Tongwen Guan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Tongwen Guan (Chinese: 同文館), or the School of Combined Learning was a government school for teaching Western languages (and later scientific subjects), founded at Beijing, China in 1862 during the late-Qing dynasty.[1] The establishment signifies the Qing Empire, after years of reluctance, at last tried to learn about the West of their own accord.

Following the Convention of Peking, the Qing Empire created Zongli Yamen, an office for foreign affairs, in 1861 and Tongwen Guan one year later, which was supervised by Zongli Yamen.[2] One of the Tongwen Guan's employees was Dr. Martin.[3][4] The college was not the first Western language school in China, though. The Eluosi Wenguan (俄羅斯文舘 "Russian College") was set up by the Lifan Yuan in 1708, which was later integrated into Tongwen Guan. There were also Siyi Guan (四夷舘; founded 1407[5]) and Huitong Guan (會同舘) during the Ming dynasty for training translators and interpreters of Asian languages. Hanlin Academy#Bureau of Translators

The college taught English, French, German, Russian and Japanese, as well as chemistry, medicine, machine-making, astronomy, mathematics, geography and international laws. Similar colleges were later set up at Canton and Shanghai. Tongwen Guan published several influential works introducing Western knowledge into China. It became part of the Imperial Capital University (now Peking University) since 1902.


  1. ^ Lackner, Ph.D., Michael; Vittinghoff, Natascha, eds. (2004). Mapping Meanings: The Field of New Learning in Late Qing China ; [International Conference "Translating Western Knowledge Into Late Imperial China", 1999, Göttingen University]. Volume 64 of Sinica Leidensia / Sinica Leidensia (illustrated ed.). BRILL. p. 249. ISBN 9004139192. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Emily Hahn (28 July 2015). China Only Yesterday: 1850–1950: A Century of Change. Open Road Media. pp. 191–. ISBN 978-1-5040-1628-5. 
  3. ^ Emily Hahn (28 July 2015). China Only Yesterday: 1850–1950: A Century of Change. Open Road Media. pp. 194–. ISBN 978-1-5040-1628-5. 
  4. ^ Emily Hahn (1963). China Only Yesterday: 1850-1950. p. 194. 
  5. ^ Mu, Fengliang (2004), 四夷馆与同文馆名称考 (A Survey of the Name Change from Siyi Guan to Tongwen Guan) (PDF) 


  • Biggerstaff, Knight. The earliest modern government schools in China, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1961.
  • Evans, Nancy. "The Banner-School Background of the Canton T'ung-Wen Kuan." Papers on China 22a (1969): 89-103.
  • Zhongguo da baike quanshu. First Edition. Beijing; Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe. 1980-1993.
  • 《漢俄合璧韻編》掌院修士巴第遺篇,1888年,北京同文舘 (Chinese-Russian Dictionary by Archimandrite Palladius, 1888, Tungwen Guan) Volume 1[1] Volume 2[2] 1896 edition