“A room without books is like a body without a soul. “
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity.”
– Hermann Hesse
“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”
– Jhumpa Lahiri
April 23rd is World Book Day (世界读书日shì jiè dú shū rì), an event celebrated yearly since 2001 and established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in order to increase public interest in reading and promote book publishing as part of the World Book Capital project. The Spanish capital of Madrid was designated the “Book Capital of the World” for the first World Book Day, and since then a different city has been chosen each year—this year’s capital is Tbilisi, Georgia, known for iconic architecture and remnants of different historical eras.
联合国教科文组织 (lián hé guó jiào kē wén zǔ zhī): UNESCO
为了 (wèi le): so that; in order to
wèi le tí gāo gōng zhòng duì yuè dú de xìng qù，lián hé guó jiào kē wén zǔ zhī fā qǐ le shì jiè tú shū shǒu dōu jì huà
为 了 提 高 公 众 对 阅 读 的 兴 趣， 联 合 国 教 科 文 组 织 发 起 了 世 界 图 书 首 都 计 划。
In order to increase public interest in reading, UNESCO launched the World Book Capital project.
What is the holiday all about?
UNESCO hopes that the holiday will promote “creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge… With the active involvement of authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media… World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.”
创意 (chuàng yì ): n. creativity
多样性 (duō yàng xìng): n. diversity
平等 (píng děng ): n./adj. equality/equal
According to data, since the announcement of World Book and Copyright Day more than 100 countries and regions have participated in this event. Institutions in many countries will carry out a variety of activities on the day or during the week/month. For example, libraries, media, publishers, schools, shops, communities and other institutions organize book donations, public readings, and other things that encourage people to read, making this a time to truly celebrate books and the people who read and create them.
在…下 (zài… xià ): under…(, sth. happens)
zài tā de hào zhāo xià，yǐ jīng yǒu yì bǎi duō rén cān yǔ le zhè xiàng huó dòng
在 他 的 号 召 下， 已 经 有 一 百 多 人 参 与 了 这 项 活 动。
Under his call, more than 100 people have participated in this activity.
zài lǎo shī de bāng zhù xià， tā de chéng jì tū fēi měng jìn
在 老 师 的 帮 助 下，他 的 成 绩 突 飞 猛 进。
With the help of his teacher, his grades improved by leaps and bounds.
On World Book Day, bookstores everywhere hang up signage displaying eye-catching symbol of an open book with a heart in the middle. In Spain, the celebrations on April 23 coincide with the anniversary of the death of Cervantes, and in Catalonia it is also when “Saint George’s Day” and the legendary warrior’s slaying of a dragon are celebrated.
勇士 (yǒng shì): n. warrior
A cute tradition has emerged, in which Catalan women give a book to their husband or boyfriend, their husband or boyfriend will give them a rose in return.
最近 (zuì jìn): adv. recently, lately
nǐ zuì jìn dú shū le ma？
你 最 近 读 书 了 吗？
Have you read any books lately?
wǒ zuì jìn zài zhǔn bèi lán qiú bǐ sài ， méi yǒu shí jiān kàn shū
我 最 近 在 准 备 篮 球 比 赛， 没 有 时 间 看 书。
Recently I’ve been preparing for a basketball game, so I haven’t had time to read.
What’s eChineseLearning doing to recognize the holiday?
Books are steps on the ladder of progress, media that connect people across time and space, bringing friends both old and new together.
In recognition of the power of books to help us understand each other better, we’re making it easier for you to bring your friends along your Chinese learning journey with you! We think your friends deserve to see how fun learning about a different language and culture can be—don’t you?
How to join:
Forward this article to your Social platform, save the screenshot, then send the picture to Helen: TeacherAssistant_ECL
You’re already enjoying the Chinese language, why not share that joy with someone else?
, Beijing Time
Any questions? Feel free to contact us.