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roddy

The Great Courses on China...

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roddy

Has anyone ever looked at any of the China-related Great Courses? I've not tried any of these, but have been listening to a few of the other courses and been impressed - it's basically college-level material, delivered by people who know their stuff. You get two or three dozen lectures of 30-50 minutes, so a lot gets covered. 

 

The courses are pretty pricey to buy direct, but I get them with Audible credits. 

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abcdefg

I've listened to several of these:

 

  • The Fall and Rise of China
  • Understanding Imperial China
  • Foundations of Eastern Civilization
  • From Yao to Mao
  • Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition

 

And one or two about the Mongol Empire and the Silk Road, which seem to be indexed separately.

 

  • The Barbarian Empire of the Steppes 
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abcdefg

The two that I would most like to study again are: "The Fall and Rise of China" and "From Yao to Mao."

 

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oceancalligraphy

This reminds me that I have access to some videos from The Great Courses on Kanopy through my local library. It's definitely less than what is on The Great Courses website. I haven't watched any of them yet, but the titles are really interesting.

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abcdefg
4 hours ago, oceancalligraphy said:

This reminds me that I have access to some videos from The Great Courses on Kanopy through my local library.

 

What is Kanopy?

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Dawei3

I actually bought Yao to Mao.  Despite much interest Chinese history, after listening to it twice, I could remember almost nothing of its content.  I'm not sure why....

 

Slightly off topic, but related to language:  The best courses I've gotten from the Great Courses are the linguistic courses by John McWhorter.  His best is the "Story of human language" .  It in, he teaches you how languages work.  They often change in illogical ways and all have illogical aspects.  I think he helped me learn Chinese because I'm never bothered if something in Chinese "doesn't make sense" and I don't waste time wondering why they use certain words or phrases.  Languages just do what they do.   

 

An English example:  ~100 years ago, the past tense of sneak was sneaked.   Then, snuck started to become its past tense.  However, this change makes no sense.  Adding "ed" to a verb is the simplest way to conjugate a verb in English and "ed" is used by modern verbs (googled, ubered, etc).  Also, we say "peak" and "peaked", not "peak" and "puck".  Why did sneak change?  It just did.   All languages undergo these kinds of sometimes illogical changes.  McWhorter gives lots of examples like this from many different languages.   

 

McWhorter's "Myths & 1/2 truths of language usage"  and "Language A to Z" are also good.  His "Understanding linguistics" is also good, but it's a much deeper & not quite as enjoyable exploration of language.  

 

Kanopy is an on-line service that some libraries offer. 

 

 

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oceancalligraphy
15 hours ago, abcdefg said:

What is Kanopy?


https://www.kanopy.com/

 

It's a site that streams films. It requires library card info from a participating library or university to access.

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abcdefg
13 hours ago, Dave1 said:

The best courses I've gotten from the Great Courses are the linguistic courses by John McWhorter.  His best is the "Story of human language" .  It in, he teaches you how languages work.  They often change in illogical ways and all have illogical aspects.

 

Agree @Dave -- That's a real good one. I thought he chose very helpful examples. 

 

Quote

Another one on this theme is the HarvardX China course, free at https://www.edx.org/chinax-chinas-past-present-future

 

@mikelove -- That's the grand daddy of them all. Parts of it were a struggle, but the professors really delivered the goods. 

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