Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

The Coverage of Chinese Medicine in Major World English Publications

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

The Coverage of Chinese Medicine in Major World English Publications

Article excerpt


Chinese Medicine as a treasure of Chinese people is a health care system used in China for more than four millenniums. Chinese Medicine has also been recognized as a popular complementary and alternative medicine in overseas countries. Media coverage usually reflects the attentions of society, because of the wide spread of Chinese Medicine, media around the world have a lot of reports concerning it. This study uses the media coverage downloaded from Nexis news media archive as data to build a corpus and conduct social survey on Chinese Medicine. The major purpose of this study is to see what topics are frequently included in the News Mentioning Chinese Medicine (NMCM) in order to find foreigners' interests in Chinese Medicine and the overseas development of Chinese Medicine, and further analyze their specific fields. It is an attempt to apply corpus-based critical discourse analysis in the field of social survey.

Key Words: Chinese medicine; Media coverage; Corpus; Keyword analysis


Chinese Medicine originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. Practitioners use a variety of methods, like herbs, acupuncture, and massage to treat a wide range of conditions. The medical system of Chinese Medicine is quite different from that of western medicine because of the great cultural difference. The approach adopted in Western medicine is strictly based on inferences made from laboratory examinations while Chinese Medicine is on the experience of hundreds of years of observations and researches. Unlike western medicine, which attempts to pinpoint a specific disease or infection as the cause of the illness and treat it, Chinese Medicine takes a wide, holistic view of both symptom and treatment. It regards the human body as an organic entity in which the various organs are all interdependent and it focuses on the recuperation of the whole body and prefers natural remedies.

With the development of globalization, worldwide communication in medical science is enhanced to find better ways of healing. China, as the origin of Chinese Medicine is making efforts to introduce the Chinese science and culture to the world. Meanwhile, policymakers around the world regard Chinese Medicine as a popular complementary and alternative medicine and find ways to incorporate Chinese Medicine into public health system. Over the past decades, Chinese Medicine has gained more and more attention from people all over the world. This ancient Chinese medical system also attracts attention from the media because of its wide spread.


Most of the studies concerning Chinese Medicine are in the field of medical science. Among the linguistic studies of Chinese Medicine, researches mainly focus on the translation of terminology in Chinese Medicine in order to spread it fully and accurately (Wiseman, 2002). Some studies combine Chinese Medicine with sociology, but the methodology they adopt are mainly questionnaire and interview (Lee et al, 1998). This study is a social survey using a corpus of Major World English Publications. The main focus is to reveal the topics that frequently occur in the News Mentioning Chinese Medicine (NMCM). With the rapid globalization, Chinese Medicine has moved to the international platform. It is important for us to know which parts of Chinese Medicine have caught foreigners' interests and what they think of Chinese Medicine. The results of this study may give a clue to the spread of Chinese Medicine and provide some suggestions for its development.

The media plays an important role in promoting globalization and shortening the distance between countries to deliver latest information to people around the world. In addition, the increasingly rich online resources and advanced language processing tools facilitate us to do researches on certain subject. Therefore corpusbased critical discourse analysis has become a new trend in linguistic studies. …

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