Monthly Archives: May 2009

Historic Date – First HSK Examinations in Scotland

Sunday May 24 2009 was an historic date. A pioneering group of higher education and workplace students undertook the official Chinese language proficiency test known as HSK.

HSK is the Chinese equivalent of the widely established English language IELTS test


While the numbers taking this first HSK examination are small, student registrations at the Confucius Institute have grown by 130% over the last year. Ranging in age from 14 to 60+ the majority of students are in the 25-45 age bracket. Move than 70% of students are motivated adult learners the majority of whom are working full time.


The top three reasons for learning Chinese are:

  • Travelling to China for work, holiday or further study
  • Want to develop the language skill to help career
  • Partner is Chinese


Our pioneer HSK candidates have a place in the history of the Confucius Institute for Scotland and we thank them for their involvement.

Perhaps Love – Scottish Premiere – May 2009

Multi-award winning `Perhaps Love`(Ai Ru Guo)which has been called the Chinese `Moulin Rouge` features an international cast and crew. Shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau and choreographed by Bollywood`s Farah Khan its international stars include Hong Kong pop star Jacky Cheung, South Korean actor Ji Jin-hee, Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro and Chinese actress Zhou Xun.

It was first released in 2005 and will premiere in Scotland on Friday 22 May at the Edinburgh Filmhouse as part of the Dance:Film Festival between Filmhouse and Dancebase.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland is pleased to support this Scottish Premiere of the first musical film to be produced in mainland China in more than 40 years.

Mandarin, Cantonese and English with English subtitles

Shanghai Insight Evening – May 2009

Event Date: 21/05/2009

The largest economic and trade centre in China Shanghai is a modern and dynamic city which for many is a shopping paradise. With insights given into the various influences that have shaped the city, this session will also reveal where to shop, where to absorb culture and how to enjoy the local food including the delicious Xiaolong baozi – steamed bun; Dazha xie – hairy crabs; and Chou doufu – smelly tofu!

Our session leader, Wei Zhou, holds a Masters degree in Cultural Studies and has worked as a tour guide in China for a number of years.

Join us for this, the third, of our May Insight Evening on Thursday 21 May from 6pm-8pm here at the Confucius Institute. Please call us on 0131 662 2180 or email The cost per person is £10.00

Free- Language Evaluation Opportunity

Event Date: 30/05/2009

If you have been learning Mandarin Chinese and are free on the morning of Saturday 30 May read on. This is the date when we are seeking volunteers to test out the new HSK examination.

The Chinese Proficiency Test HSK (Hanyu shuiping kaoshi, i.e. Chinese proficiency certificate) is the official PRC standardised exam to assess Chinese language proficiency of non-native Chinese speakers.

Hanban,(the Office of Chinese Language Council International) the body which conducts HSK,and which sponsors Confucius Institutes, has been revising the test with the aim of making it more accessible, practical and interesting to candidates. The new test will be offered at 6 levels.

Level 1 only requires that candidates master 150 words and level two only 300 words.

In order to assist Hanban to get feedback on the newly evolved test, we are going to hold exams at Level One and Two on 30th May at the Institute as a FREE trial. Attendees` papers will be formally marked and the results will be released. However, no certificate will be issued as it is only a mock-up exam

HSK is the only official Chinese language certificate accepted in mainland China. It is used by educational institutions and potential employers to:

  • certify that the holder has acquired the required Chinese proficiency to enter Chinese educational institutions as an undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • certify that the holder can be exempt from studying Chinese courses at certain levels
  • ensure suitable level of language skills as a reference point for employers recruiting non-native Chinese staff

The valuable feedback that Hanban will get from the finished exam papers will help them to develop Chinese teaching around the world. Your support and help if you could volunteer to take one of the exams would be very welcome. This also offers a good opportunity to get a sense of the new HSK, which will be implemented soon, should you need to take the exam in the future.

If you are interested in taking part in this free mock exam session please send an email to or call us on 0131 662 2180. More information will follow once you contact us. Many thanks in anticipation!

Warrior City – Xi`an Insight Evening – May 2009

Famous for its Terracotta Warriors the ancient city of Xi`an is re-inventing itself as a major centre for higher education while maintaining its links with the past. Situated on the threshold of the Midwest of the country, this historical city served as capital to 13 feudal dynasties. Focusing on the long Tang dynastic history and life in the Muslim quarter of this city, Xi’an is a fascinating destination with its own local food and lifestyle.

Join us for this, the second, of our May Insight Evenings. Our session leader, Wei Zhou, who holds a Masters degree in Cultural Studies also lived in Xi`an for over ten years.

To attend this Insight Evening on Thursday 14 May from 6pm-8pm here at the Confucius Institute, please call us on 0131 662 2180 or email The cost per person is £10.00

Begin with Beijing – Insight Evening – May 2009

Event Date: 07/05/2009

Come along for two hours on Thurs 7 May at 6pm to join an Insight Evening on Beijing.

Part of a four week programme,but available as standalone session, this first evening will introduce the capital city of the PRC. Of interest to those with general interest in China and for those who plan to visit, this session will touch on history, culture, sightseeing, entertainment and local food as well as contemporary Chinese life.

Led by Wei Zhou, an experienced tour guide with excellent English who holds a Masters degree in Cultural Studies this first Insight Evening is offered at £10. To book please call us on 0131 662 2180 or email