Ballina Arsimi An Albanology department at Beijing University

An Albanology department at Beijing University

Oct. 31 in China is known as the ‘’Albanology day in China’’. On behalf of this day, a conference was held at the Albanian Academy of Sciences in Tirana to celebrate the event, by promoting various literary and academic Albanian books translated in Chinese. The conference also sought to appraise in gratitude the contribution of the Chinese in spreading the Albanian culture and teaching our language at the University of Beijing.

The conference was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Albania H.E.Jiang Yu, Prof. Ke Jing, chief of Albanian Language Dpt. at the International Studies University of Beijing Prof.Chen Fengua, renowned Albanian academics Emil Lafe, Shaban Sinani, Floresha Dado, etc. Except promoting the collaboration between two nations and Chinese translations of the books, it was promised further cooperative projects.

Among the books translated and published are a ‘’Chinese-Albanian and Albanian-Chinese Vocabulary’’ with a collection of 40 thousand words, a ‘’Short encyclopedia of Albanian history and cultural heritage,’’ translated works of Ismail Kadare and Dritero Agolli in Chinese, ‘’Albanian practical grammar’’ in two volumes, and ‘’Spoken Albanian’’ in two volumes.

Other works are currently being translated by the staff of the Albanian Language at the Beijing University. Ismail Kadare’s ‘’Accident’’ is being translated by Mimoza, as she is called in her Albanianized name. Then there is Shqiponja (eagle), who is working on an archival documented collection on Albanian-Chinese relations during the 1960s, and prof. Ke Jing, who is called Xhina, is currently translating Dritero Agolli’s ‘’Devil’s Arc.’’

‘’The department has won the composition of a great Albanian vocabulary project. The associates, such as prof. Zheng Enbo, have prepared and published an Albanian poetry anthology of 70 authors in two volumes,’’ said dr. prof. Shaban Sinani.

The Albanian Language Dpt. at the Beijing University was established in 1961, and also serves as a university scientific unit, research center, and publishing and translating board. For two decades it had a great interest from Chinese students, then from the 1980-7 suffered a halt. After 1987 it was slowly rebuilding its reputation and functions, and today it graduates a group of Chinese students each four years in the field, studying the Albanian language, literature and culture. The department graduates BA, MA and PhD students, and it is the only Albanological center in the entire Asian continent.

‘’The Albanian Language Dpt. in Beijing exists since 1961 with an incredible contribution in teaching the Albanian language and preparing diplomats, journalists, and specialist of various fields within the Albanian language,’’ said Floresha Dado.

This department has now turned into an Albanological center which seeks to conduct scientific research. The research wants to surround both linguistic and traditional cultures of the two countries, in terms of history, culture, literature, linguistics, politics, religion, etc. The doctoral college, for instance, focuses on primary Albanologic and Chinese-Albanian issues. Yet, as the interest nowadays is smaller, with about 10 Chinese students studying in the field, the contribution, however generous, is also modest.

‘’We are making a very modest contribution to strengthen the Chinese-Albanian relations from the perspective of cultural exchange and to deepen the academic works, because the academic works can’t move forward on their own without serving the actual purposes, because with China in ‘60s-’70s the relations has been in such a way that the older generation knows China, however not the youth, and so the young Chinese know very little of Albania and we are going to get them acquainted with this nation, its culture and history,’’ said prof. Ke Jing.