下贿赂一名明朝官员,并以打捞残骸为借口登陆澳门。 1557年,他们潜入澳门建造小型仓库,通过欺骗和贿赂获得居住权,并正式宣布开放港口,长期占领澳门。

With Macau, Portugal became the protagonist of Sino-West trade before the arrival of British and American. In need of life and communication, Portuguese had to communicate with local Chinese; consequently, Portuguese gradually became the lingua franca of China's coastal trade. The earliest CPE, Cantāo Portuguēs generated in this case. It was a kind of mixed language with Portuguese, English, Indian, Malay and Chinese Cantonese. The pronunciation of it was recorded by Chinese characters on the basis of Canton dialect, which directly led to a huge difference between the pronunciation of it and real Portuguese. For example, “Bengal (孟加拉) ” was marked as “自明呀喇” in Chinese character while the corresponding Portuguese was “Bangla”.


The Portuguese occupation of Macau opened the prelude of Western powers’ invasion of China and started the cultural infiltration of Western colonialism in China. From the early 19th century to the Opium War, with the enhancement of trade status in China, the British colonists gradually replaced the Portuguese colonists and monopolized trade in China, which made Cantāo Portuguēs quit the historical stage around the middle of the nineteenth century. And a new pidgin emerged, namely the Canton English.


4.1.2 Canton English Before the Opium War

4.1.2 **战争前的广州英语

The British began to trade with China in the early stage of the seventeenth century. And in 1715, the British East India Company set up a factory in Canton, which indicated that the British took the top spot in the trade with China and became the main foreign power in China. But at that time, English language had not contacted with Chinese language, so the British had to communicate with Chinese through interpreters who could speak Cantāo Portuguēs.

英国人在十七世纪初开始与中国进行贸易。 1715年,英国东印度公司在广州设立工厂,这表明了英国在与中国的贸易中占据了首位,成为在中国主要的外国势力。但当时英语并位于中文产生联系,所以英国人不得不借助懂广东葡语的翻译与中国人进行交流。

With the improvement of the British trade status in China, from the end of the seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century, a unique language used for business transactions and communication gradually formed in Canton, the Canton English. It was a kind of mixed language based on Cantonese and English vocabulary and also mingled with Portuguese, Malay and Indian language.


In 1757, Canton became the only port for foreign trade, and the rapid development of foreign trade made a large number of people depend on it for a living. Driven by realistic interests, those people quickly mastered this language and spreaded it to the mainland. After the 1830s, with the continuous development between China and West, the application of Canton English was expanded and several block-printed editions of it used as textbooks and dictionaries appeared in Canton, which was the symbol of its peak stage.

1757年,广州成为唯一的对外贸易口岸,而对外贸易的快速发展使得大量人口靠其为生。在现实的利益驱使下,这些人很快掌握了这门语言并将其传播到了大陆。 19世纪30年代以后,随着中西方的不断发展,广州英语的应用范围不断扩大,广州出现了不少用作教科书和词典的雕版印刷品,这是其巅峰时期的象征。

During the Opium War, the Western powers opened the door of China with gun boats, after that, China began the period of humiliating treaties, and gradually reduced to the colonies and semi-colonies of Western powers. For several years after the Opium War, with further development of communication and conflict between China and West, Canton English gained a more prominent position in the southeast coastal area of China, objectively prompting the language toward a more perfect form with the appearance of new and better Canton English vocabulary books, such as《华英通语》and《英语集全》. After 1860s, the status of Canton declined in Sino-West communication, and Shanghai became a new trade center with the appearance Shanghai Pidgin English.

在**战争期间,西方列强用战舰打开了中国的大门。在这之后,中国开始进入了丧权辱国条约的签订时期,逐渐沦为西方列强的殖民地和半殖民地。**战争后的几年里,随着中西交流与冲突的进一步发展,广州英语在中国东南沿海地区占据了更加突出的位置,客观上促使其形式更加完善,出现了不少品质优良的广州英语词汇书籍,如《华英通语》和《英语集全》。 19世纪60年代以后,广州的地位在中西交流中有所下降,上海取而代之成为新的贸易中心,上海洋泾浜英语就此出现。

4.1.3 Shanghai Pidgin English After the Opium War

4.1.3 **战争后的上海洋泾浜英语

The Five-Treaty-Ports after the first Opium War ended the unified pattern of foreign trade of Canton. As one of the new open ports, Shanghai quickly became the biggest trade base in east China for its favorable geographical position and open trade environment. Under such circumstance, a large number of Canton merchants went there to continue trading with foreigners. They not only brought rich business experiences but an important language tool communicating with foreigners, pidgin English.


At the beginning, most translation activities were undertaken by interpreters from Canton, afterwards, more and more people in Shanghai joined in, which promoted the generation of Shanghai pidgin English. It was a special mixed language derived from Canton English and based on English and Shanghai dialect. It was also mixed up with some French, Portuguese, Spanish and Macau. There are some features of its pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.


First, in terms of pronunciation, Shanghai pidgin English was still severely affected by Chinese phonology. There is a common lack of the sound /r/ in most southern dialects. As a result, there were some regularly wrong examples: read red as / led /, very as / veli /. Besides, because there is no retroflex in Shanghai dialect, the consonant cluster ‘sh’ is always replaced by / s /. In addition, there were still very few phonemes of it.

首先,在发音方面,上海洋泾浜英语仍然受到汉语音韵的严重影响。大多数南方方言普遍缺乏/ r /这个发音。所以,一些错误会经常发生。比如:把red读成/ led /,把very读成/ veli /。此外,由于上海方言中没有翘舌音,辅音'sh'这个发音总是会被读成/ s /。另外,它的音素仍然很少。

Second, in terms of vocabulary, although the vocabulary of it was still limited, it already had a great progress in comparison with Canton English. There were about 700 or so vocabularies and the classification were more specialized. It broke the original pattern and provided more expression ways such as simple conversation.


Third, in terms of grammar, there were still numerous simplifications in Shanghai pidgin English. The free form of vocabulary replaced the adhesion form of inflection. In addition, the concord of gender, number, case and person did not exist and its syntactic structure was simplified in maximum.


This Sino-British mixed Shanghai pidgin English was used until 1930s-1940s. However, due to its own deficiencies and the popularity of formal English education after liberation, it didn't become an influential language in China finally, not to mention develop into a new kind of creole language.

这种中英混合的上海洋泾浜英语一直使用到1930 - 1940年代。但是,由于其自身的不足和解放后正规英语教育的普及,它最终没有成为中国有影响力的语言,更不用说发展成为一种新的克里奥尔语了。

4.2 Causes and Learning Approaches of Chinese Pidgin English

4.2 中国洋泾浜英语的成因和学习方法

4.2.1 Causes of Chinese Pidgin English

4.2.1 中国洋泾浜英语的成因

CPE generated and developed with the history of Western colony. The Western colonial rob and Sino-West trade were direct causes of its generation. Besides, there were also some historical and realistic reasons during the generation process of it.


Historically, it was the needs of world economic development that promoted the generation of CPE. After seeing through the surface, the enhancement of international economic and political exchanges affected by the industrial revolution were the breeding ground of CPE. In this context, although the Qing government implemented the policy of seclusion, some insightful folk people were active to participate in international communication and gain profits from international market. As a result, they created CPE as a communication tool. And the following historical practices demonstrated that integration was the trend of world development and pidgin English was an active attempt to strive for internationalization in the modern China.


Realistically, it was the political and cultural environment that promoted the generation of CPE. When the Westerners were plundering by all means and striving to trade with China, the Qing government was complacent yet. At that time, bureaucrat and literati held that the purpose of foreigners’ coming was seeking help, so it were them who should learn Chinese language, not the other way around; and before the mid-eighteenth century, the Qing government restricted officers and citizens from learning foreign languages including English, let alone building schools to teach foreign languages, which determined the necessity of CPE. Meanwhile, because Chinese language is both broad and profound and has many local dialects, it is difficult for foreigners to learn in a short time. But the realistic demands of trade and life forced them to learn and that’s why CPE generated as a spontaneous language form in the folk.


4.2.2 Learning Approaches of Chinese Pidgin English

4.2.2 中国洋泾浜英语的学习方法

First, learn from foreign masters. Samuel Wells Williams was an important personage in the modern history of Sino-US relations. During his 43 years in China, he was the editor of The Chinese Repository. He conducted a comprehensive study of China from the perspective of culture in The Middle Kingdom which was a milestone of American Sinology. He once mentioned in a letter that all the servants working in foreigner's home wanted to learn English because after mastering it, they could go to a bigger foreign trade company to act as a comprador or directly do business with foreigners.

首先,向外国大师学习。塞缪尔·威尔斯·威廉姆斯(Samuel Wells Williams)是中美关系近代史上的重要人物。他在中国工作了43年,《中国丛报》的编辑。他从中国文化的角度对中国进行了全面的研究。这也是美国汉学的一个里程碑。他曾在一封信中提到,所有在外国人家中工作的仆人都想学习英语,因为在掌握英语之后,他们可以去一家更大的外贸公司担任买办或直接与外国人做生意。

Second, learn by practice in the places foreigners always appear. For example, in the late Qing dynasty, there was a kind of prostitutes called “handsome maiden” in Canton and Shanghai who specialized in entertaining foreign guests. They wandered around the ports and attracted foreigners by their poor English imitating from the sailors. Over time, they mastered CPE, so they were also a driving force of CPE.


Third, learn by reference books. In the late Qing Dynasty, some language practitioners noticed CPE and seized the business opportunity to compile and publish some reference books helping people to learn. For example, the《红毛蕃书》in Macau and the 《红毛买卖通用鬼话》in Foshan. All of these reference books were annotated by dialects and used dialects for phonetic notation, which made it handy to use for learners. Therefore, it also became a learning approach for those who were eager to learn English. But no matter what kind of learning methods, they all showed the features of learning rapidly and easily.


4.3 Characteristics of Chinese Pidgin English

4.3 中国洋泾浜英语的特点

4.3.1 Words and Sounds

4.3.1 词汇和发音

CPE words were mainly derived from English and with the influences of Portuguese, Malay, Hindi and Cantonese.


In terms of words, first, some individual English words were used frequently in a wrong way because of extremely limited vocabularies mastered by learners. For example, the word “belong” was frequently used in CPE: “You belong ploper (proper)?” (“你好吗?”); “How muchee (much) belong?” (“多少钱?”). The real reason for this phenomenon was that in CPE, the link verb ‘to be’ and all of its morphological transforms didn’t exist and was replaced by ‘belong’. For example, “I am” was said to be “I belong” and “you are” to be “you belongest”.

就单词而言,首先,由于学习者掌握的词汇量非常有限,因此一些英语单词经常以错误的方式被使用。例如,中国洋泾浜英语中经常使用“belong”这个词:“You belong ploper(proper)?”(“你好吗?”); “How muchee(much)belong?”(“多少钱?”)。这种现象的真正原因在于,在中国洋泾浜英语中,链接动词“to be”及其所有形态变换都不存在,并被“belong”所取代。例如,“I am”被说成是“I belong”,而“you are”被说成是“you belongest”。

Second, another lexical feature of CPE was the expression of numeral. In Chinese, numerals were generally accompanied by quantifiers. Affected by this, such words as “one”, “two” and “three” were not used alone but were spoken to be “one piece”, “two piece”, and “three piece” ; and “one piece girl” meant “one girl”.

其次,中国洋泾浜英语的另一个词汇特征是数字的表达。在中文中,数字通常伴随着量词。受此影响,“one”,“two”,“three”等单词不单独使用,而是被称为“one piece”,“two piece”,“three piece”;而“one piece girl”的意思是“one girl”。

Third, the etymology of CPE was diversified. For example, Cantonese-affected words: “taipan” (boss of foreign firm) and “fankuei” (foreign devils); and moreover, “masky” which meant “never mind” or “who cares” was derived from Portuguese “masque”; “junk” from Javanese “junco”, “shroff” from Arabic and “coolie” from Hindi.


In terms of sounds, it is difficult to present a definitive explanation of the phonology of CPE for many reasons: first, the phonetic notation by Chinese characters and different sounds among different dialects led to the distortion of phonology; second, the transcription system made it difficult to know what the actual pronunciation of words was because there were similar sounds among Chinese characters. One of the most predominant features was the replacement of [r] by [l] because the former doesn’t exist in Cantonese and was thus replaced by the only non-nasal sonorant of Cantonese: rice to lice. Another was the deletion of final consonants because Chinese people could not speak them well. So they often added a suffix such as ‘ee’: make to makee.

在发音方面,我们很难对中国洋泾浜英语的发音做出明晰的解释,其中原因有很多:首先,汉字的语音符号和不同方言之间的不同发音导致了语言音韵上的失真;第二,因为汉字之间有着相似的发音,转录系统很难标记出单词的实际发音到底是什么。其中一个最主要的特征是用[l]取代[r],因为后者不存在于广东话,因此被广东话的唯一非鼻声响音代替: rice读作lice 。另一个特征是尾辅音的略去。这是因为中国人不能把尾辅音发得很饱满。所以中国人经常添加一个后缀,例如'ee': make读成makee

4.3.2 Copulas and Zeros

4.3.2 助词和零助词

In The Chinese-English Instructor, at least two different types of copulas were recorded: have which was usually realized as hab and belong mentioned above. Like what was said above, there were many words in CPE which had not only a meaning, which made it difficult to translate. And Hall (1944) has suggested that CPE is predominantly zero copula. In terms of belong, it is worth noting that in most instances in the Instructor, it was used in its lexical function, ‘to belong to’ as follows:

在中英对照的教科书中 ,我们能发现至少有两种不同类型的助词: have这个经常为读成hab的单词还有上文提到的belong。就像上面所说的那样,中国洋泾浜英语中有很多单词不仅只有一个含义,这对翻译工作赵成了很大的困扰。 Hall(1944)认为中国洋泾浜英语最主要的特点就是没有助词。就belong这个单词来说,我们有必要注意到在教科书中大多数的例子中,它经常以‘to belong to’的词型被广泛使用。如下例:

(1)  These belong to you?

(1)  These belong to you?

“Is this yours?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:五十三)

“这是你的吗?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:五十三)

(2)  The tea belong to first crop

(2)  The tea belong to first crop

“This is first crop tea” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:十四)

“这是头一季的茶。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:十四)

In the Instructor, most occurrences of hap were with got, following the Sinitic existential pattern ‘there is’:

在教科书中,hap绝大多数出现在和got搭配的情况下,前面接一个中文存在型的句式‘there is’:

(3) My hap go court one time

(3) My hap go court one time

“I have been to court once” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:三十二)

“我已经去过一次法院了。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:三十二)

The verb got is likewise used in phrases as follows:


(4) You got how muchee piecee children

(4) You got how muchee piecee children

“How many children have you?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:五十五)

“你有几个孩子?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:五十五)

4.3.3 Placement of Adverbs and Prepositional Phrases

4.3.3 副词和介词短语的位置

Although there were some adverbs such as time and place followed the English syntax in CPE, however, there were also some adverbial modifications reflected the influence of Chinese syntax. First, for the former, there was an example:


My talkee you tomorrow

My talkee you tomorrow


“I will let you know tomorrow” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:九)

“我会明天让你知道的。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:九)

In this example, the place of tomorrow was legitimate in English rather Chinese; However, the Instructor also offered many examples of sentential adverbs appearing between the subject and verb. This is illegitimate in English but in line with Cantonese syntax:

在这个例子中, tomorrow的位置是合乎英语语法,而不是中文语法;然而, 教科书还提供了许多在主语和动词之间出现副词的例子。这不合乎英语语法,但符合粤语句法:

(1) We tomorrow makee move

(1) We tomorrow makee move

“We move tomorrow” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:四十九)

“我们明天搬。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:四十九)

(2) He every day tipsy

(2) He every day tipsy


“He gets drunk every day” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:五十五)

“他每天都喝醉酒。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:五十五)

Then, from a typological point of view, one of the clearest Sinitic features was the placement of PP which can be seen in the patterns with long derived from English ‘along (with)’:

接着从词类的角度来看,中文里最显著的特征之一是介词短语的位置。这可以从long这个源于英语‘along (with)’的单词的形式中体会到。

(3) You can long my catchee one piecee good boy

(3) You can long my catchee one piecee good boy

“You can get a good boy for me” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:五十一)

“你可以给我找一个好的男孩子。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:五十一)

(4) My long you takee alla

(4) My long you takee alla

“I will buy the whole from you” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:八)

“我要从你这儿买全部的东西。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:八)

4.3.4 Tense and Aspect

4.3.4 时态和体态

There seems to be only one tense or aspect marker in CPE and the perfective marker hap (hab ) has a basis in Cantonese and English grammar:


(1) My hap go court one time

(1) My hap go court one time

“I have been to Court once” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:三十二)

“我已经去过一次法院了。” (唐廷枢,1862,卷四:三十二)

(2) Coolie hap shutee alla window

(2) Coolie hap shutee alla window


“Has the coolie shut all windows?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:五十三)

“那个小工把所有的窗户都关了吗?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:五十三)

4.3.5 Topic-Comment and Discourse Structure

4.3.5 主题评论和说话结构

Another area where substrate influence can be discerned was topic-comment and discourse structure. Dialogues in the Instructor provided such examples in which the topic, shown in square brackets was the part that was being spoken of in the comment:


(1) [Good cargo] how can sellum cheap

(1) [Good cargo] how can sellum cheap

“How can good things sell cheap?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:十一)

“好东西怎么能卖得便宜?” (唐廷枢,1862,卷六:十一)

(2) [That pricee] he no sellum

(2) [That pricee] he no sellum

“He won’t sell at that price’”(唐廷枢,1862,卷四:七十七)


As in Chinese, two kinds of topic can be distinguished: some are understood as arguments of the verb, like the object good cargo in the first example; others are more loosely related to the predicate, like the pricee in the second example which was neither the subject nor the object of sellum ‘sell’.

在中文中,有两类主题:一种可以理解为是动词的受词,如第一个例子中的对象good cargo ;另一种和谓词的关系更为松散,就像第二个例子中的pricee,既不是sellum(sell)的主语也不是宾语。

4.4 Relations Between Chinese Pidgin English and Interpreters

4.4 中国洋泾浜英语与翻译之间的关系

4.4.1 Chinese Pidgin English and Early Interpreters

4.4.1 中国洋泾浜英语和早期翻译

In the Qing dynasty, because of traditional ideas in court, many Department Secretaries didn’t have experiences of going abroad and were not proficient in foreign languages. Therefore, few people understood and could handle foreign affairs. Consequently, the diplomatic translation of Qing government had to be completed by some Western missionaries or merchants. This gave Westerners an opportunity in the Sino-Western communication and resulted in a menace of China’s diplomatic sovereignty because they would grab profits for the West under the identity of translator and external adviser of Qing court.


In 1557, the Portuguese obtained residency in Macau by all means, so compradors, foreign traders and missionaries gathered there for trade and other purposes. In the long process of mutual communication between Portugal and Chinese, Cantāo Portuguēs generated. Then, those people who mastered and specialized in it for a living became the early interpreter. They existed until the first half of the eighteenth century before the generation of Canton English. Actually, many early interpreters were not good at foreign languages, and some even didn’t know anything, so foreigners’ help was necessary in some official translation occasions.


4.4.2 Chinese Pidgin English and Canton Interpreters

4.4.2 中国洋泾浜英语和广州翻译

From 1637 to 1715, Chinese merchants in Canton had come into contact with British more than half a century during which Canton English emerged. After the following one hundred years more, Canton English steadily replaced Cantāo Portuguēs and became a lingua franca in Chinese and foreign trade with the appearance of Canton interpreters. Even during the Opium War, some of them were mobilized to Zhejiang to translate confessions of British captives, which indicated the popularity of Canton interpreters.


However, although they enjoyed a higher social status compared to the early interpreters, most of them were still unpresentable because they were still incompetent to handle foreign affairs and translate diplomatic notes; besides, in the eyes of officials in the court, they were not reliable because they were not confidants trained by the court. Therefore, under normal circumstances, the court would rather rely on foreign “translator” than those self-taught interpreters.


Because foreign trade was limited to Canton for about 100 years, it was not strange that interpreters and compradors mainly came from Canton and southern China, but after the treaty of Nanking, the “Canton system” was abolished and the Cohong began to fall apart. With the transfer of foreign firm and merchants, interpreters and compradors went to Shanghai too.


After then, Canton English gradually ended its historical mission and English started to with strong Shanghai characteristics and Canton interpreters began to transfer towards Shanghai interpreters.


4.4.3 Chinese Pidgin English and Shanghai Interpreters

4.4.3 中国洋泾浜英语和上海翻译

After being an open port in the mid-nineteenth century, foreign merchants came to Shanghai to open foreign firm and foreign governments competed with each other to establish foreign concessions and consulates. But the first problem they confronted was communication too. So they had to hire and depend on Chinese knowing CPE as their assistants and agents. At that time, the British were in charge of many fields and they opened many foreign firms, so they need Chinese people to do translation and chores. Meanwhile, people were happy to be employed for high salary and good treatment. But most interpreters and compradors were from Canton then because at the beginning, people with status and knowledge in Shanghai showed contempt and hatred for English.


However, in the late nineteenth century, with the increase of foreign concessions and foreign firms, opportunities for foreign employment increased, which made English learning become a fashion in Shanghai. In addition to missionary schools and official institutions, various kinds of foreign language training schools, reference books and teaching materials overwhelmed.


Compared to Cantonese, prudent Shanghainese outdone the former. Developed commodity economy and marginal culture greatly improved the social status of the interpreters. So, not like the early interpreters and Canton interpreters, Shanghai interpreters were active to transfer towards lucrative compradors from the beginning rather than just as dragoman and agents.


4.5 Influences of Chinese Pidgin English

4.5 中国洋泾浜英语的影响

4.5.1 Influences on the Chinese Language

4.5.1 对汉语的影响

As a variety of the English language, to some extent, CPE had greater influences on Chinese than English, revealing respectively in vocabulary and grammar.


On the one hand, CPE enlarged the Chinese vocabulary in two aspects. Firstly, the prevalence of CPE enriched expressions of local dialects of Chinese. For example, the Chinese phrase “瘪三”(beggars) originated from CPE. In old Shanghai, there were many beggars. And in CPE, “beg for” was spoken as “beg say” which was similar to “瘪三” in pronunciation, so “beggars” were called “瘪三” later. Secondly, some words and phrases of CPE became part of official language of China in verbal and written form. Take Chinese expression “邋遢” for example, it was the transliteration of  “litter” in English and became a word of CPE which meant “untidy” and is still in use in modern Chinese with unchanged meaning.

一方面,中国洋泾浜英语在两个方面扩大了汉语的词汇量。首先,中国洋泾浜英语的流行丰富了中国本土方言的表达。例如,中文短语“瘪三”(乞丐)就起源于中国洋泾浜英语。老上海有很多乞丐。在中国洋泾浜英语中,“beg for”被发成是“beg say”,这与中文发音中的“瘪三”相似,所以“乞丐”后来被称为“瘪三”。其次,中国洋泾浜英语的一些单词和短语成为了中国官话的一部分,以口头和书面形式出现。以中文表达“邋遢”为例,它是英语中“litter”的音译,在中国洋泾浜英语中有“不整洁”这个意思。这个词目前仍然在现代汉语中使用,意思不变。

On the other hand, although CPE was localized in grammar, it still brought great influences of English grammar on Chinese. It brought in the much easier English grammar and promoted the Anglicization of Chinese grammar because the grammar of ancient Chinese is very complex and difficult to understand by common people. For example, there was such a sentence as “句读之不知” in ancient Chinese. In this sentence, the object “句读” was placed before the verb “不知”. But in CPE, this sentence would be changed as “不通晓句读” where “通晓” was the verb and “句读” was the object, which meant the object was placed after a verb then. Gradually, the Europeanized grammar was accepted by most Chinese people and the Chinese language was subject to some changes.


4.5.2 Influences on the English Language

4.5.2 对英语的影响

Due to different languages, the foreigners coming to China at that time found it impossible to communicate with the Chinese, let alone give orders to Chinese servants and trade with Chinese compradors. Consequently, they had to make concessions to use native language, which offered the soil for the influences of CPE on English. With the passage of time, some words and phrases entered English.


Take the word “shanghai” for example, today, it has two meanings in English: first, to kidnap people as sailors for losing consciousness with anaesthetic and hard liquor, and second, forcibly detained or abducted people by force and threat of force. Actually, the original meaning of “shanghai” came from CPE. In the nineteenth century, many foreigners abducted Chinese people in Shanghai with alcohol or drugs as sailors aboard ships leaving for San Francisco. When arrived, these Chinese sailors were sold as slaves. At that time, people called this kind of act “shanghai”. So “shanghai” entered CPE and was used by Chinese people and some foreigners. Afterwards, Westerners accepted this word and it became a slang term of English.


Apart from words and phrases, some sentences of CPE also became acceptable in English. The exemplary example is the greeting “Long time no see”. It is easy to find that the word order of this expression is identical to that of the Chinese sentence “好久不见” because it is easy to remember for both Chinese and English. This expression has become increasingly popular and widely used, showing the enrichment of CPE in English.

除了单词和短语之外,中国洋泾浜英语的一些句子也被英语所接受。典型的例子就是问候语“Long time no see”。我们很容易发现这个表达的单词顺序与中文句子“好久不见”的单词顺序相同。这是因为对于中国人和英国人,这样的表达对他们都很容易记住。这种表达方式越来越受到欢迎并得到广泛使用,这表明了中国洋泾浜英语增加了英语表达的多样性。

4.5.3 Influences on the Transnational Exchange in the Late Qing Dynasty

4.5.3 清晚期对跨国贸易的影响

Language is the precondition and tools of international communication, so correct language use can enhance the efficiency of it. CPE, a kind of popular but informal language form in folk, was even difficult to fully competent in the daily communications and low levels trade sometimes, let alone deeper international communication such as national diplomacy. With the rise of Britain in the eighteenth century, English became the language of international diplomacy. However, at that time, the late Qing dynasty and the folk just had CPE to use when communicating with foreigners. But this kind of language form could not meet the actual needs and made the late Qing government at a great disadvantage in diplomatic activities and even fall into language hoax.

语言是国际交流的前提和工具,正确使用语言可以提高国际间交流的效率。 中国洋泾浜英语是一种民间流行但非正式的语言形式,有时甚至难以完全胜任日常交流和简单贸易需要,更不用说国家外交等更深层次的国际交流。随着英国在十八世纪的崛起,英语成为国际外交的语言。然而,那个时候,晚清政府和民间却还是仅仅使用中国洋泾浜英语作为与外国人交流的语言。但这种语言形式已不能满足实际需要,这使得晚清政府在外交活动中处于极大劣势,甚至闹出了语言误用的笑话。

For example, when the Qing government was signing a treaty about Macau’s jurisdiction with Portugal, the foreign diplomats intentionally translated “永驻澳门管理” as “the perpetual occupation and government of Macau” (永占澳门管理), making the plot to seize the sovereignty of Macau justified. This was similar in private international exchanges. Like what was said in an international correspondence in 1869, because of poor English of international workers, they could not receive a fair judgment.

例如,当清政府与葡萄牙签署关于澳门管辖权的条约时,外国外交官故意将“永驻澳门管理”翻译为“the perpetual occupation and government of Macau” (永占澳门管理)”,致使葡萄牙人抢占澳门**的阴谋得逞。在私人国际交流中也是如此。就像1869年的一次国际通信中所说的那样,由于国际劳工的英语水平很低,他们无法得到公正的裁决。

4.5.4 Influences on the Social and Cultural Development in Modern China

4.5.4 对近代中国社会文化发展的影响

Because CPE could not meet deeper needs of international exchange and appeared drawbacks frequently, many sensible people in the late Qing dynasty began to learn English on the basis of CPE, which facilitated the speed of rapid social transformation and finally opened the door to foreigners, leading our country to internationalization. The Qing government established the School of Combined Learning in 1860 and other schools later, trained a large number of language talents who were imperative at that time, translated a lot of foreign language books and brought in many foreign advanced science. In terms of it, CPE was an active practice for China to embrace the world and an attempt to promote the reform of superstructure with underlying strength. Whatever the pros and cons of CPE are, it is difficult to obliterate its historical role in a specific historic environment.


Although CPE has vanished from historical stage with systematic English teaching, some of its imprints have been etched in the language and culture development of China and fixed as a cultural symbol. Nowadays, we can still recollect and appreciate its in-depth insight of history from some orthodox vocabularies derived from it such as “bus”, “coffee”, “sofa” and so on.



Chapter Five Conclusion

第五章 结论

5.1 Summary of the Study

5.1 研究摘要

This study was intended to explore the role of CPE in the Sino-West communication. For this purpose, the author introduced some theories and research circumstances of mixed languages, a simple introduction to pidgins and creoles to provide a theoretical framework for the following analysis of CPE in which its history, causes and learning approaches, characteristics, relations between interpreters in the Qing Dynasty and influences were introduced. By doing so, this study provided some insights to understand the impacts of CPE on the Chinese society and culture and its practical functions in the development of modern Chinese society.


5.2 Limitations of the Study

5.2 研究的局限性

Due to the limited time and resources, this study still has some limitations. Firstly, it failed to make a more systematic and comprehensive analysis of some theories of mixed languages rather a simple overview and summary; secondly, it didn’t able to make a deeper analysis and exploration of the language features of CPE which is an crucial part in the forming process of it; third, it failed to make an intensive exploration about the social status of interpreters during the Sino-West communication in a special historical environment. These shortcomings should be overcome in future studies.


5.3 Implications of the Study

5.3 研究的意义

There is no doubt that the generation and development of CPE in the late Qing dynasty played a prominent role in the Sino-West exchanges of trade, ideas and culture and it is a research subject which is worth delving into not only in the studies of modern Chinese history but also modern Chinese language. But the fact is that there are still not so much researches of the generation, spread and impact of CPE and formal English in the late Qing dynasty.


There are still many mysteries needed to be solved: what is exactly the root cause of the rise of pidgins in Canton? Whether the prevalence of Shanghai pidgin should owe to Canton interpreters and compradors or its own openness? To what extent the language features of CPE helped the spread of formal English in the late Qing dynasty? What were the exact impacts of CPE on English teaching in modern China? These are all worthy to conduct a further study and it is expected that this study could offer a little help to the future study.


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