362 Politics

What do you think if when you hear the word “politician?” Eleanor Olcott is a Cambridge University graduate, who studied political science. She shares with ShaoLan the reason why she became interested in politics enough to study it at university, but says that she’s never considered becoming a professional politician because she doesn’t want to be rooted to one place for too long. Bringing it back to Chinese and ShaoLan teaches Eleanor lots of extra Chinese words that relate to politics and University departments, subjects (and students).

The Chinese word for “politics” is 政治. The first character  means “to follow the rules” or to “correct” something, with a sense of “keeping the population in line.” The second character  has a similar meaning, but has an added sense of “managing” people, correcting them when they go wrong. Together, 政治 has a sense of “governing” and “ruling” and has, therefore, come to mean “politics.”

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zhèng zhì
To guide, government
To rule, to manage
政治家 or 政客
zhèng zhì jiā or zhèng kè
科學 / 科学
kē xué
科學家 / 科学家
kē xué jiā
The study of politics, political science
政治學 / 政治学
zhèng zhì xué
The student of politics
政治學學生 / 政治学学生
zhèng zhì xué xué shēng
Department of Political Science
政治學系 / 政治学系
zhèng zhì xué xì
生物學 / 生物学
shēng wù xué

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