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I'll begin by making a disclaimer that I know absolutely nothing about Chinese languages...so please forgive me if I say anything absurd here.
In recent years, my university has been seeing increasing number of Chinese transfer students, many of whom take a number of music theory classes with me after having transfered some basic theory credits from their Chinese institutions. So, I'll have students in Theory III who transferred Theory I and II from China; or, I'll have students in 18th C counterpoint who transferred Theory I-IV.
Many of these students are reasonably well versed in "music theory stuff" (to borrow a fun phrase from one of my students), but the language barrier is an issue. Specifically, I'm running into challenges in my Theory IV class, which requires the students to write a significant amount of (English prose) analytical observations for various homework assignments, projects, etc. My Chinese students have strong enough conversational English skills, and have taken many EAP (English for Academic Purposes) classes here -- but none of those skills involve the technical vocabulary of music theory, and therefore they rely on Google Translate (etc) to help translate their Chinese knowledge into English.
Sometimes, it's easy for me to figure out what they're referring to. "...the chord which passes through Naples" (Neapolitan chord), or "Bb junior chord" (Bb minor chord, I think), etc. But there are many times where it's just impossible for me to determine what they are saying.
Can anyone point me to any sort of resource (web-based, print-based?) that might be able to serve as a translation aid for these students (and for me)? Even though I can't read a lick of Mandarin, it might be helpful if I had a book to point to that shows the Chinese equivalent of "enharmonic spelling of a German augmented sixth chord." Or even an English list of Google Transl
If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. Thank you, kindly, in advance,
Zac Cairns (University of Missouri - St. Louis)
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