Online Certificate in Chinese Culture: Program Overview

Dec 04, 2019

Essential Information

Postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Chinese language and culture are available in all-online formats. Completing these programs require the ability to read web pages encoded in Chinese UTF-8 or Unicode and proficiency in Chinese language software. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interpreters and translators typically hold a bachelor's degree, but the most important qualification for English/Chinese interpreters and translators is fluency. Professional certification for interpreters and translators is voluntary, but can help demonstrate competency to potential employers.

Certificate in Chinese Culture

In an online professional certificate program in Chinese culture, students learn to read, write and speak Chinese, Mandarin or Taiwanese. Fluency in English and Chinese is recommended before entering a program such as this. Various types of Chinese text and films are used for studying Chinese dialect and culture. A bachelor's degree is beneficial for the student who wants to enhance his or her existing degree and is required for those who want to become certified teachers in public schools.

Program Information and Requirements

Certificate requirements include approximately 15 credit hours that can be completed within one year. Courses are delivered online to accommodate working professionals. Online course materials may include online text, videos, lessons and discussion forums. Assignments can be posted and submitted online.

Proficiency in the input of Chinese characters with proper language software is helpful. Students should be able to read Web pages encoded in Chinese UTF-8 or Unicode.

Common Chinese Culture Certificate courses

Students access online courses through a school's online learning platform. Introductory coursework includes historical and cultural studies of Asian countries. Language studies include translation of literature and other media formats.

Chinese Translation

This course is primarily taught in English and introduces students to Chinese literature. Major works are studied and Chinese literary periods and trends are discussed.

Chinese Fluency in Films

Historical and cultural issues in contemporary Chinese cinema are examined. Students observe linguistic styles and features in films.

Spoken Chinese Language

Students engage in theme-based discussions to learn linguistic attributes of the Chinese language. Principles of understanding and acquiring Chinese as a second language are reviewed. The course is conducted primarily in Chinese.

Chinese Reading and Composition

This course involves the study of Chinese text in common daily print forms, such as letters, magazines and pamphlets. Similarities and differences between U.S. and Chinese cultures are analyzed to determine the role culture plays in writing styles.

Career Information

Students with a certificate in Chinese culture may seek employment as interpreters or translators. Interpreters can work in corporate conference events or accompany U.S. travelers to China. Translators typically translate written material, such as works of literature or business documents, from Chinese to English or vice-versa. The BLS reported that job prospects for translators and interpreters are better in urban cities ( The BLS projected job growth of 19%, much faster than the average for all occupations, from 2018-2028. Interpreters and translators made an average annual salary of $55,230 as of May 2018.

Certificates in Chinese culture are typically aimed at applicants already fluent in Chinese, Mandarin or Taiwanese. These programs are designed to immerse students in Chinese culture to make for more efficient translators and interpreters.

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