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Shi Tong

What can you do with the HSK?

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imron
Interesting that you say levels 7-8 though
And that's at the minimum. Anything less (assuming this is the only criteria used for judging) and I wouldn't be confident of that person's ability to be productive in Chinese (reading articles, telephone calls, writing basic emails etc) and their ability to interact with others in a Chinese language environment.

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Shi Tong

edelweis, thank you very much, this is invaluable! :)

imron, I agree with you. In fact, if I was looking at a job whose qualifications included abilities in another language, I would only want to hire people with a degree or a similar level, since this is when the language in question could be considered as really fluent to an effective level IMO.

It's not that I dont think people with a lot of experience (like myself) at speaking Mandarin aren't capable, it's that I would expect a high qualification to occur with this ability to show it's relavance to an employer.

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imron

Honestly speaking, I'd probably take an HSK 8 or above over someone with a Chinese degree. I've met too many people with Chinese degrees that weren't particularly capable at handling themselves in Chinese.

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qicheng2603

The old HSK is divided into 11 levels. And the new one is only divided into 6 levels.

On the application form of the universities in China, both of them are considered as the proof of the language proficiency. But, the new HSK seems not correspond to the levels of the old one. So if you want to take a new HSK for applying a degree course in China, you'd better contact the universities for details.

But the level1 and level2 of new HSK is really easy. If you want to take a degree course, you are expected to take a much higher level.

And I don't think Taiwan universities will consider HSK result. Because they use the traditional characters, while people use simplied characters in the mainland China.

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Lu

Taiwan is often quite accommodating. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd be happy to take an HSK result as a proof of your Chinese level.

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chrix

To second Lu, I know for a fact that some Taiwanese universities do indeed accept the HSK, I wouldn't be surprised if that was generally true...

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Scoobyqueen
I've met too many people with Chinese degrees that weren't particularly capable at handling themselves in Chinese.

I am surprised. Normally if you hold a language degree, are you not normally fluent? Normally that would be the case for a western language where you take a year out to study in the relevant country. Is Chinese any different?

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chrix

It's different for "exotic languages". They don't expect you to be able to become fluent. It's different for closely related languages, like for students of French from a German or English speaking country, for example...

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Sarevok
Honestly speaking, I'd probably take an HSK 8 or above over someone with a Chinese degree. I've met too many people with Chinese degrees that weren't particularly capable at handling themselves in Chinese.

Sad but true, I've also met such people... some were even close to getting their master's degree in Chinese, but couldn't hold a simple conversation...

Well, it also means you wouldn't want to hire anyone with the New HSK, as there are only six levels and even the highest one seems to be way below the good old 8 in terms of difficulty (I have never actually taken one, but you can tell by looking at those sample tests).

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doraemon

Chinese degrees are only good if you want to work in China IMO. They're not that well acknowledged in most western countries. I think it's better to just take the HSK and have a foreign degree.

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chrix

So does this mean I can't improve upon my old style HSK 8 level certificate? I mean are the new HSK levels really no longer comparable to the old advanced levels?

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Shi Tong

Thanks for all the feedback, and it's good to know that my Chinese is probably better than some degree level students! :lol:

As I said before, I've looked at the levels of HSK up to 3 and really didn't struggle "at all", or at least, they were in such simple sentence structures, that even if there was a phrase or word I didn't know, it's just a simple step to look it up and learn it.

I think the difficulty will come when I am faced with more abstract constructs in books, on the news, in newspapers etc.

It's good to know that HSK would probably be at least a good merit if I was to use anything in Taiwan of evidence of study too.. this means it opens up my options.

Just contacted one of the UK based places.. awaiting an e-mail reply.. lets hope it's positive!

Edited by Shi Tong

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imron

@doraemon, by Chinese degree, I was referring to a degree in the Chinese language, not a degree obtained in China.

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Sarevok
So does this mean I can't improve upon my old style HSK 8 level certificate? I mean are the new HSK levels really no longer comparable to the old advanced levels?

That seems to be the case, which is quite disappointing - after finally getting a solid 8 last year, I was planning to take the advanced level test to see what's it like, but it is no longer possible...

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doraemon

@doraemon, by Chinese degree, I was referring to a degree in the Chinese language, not a degree obtained in China.

Oops, sorry. :unsure:

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knadolny
@doraemon, by Chinese degree, I was referring to a degree in the Chinese language, not a degree obtained in China.

I completely agree with Imron on this one too. I went to China with a person with a Chinese degree. It's not just that my Chinese was better than his, it was that he didn't really appreciate real Chinese culture. By that I mean the chaos that characterizes life over there. He didn't seem to really like the life style. I would hire someone who actually had lived in China over someone who had only studied in their mother country.

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Shi Tong

It's not just that my Chinese was better than his, it was that he didn't really appreciate real Chinese culture.

Wow... I find it amazing that people can get a degree in an outside country in Chinese and yet be pretty incapable of Mandarin..

Out of curiosity, what kind of "level" would you think someone with a regular Chinese degree would have?! :blink:

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Lu
Wow... I find it amazing that people can get a degree in an outside country in Chinese and yet be pretty incapable of Mandarin..
Cram characters and grammar without getting real practice in the first years, only just scrape by in kouyu exams, read the Chinese sources you need for graduating with the help of your language partner, and never get much practice after graduating. And then you are a Chinese graduate with not all that great Chinese skills.

Some people are just not that smart or capable to begin with, some get turned off by China's messy reality when there, some just find a job that has nothing whatsoever to do with China and gradually loose touch. It's frighteningly easy to come out of uni with mediocre Chinese, and even easier to let it slip away after graduating. It doesn't help that these days students only get three years to learn it.

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renzhe

I am surprised. Normally if you hold a language degree, are you not normally fluent? Normally that would be the case for a western language where you take a year out to study in the relevant country. Is Chinese any different?

It is different, at least a Chinese degree in Europe does not guarantee that you can actually speak the language fluently.

A semester (or year) abroad is often required, but much of the coursework involves classical language, reading, history, politics, etc. From what I hear, HSK6 on the old test is a requirement to graduate in Germany, and HSK6 does not even test how fluently you speak.

Of course, there are also people who do speak Chinese fluently after obtaining the degree.

Well, it also means you wouldn't want to hire anyone with the New HSK, as there are only six levels and even the highest one seems to be way below the good old 8 in terms of difficulty (I have never actually taken one, but you can tell by looking at those sample tests).

Surely a mistake. The new HSK level 6 is considerably more difficult than getting an 8 on the old test. It is supposed to be easier than getting an 11 on the old test, though.

I'm basing this on sample tests, not real ones, but I'd say that the new HSK5 is around the old HSK8 level, and the new HSK6 around the old HSK9-10 or so.

As I said before, I've looked at the levels of HSK up to 3 and really didn't struggle "at all", or at least, they were in such simple sentence structures, that even if there was a phrase or word I didn't know, it's just a simple step to look it up and learn it.

It gets considerably more difficult.

I did the official mockup tests on the webpage (can't find it now). Level 4 was a child's play. On the other hand, level 6 devoured my soul. I'd probably go for level 5 if it were offered here, should be around my level.

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skylee
It doesn't help that these days students only get three years to learn it.

Lu, do you mean that undergraduate programme in the Netherlands last for 3 years only?

I met a Dutch scholar/researcher in March. He was the only European there so people asked him if 3-year first degrees were the general trend / practice in Europe (the context was that all HK universities' bachelor degree programmes, except professional ones, will become 4-year starting 2012). But he said no.

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