所遵何義看中文
—陳耀南—

  ﹙網頁編者按:本文原載《信報》3月27日之〈晨光清景〉專欄,現徵得作者同意及《信報》授權,在此轉載。對於中文大學不堅持以中文為主要教學語言,我們覺得作者說得很對,真不知其「所遵何義」?﹙上此網頁日期:4月3日﹚

誰能薄英語?共勉好中文!

差不多二十年了。

一九八七年十一月七日,北角循道理中學十周年畢業典禮,惠承故交張志賢校長之邀,作為演講嘉賓,於是以上述兩句話為題,與眾共勉。後來收在拙著《刮目相看記》中,又蒙朗文教育機構不棄,選在兩年前出版的《中國語文》中二第四冊自學單元課本。

在最後一段,我這樣說:

最後,我想特別強調一點:我們知道,語文是一種文化才能,文化發達,語文的生命力隨之壯盛。語文的世界和歷史地位,和它所包涵的文化內容,是否日新又新,是否與時俱富,是息息相關的。如果我們再不自尊自愛、再不勤奮振作,如果我們仍然怠惰地、投機地而又諸多藉口地,不用我們親切而優美的中文,去商量舊學、培養新知,我們的語言文字,就必然日趨於貧瘠,終之不免於枯萎。這樣,我們政治上雖然獨立,經濟上雖然繁榮,我們的國民心態,我們的思想學術,仍然不免淪為某些文化上後來居上的國家的語文殖民地。

是的,生而為現代中國人,要重中而不輕英,這也是一句老生常談的話了。不僅道理上當然如此,現實上也不能不如此。問題的關鍵,不在於「英無可輕」,而在於怎樣令到「中有可重」,甚至「中多可重」。我們的當前急務-也是百年大務-是全面而持久地發展文化,豐富中文的文化內涵,振奮中文的文化生命,讓一代又一代的炎黃子孫,準確而優美地運用自己親切的語文,對世界文化作出貢獻,於是,四海萬邦也紛紛透過翻譯以至直接學習,分享我們的文化成就。這樣,中國人才不愧為地球上人數最多的民族,中國文化才不愧為世界上維持最長久的文化。本人熱切希望:生長在香港──這個中國南陲的國際城市──的中國青年,以此來共同策勉。

三月初,多謝《讀者文摘》前總編輯鄭健娜女史惠贈《令大學頭痛的中文》,一班熱愛中文大學立校理想的師生校友戮力編成的文集,原來又一個十年前(一九七七年底)孫述宇教授早已先知先覺而且精警地宣揚同調!此外,博識多才的關子尹、陳雲、梁文道、雷競璇等先生,也都連篇警策,金聲玉振──好!

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One Response to 所遵何義看中文
—陳耀南—

  1. I’d like to express my own personal opinion on the subject issue. Agree or not, it does not matter. Our society accepts and cherish differences in opinion…

    1) The university’s language policy on “mainly conduct education in Chinese language” was right at that time, because we already have an English University of HKU then.

    2) The University’s language policy should be more liberal now, as we have attracted better (if not best) students graduating from English colleges and now competing with world recognition and status with other English or non English countries.

    3) By liberal, I mean both the professors and students should be bi-lingual, and at any time, be able to conduct class in English or Chinese without preference or difficulty. If we have non Chinese speaking students in the class (just like we have a English speaking client in our group), we switch to English to respect, and promote interchange. Language should not be barrier, and should not be a concern, or a point for discussion to us at all. We are global citizens. We respect different culture, and respect the language preference of our “clients” and be able to adapt ourselves to them, just for purpose for promoting greater cultural exchange and knowledge exchanges.

    4) On one hand, I do not take language as a national pride and dictate I must speak in Chinese in situations where the purpose is to promote greater exchanges, like a university. On the other hand, I abide to national pride in official situation when university dignity and pride should be dominant to present our cultural heritage, like a congregation ceremony. Foreign students, foreigners may get assistance from an official interpreter.

    5) As long as the university (with her humanistic or Chinese subjects using Chinese a major medium of exchange) has a 51% classes conducted in Chinese, I consider it still follow the virtue and mandate of the university. I have no concern. Presently, I imagine we have less than 20% of classes conducted in English and this has been a major defects in our ability to attract foreign students.

    6) I support the Chancellor’s effort to induce greater usage of English classes in some faculties, some departments, in which our aim are to attract larger number of non-Chinese speaking students so that we can learn from their cultural heritages and promote greater Chinese – foreign exchanges. We should not wait until one day, all the Beijing University business classes are conducted in French, German, Russian, English to start putting our national pride and learn from others.

    7) One hundred years ago, the Kan You Wei type of people resisted foreign culture and knowledge, insisting they are just peripheral and supportive to us under our Chinese culture. 中学为体, 西学为用。 I would not take that view any more. White cat, black cat, whichever cat catching a mouse is a good cat. English, Chinese, whichever language help students learn faster and better is a good language to use.

    8) I do not mind, for examples, all the classes in the Business Faculties to be conducted in English at all. Language to us now should not be a concern. CUHK should attract and welcome international students.

    As long as we keep this 51:49 in mind, I am more liberal and tolerate to the change of language policy.

    Augustine

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