NEW Edition of ‘Holy Confucius!’ OUT NOW!!!

November 20, 2018

Holy Confucius! Some Observations in Translating “sheng(ren)” in The Analects *** Confucius said: “If the names are not correct…” 2nd Edition!!! The history of translating “sheng(ren)” in The Analects of Confucius from 1649 to 2009. […]

The time is right for China

October 20, 2016

We would like to share our cherished ideas about publishing “Knowledge Is a Polyglot” – its gist, relevance and purpose: It is true that China has risen economically, politically and militarily; yet, it is also […]

On Chinese Parenting

February 17, 2016

Ah, Chinese parenting! It’s quite impressive. They do without God and religion. They worship someone else. The majority of traditional Chinese just don’t care for their child as a ‘free agent’. “The parents are sending […]

Pattberg: The Dangers of a New Confucianism

November 5, 2015

THERE have been rumors in recent months about the possibility of a revival of Confucianism in China. Powerful scholars, not without personal agendas, have called for a “Confucian constitution”. Some people have likened President Xi Jinping’s […]

In China: pity ALL the children

October 20, 2015

BEIJING – The British Economist magazine published a peculiar piece, Pity the children, on the “70m reasons to ease China’s curbs on internal migration.” The authors erroneously believe that easing bureaucracy would suddenly make 70 […]

Confucius School: Kindergarten…Already?

October 6, 2015

FONDLY remember our visit to Sihai Confucius Academy in Beijing (June 17, 2013). This academy is a private and boarding school that caters for children age 3-13 to learn - alongside the core subjects like […]

Why people laugh at Japan: Media sucks up to America

September 14, 2015

TOKYO - Since WWII, the United States have an ongoing “special relation” with defeated Japan. The US grip is so tight on Japan’s politics, economics, education, ideological indoctrination, and the military, that critics have called […]

Shibusawa Eiichi’s Obsession With Confucianism

July 16, 2015

TOKYO - This is a must-go, I think, for scholars and followers of Confucianism when staying in Tokyo, Japan: Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931) was a Japanese industrial titan, champion of civil society, economist, banker, politician, and humanist. Little […]

Breaking News: Clear Sky in Beijing

June 13, 2015

@BreakingNews Clear Sky in Beijing on June 13, 2015. Image courtesy of Li Qiwen. BEIJING - The New York Times is investigating the weather case, but said it would probably not report it. “This is […]

There’s just NO WAY Kevin Rudd is 1.79 m tall

May 15, 2015

BEIJING - Google the height of Kevin Rudd, the former Prime minister of Australia, and you’ll find massive SEO (search engine optimization) by his PR team that has you staring at his “official” yet clearly […]

Dreams of De-Westernization - Pattberg on Key Concepts in Chinese Thought

March 29, 2015

“We cannot act as if China didn’t matter, as if the East-Asians for the last 3000 years invented nothing worth of naming and branding. The liberation of Chinese culture - its words and concepts - […]

New Book: Language Imperialism & The End of Translation

February 25, 2015

Thorsten Pattberg is a scholar and well-known activist who has tirelessly campaigned to include Chinese (and other Eastern) terminologies in world history. He has advocated the case of “Shengren”, a Confucian/Taoist archetype of wisdom, that […]


January 6, 2015

裴德思,德国人,北京大学高等人文研究院研究人员,在大学时代就开始学习汉语以及中国文化,“中华思想文化术语传播工程”得以启动,和他穷究其里研究中华传统文化分不开。2013年他的相关研究文章《怎么翻译中华文明的核心词》引起中国有关方面的关注,并成为该工程得以启动的一个诱因。 在接受本报记者专访时,裴德思回忆起写这篇文章的前前后后。“当我深入理解汉语之后,发现许多词汇的概念与我在德语或英语里所理解的有些出入和不同,比如‘圣人’这个概念的定义就十分不同。”他因此萌发更加深入研究的念头,他发现,像Yin-Yang(阴阳)和Kungfu(功夫)这样的词汇,已经被西方语言吸收并被他们的人民所接受。但这样的例子毕竟是少数,“我个人认为,任何一个中国名牌,像Baidu(百度),Weibo(微博)等都不用翻译。传统食品,类似Baozi(包子)、Jiaozi(饺子)、Kaoya(烤鸭)等也不需要翻译。”裴德思说,中国文化博大精深,应该以最贴近汉语意思的表述方式让世界理解,这样才能让中国文化在世界发扬光大。“现在时机到了,中国应当把‘文化财产权利’看得与领土、海洋权利一样重要,向全世界普及一些重要的中国文化词汇。” [北京日报]

Ode to the Shengren (圣人)

November 24, 2014

NEW VIDEO: “In January 2012, Mr. Pattberg presented a rough manuscript, ‘Shengren‘, to a committee of professors at Peking University, in which he proposed the revival of the Confucian 圣人 and the return of Chinese […]

Is He back?

September 26, 2014

Not a day passes at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China in Beijing without some Washington bureaucrat ringing: “Is he back?” For, as long as China watchers report nothing new from the ideological front, the […]


September 9, 2014


Mixed races OK; Mixed Cultures WELL…; Mixed Languages OH F**K OFF

June 26, 2014

BEIJING/TOKYO - When Chinese Uyghur Muslim activists accuse China’s central government of “cultural genocide” against its minority cultures, they usually gets applauded (letting alone financial supported and celebrated as ‘human rights’ heroes) by the entire […]

Будущее Ханьбань и Институтов Конфуция

June 21, 2014

Торстен, как вам удалось получить место в Институте Конфуция? Ведь, как известно, организация представляет собой в некоторой степени закрытый бастион для иностранцев. В апреле прошлого года Пекинский университет направил меня на встречу с должностными лицами от […]

Knowledge is a Polyglot (The Future of Global Language)

March 17, 2014

Capitalism compels us to compete for natural resources, for market share, and for human capital. We also compete on the level of language, points out Thorsten Pattberg, a German writer, linguist, and cultural critic who writes for Big […]

In PhDs We Trust: Soldiers And Scholars

February 27, 2014

“And so is the type of great men that shaped European history a very particular figure: half warrior, half statesman…” –Richard Wilhelm, 1922. MOST scholars believe themselves to be a benign force, one that is able to […]

Catching up with the Chinese on Political Thought

January 14, 2014

“With China’s new government under Xi Jinping evidently almost laughing off Western democracy as a role model and instead pursuing its centenary goal of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’, maybe it is time for Germany’s dichter und […]

东风与西风:一个德国人眼中的中西方文化 (裴德思)

November 18, 2013

NEW The East-West Dichotomy manifesto available from Foreign Language Press: 东风与西风:一个德国人眼中的中西方文化 East Wind and West Wind: A German Scholar’s Meditations on the Differences between China and the West A UNIVERSE of differences separates the […]

The Coming of Post-Translational Society and The Rise of Chinese Terminologies

October 19, 2013

公开讲座:后翻译时代的到来以及中文术语的崛起 The Coming of Post-Translational Society and The Rise of Chinese Terminologies 【主 题】后翻译时代的到来以及中文术语的崛起 【主讲人】裴德思 博士 (Pattberg,Thorsten) 【时  间】2013年10月19日(周六),下午15:00-17:00 【地  点】云英语,北京市海淀区五道口华清嘉园商务会馆801 【工作语言】英文/中文 【主办方】云英语 讲座文章摘要 The English language is rich of foreign loanwords. Some languages were traditionally […]

Shengren at Dengfeng - Translation History Aims At Reviving Chinese Words

September 9, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg with Qiao Song, Major of Dengfeng, Henan Province SHAOLIN - In this talk at Songshan Forum in Dengfeng, Henan Province, we will have a look on the most important 36 German, French/Latin, and […]

On Creativity in China (Shanghai Daily)

September 3, 2013

Stop Translation, Adopt Foreign Key Terms, Create Global Language (Shanghai Daily, Sept 2, 2013) “…the creator, when he arises, always finds himself overwhelmingly outnumbered by the inert uncreative mass…” –Arnold J. Toynbee I have been […]

The American Confucianism Complex

August 24, 2013

HOW the perfect American Confucianism ought to be constructed. (feat.  TU Weiming, Roger T. Ames, and T. Pattberg,) Read FULL STORY at BIG THINK. About Dragons and Pandas: “Long” and “xiongmao” are the two creatures that have come to […]

Making a nation’s dream come true (China Daily)

August 12, 2013

Definition and Universality of the Zhongguo Meng “Promoting Chinese concepts in the rest of the world is not very difficult - stop translating key Chinese terminologies!” BEIJING - Latest op-ed for China Daily discusses Chinese […]

Gu Zhengkun – Social Contract versus Family Contract: Confucian Family Values as Universal Values

July 17, 2013

by Gu Zhengkun [Abstract] This paper aims to answer a challenging question: what sort of values are held to be relatively more acceptable and valid than others in the 21st century? In my opinion, the […]

Ta Kung Pao: The Rectification of Names, by Yi Xiangren (feat. Pattberg) 名不正言不顺\易湘壬

July 7, 2013

This news article has been published in Ta Kung Pao 《大公报》, the “oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China” by YI Xiangren on 04 July 2013: 名不正言不顺\易湘壬 在北京大学做研究工作的德国人裴德思告诉中国人:“我们不能要求所有的美国人和欧洲人都学习中文,但是我们需要做的是向西方广大民众普及一些重要的中国观念。就当下而言,即使是最有教养的西方人都没有听 说过‘ren’(仁),‘datong’(大同),‘tianxia’(天下)和‘tianrenheyi’(天人合一)。”西方人常用一个他们熟悉的概念来“翻译”这些概念。裴德思还提醒我们:“是时候了,中国应当把‘文化财产’看得和海洋权利一样重要。一个概念的发明者或者命名者往往具有很大的优势。德国人把它叫做‘Deutungshoheit’,意思是拥有给思想定义的主权。”“在我看来,目前中国最大的挑战,不仅在于自由、经济和人力资源等方面与西方国家的竞争,也在于能否用中国人的方式重新参与世界历史,在此过程中,使用中国术语是通往这个目标的必由之路。子曰:‘名不正则言不顺’。” 一个德国人学习中华文化能有如此心得,令人感佩。反思我们自己,除了汗颜之外,是有许多实际工作该做的。那么多表征中华文明的核心词,我们是不是应当静下心来梳理一下?譬如,“仁义礼智信”是我国古代先哲高度概括出的五个道德范畴。民间和官方完全可以结合当代社会实践,赋予其体现时代精神的新内涵,其中政府更有一份特殊的责任。先看“仁”,“仁者,人也”。对政府来说,“仁”的含义就是以人为本,尊重人、关心人,保障公民各项权利的实现。对公民个人来说,“仁”的含义首先是爱人,即关爱别人。“仁”的另一层含义是自省和加强个人修养,即能够约束自身,提高自己的道德修养。 接着看“义”,对政府和社会来说,“义”的最基本含义是公平正义。政府应当成为公平正义的化身。对公民个人来说,除了追求公平正义外,“义”还包括忠、孝等内容,即对国家和民族的忠心,对家庭和夫妻关系的忠诚,对本职工作的尽职,对上级和朋友的忠义,对父母的孝顺。再看“礼”,对公民和社会来说,“礼”首先是一种外在表象,指礼仪、礼貌、礼节的规矩。“礼”还是一种内在精神,即尊敬人,这种内在精神对当代人来说,最需要提倡的就是平等、尊重、理解和宽容。进一步来看“智”,在现代社会,“智”的含义首先是创新。“智”还包括对知识的尊重,并意味着因势利导、知人善任、遵循规律。最后来看“信”,对公民和社会来说,“信”的第一层含义是信仰。一个民族、一个社会需要有信仰、有追求。“信”的第二层含义是诚信。一个诚信的社会需要政府、社会、企业以及每个人都能恪守诚信。 人们常议论,我们文化里的精华需要保护,但保护有两种途径:一是形式的保护,即把它们做成标本或像动物园里的动物一样圈养起来;二是修复它们生存的生态,这种方式尤为重要。举个例吧,我们央视每年要评出“感动中国人物”,颁奖大会全场电视直播,得奖者都是道德楷模,影响很大。我们为什么不索性称这些获奖者做“君子”呢?我们的文化里早把君子作为普遍的人格理想。君子虽难有一个确切定义,但一 定是道德高尚的人,他们祖先还设定了君子的对立面——小人。而且,在一切问题上都把君子和小人进行近距离的直接对照。历来中国人只要稍有文化就能随口说出 “君子坦荡荡,小人常戚戚”、“君子求诸己,小人求诸人”、“君子喻于义,小人喻于利”、“君子和而不同,小人同而不和”……只要是中国人,即使失败了, 也希望失败得像个君子。可以断言,君子之风不仅能感动中国,而且能感动世界。 (摘编自香港《大公报》 […]

Peking University – Rise of the Junzi

July 1, 2013

BEIJING - This video clip, filmed on a bright Monday morning in June 2013 at Peking University, in one take, is a diary full of light and dark allusions, symbolism, and metaphors for China, China […]

TU Weiming on Diverse Confucianism, Chinese Long, China Dream, and Cultural Pluralism

June 12, 2013

TU Weiming on Diverse Confucianism, Chinese Long, China Dream, and Cultural Pluralism By Thorsten Pattberg BEIJING- Professor Tu Weiming held a lecture yesterday (June 8, 2013) at PKU on the occasion of the publication of […]

Having the Sovereignty over the Definition of Thought

May 14, 2013

Western domination over World History We have been there before. The West still cultivates the out-dated notion that “knowledge only exists if it’s the West that knows it.” The consequences of past Euro-centricism are far-reaching: By […]

Thorsten Pattberg meets famed culture maker Kaiser Kuo

May 6, 2013

Thorsten Pattberg meets famed culture maker Kaiser Kuo “Chinese as an international language is not going to happen if you push it. It is a pull-thing. People need to want it, to come here, and […]

Political Theory: Daniel A. Bell: “I don’t believe that democracy is the best way.”

April 8, 2013

Political Theory: Daniel A. Bell: “I don’t believe that democracy is the best way.” HONG KONG/HAMBURG - This week’s Der Spiegel, Germany’s most influential weekly news magazine, features an article about Daniel A. Bell, the […]

On Chinese Terms

April 5, 2013

‘Tomb Sweeping Day’ distorts Chinese meaning of Qingming (Shanghai Daily) This article was published on the 2nd April 2013 in Shanghai Daily on the occasion of the Qingming Festival 2013 (which is the 4th April […]

Joachim Gentz – The Great Learning

March 27, 2013

Joachim Gentz – The Great Learning by Thorsten Pattberg The Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (IAHS) at Peking University: Prof. Dr. Joachim Gentz - Visualizing the Daxue (20th March, 2013) Peking University – The Daxue […]

New Confucianism Goes Global

March 7, 2013

New Confucianism Goes Global Tit for Tat for Tu Weiming in Vienna: Peking University’s Top New Confucianist Allies with United Nations to Promote Age of Dialogue VIENNA- Tu Weiming, the former Harvard-Yenching Professor and now […]

TU Weiming in Vienna: Rise, Tianxia, rise!

March 5, 2013

TU Weiming in Vienna: Rise, Tianxia, rise! - Joining the cause of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations “Before the time of Confucius existed the idea of tianxia (天下), which means ‘all under heaven‘.” –TU […]

Pattberg: Time for Chinese culture to strike back

February 15, 2013

Asia Times: Time for Chinese culture to strike back BEIJING - Failure to care about “cultural property rights” as much as Beijing frets over sovereignty of lands and seas has seen too many Chinese concepts […]

Pattberg: The East is a Promotion

January 22, 2013

The East is a Promotion by Thorsten Pattberg “The East is a career,” reads the quote by Benjamin Disraeli in the preamble of Edward Said’s 1978 masterpiece ‘Orientalism’. Since Deng Xiaoping’s opening-up policy, millions of […]

Tu Weiming - CNTV Personality of the Year Award for disseminating Chinese Culture

January 8, 2013

Tu Weiming - CCTV Personality of the Year 2012 Award for disseminating Chinese Culture BEIJING - China Network Television CNTV on Christmas Eve, Dec 24 2012, broadcasted the ‘Personality of the Year Award for disseminating […]


January 2, 2013

裴德思:中国的儒家圣诞节 裴德思 著 吴万伟 译 北京:知道孔子的人很少,不是说不知道他是谁,而是说不知道他做了什么。这个古代的老师有很多名字,如大成至圣文宣王、大师、孔夫子等。但是和基督教圣经中的圣诞老人尼古拉斯(Nicholas)或者(Santa Claus)不同,孔子不是基督教圣人而是中国圣人,更确切地说,孔子是圣人。 儒家的圣人(有数百位之多)就像佛教的佛一样与欧洲特征格格不入的。他们培育塑造理想的人格,成为以家庭为基础的中国价值观传统中的最高成员,圣人拥有最高的道德标准,即德,他们使用仁义礼智信的原则把所有人都当作大家庭的一员。 但是,即使在中国,也只有少数学者被称为“圣人”。这是因为这个词和概念被小心翼翼地从思想史中挪走了。对17世纪和此后的西方传教士来说,孔子被错误地当成基督教的神一样崇拜,因而是就像西方的圣徒杰罗姆(Saint Jerome)或本笃(Saint Benedict)一样的真正的“圣徒”。 Read full text on here. Translation by Wu Wanwei.


January 1, 2013

裴德思:翻译的终结 裴德思 著 吴万伟 译 北京:坦率地说,很少人认识到《圣经》对人们学习外语的热情的打击。巴别塔的故事告诉我们世界上只有一种人(上帝的子民),只不过“我们的语言被搞混乱了。”从欧洲历史的视角看,这意味着任何一个德国哲学家都确切地知道中国人在想什么,只不过他不明白这些想法罢了。所以无需学习外语,他只要译文即可。 巧合的是,《圣经》之后是大写H的历史。在德意志国家的神圣罗马帝国时期,德国学者仍然说拉丁语,德国逻辑学家克里斯汀·沃尔夫(Christian Wolff)打开了儒家典籍的拉丁译文。我想,他的反应是既担忧又觉得可笑。他阅读拉丁语版本的《孔子》,说了这样的话“太棒了,看起来这么熟悉,我觉得完全理解了孔子的想法。” 沃尔夫对这种新的思想威力兴奋不已,于是他到处做有关中国的讲座,就好像他是中国国王一般。如果不觉得滑稽,应该算非常精彩。在他令人难忘的发现中,我们看到“中国人的动机”或“中国人的最终目标”等内容。 当然,有人偶尔问沃尔夫大师为什么不访问中国时,这位最伟大的汉学家表现出最伟大的思想胜利。他回答说“中国人的智慧普遍没有得到高度重视,因此没有有必要为此而去中国旅行。” 我认为,历史在沃尔夫那里终结的说法就如此建立起来了,或者至少变得疲惫不堪和玩世不恭了。他的表现充分说明了这个事实,即任何一个欧洲人都可以在不认识一个中国字的情况下成为“中国专家”。 因为这对任何一个种外语来说都是真实的,所以现在我们知道了为什么德国哲学家康德能够大胆地宣称“万事终结”,黑格尔可以宣称“历史的终结”。两位学问渊博的人都非常清楚他们在有生之年并没有掌握任何一种非欧洲语言,他们只是简单地假设各国的历史都差不多。 西半球的这种态度并没有改变多少,而我们当今生活在一个疯狂的世界。美国和欧洲的大部分学者相信中国人“说他们的语言”,只不过用“汉语”交谈,如民主和人权。你或许这样认为,但那些是欧洲人的词汇,中国根本没有。想象一下中国人回敬一下,要求欧洲更加文明和天人合一会如何? Read full text on here. 作者简介: 裴德思,北京大学人文科学高等研究员德国学者。著有《东西二元论》(2009),《圣人》(2011)和《在北大》(2012)。 译自:The End of Translation By Thorsten Pattberg 吴万伟,上海外国语大学硕士,武汉科技大学外语学院副教授,出版译著《行为糟糕的哲学家》,在《环球时报》、《社会学家茶座》等报刊和“学术中华”、”天益”、“光明观察”、《孔子2000》、“正来学堂”、“哲学在线”等网站发表翻译文章多篇。

Santa Confucius and Christmas in China

December 24, 2012

‘Santa Confucius’ and Christmas in China “The origin of the CHINESE nation was not long after the Flood … This being so, it must necessarily follow that the first inhabitants of CHINA had likewise the […]

Confucianism commands New Europe

December 18, 2012

Article published in China Daily, Dec. 10th 2012 BEIJING - Europe is adopting Confucian virtues and China’s lofty pragmatism to cope with its fragile unity and social harmony. The impact of Chinese students in Europe, […]

Pattberg - La fin de la traduction

October 13, 2012

La fin de la traduction Voici un article écrit dans un anglais un peu rocailleux par un professeur allemand qui travaille à Pékin. Ma traduction est, par construction, approximative. La source est le remarquable webzine Asia […]

Pas de shengren, SVP !

October 8, 2012

Pas de shengren, SVP ! French translation by Fausto Giudice Si le shengren n’est pas une science, qu’est-ce qui l’est en Chine? Le shengren est le concept le plus important dans la tradition chinoise. Pourtant, […]

Science Magazine: No shengren, please!

September 16, 2012

Science Magazine: No shengren, please! US Science Magazine excludes Chinese terminologies from its publications. If the shengren isn’t science, what in China is? The shengren is the single most important concept in the Chinese tradition. […]

The Rise of Confucianism in Europe - Gallery 2

September 1, 2012

The Rise of Confucianism in Europe - Gallery 2 Welcome to the second image gallery of the East-West dichotomy which features publications on: Shengren It’s its own category [like the buddhas in Buddhism]. It cannot […]

How Confucian are We? The Rise of Confucianism in Europe

August 17, 2012

How Confucian Are We? The Rise of Confucianism in Europe Europe is experiencing an important transition away from its philosophical idealism and violent Christian doctrine toward a more (Confucian) lofty pragmatism. Read the unabridged article […]

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