Wednesday, March 4, 2009

NOTCFL and Chinese Language documentary film

When I was researching information about The National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOTCFL, known as Hanban in Chinese), I was quite impressed of how this office is related to so many government agencies. As its website introduces, this office was created in 1987 in order to harmonize as well as promote the spread of the language abroad. NOTCFL is a daily affairs organization of China’s teaching Chinese abroad leadership group, the Chinese Language Council International, which is composed of members from 12 state ministries and commissions, namely, the General Office of the State Council, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the Overseas Chinese Affaires Office of the State Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (China Radio International), the State Press and Publications Administration, the State Council Information Office and the State Language Committee .(Source from While this shows Chinese government’s increasing efforts and more attention to the promotion of Chinese language worldwide, I am also wondering how so many organizations can coordinate and mediate well.

Most recently, the NOTCFL organized a strong producing leadership team and spared no efforts in creating the grand long documentary film “The Chinese Language of Five Thousands Years” (Hanzi Wuqian Nian) of eight humane themes. I found People’ Daily (CCP’s official newspaper) comments (I am translating), the aim of this painstaking program is to promote the Chinese knowledge among the Chinese and abroad, thus provided a modern and also historical and cultural book that demonstrates and further raises China’s international image up …When it was first broadcasted on CCTV (China Central Television), it received huge applauds among the audience.” I noticed that this documentary film has also been shown on CCTV-4 (an international channel targeting foreign audience) based on Beijing, London and New York times.

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