The collaboration between James W. Underhill and Mariarosaria Gianinotto grew out of a sustained dialogue on the importance of keywords to culture in Chinese and in English. But their book project was sparked off by an article written by the two great Polish ethnolinguists of the Lublin School, Jerzy Bartmiński and Maciej Abramovicz, an article which compared the concepts of ‘the people’ in French (peuple) and in Polish (lud). This led the authors to engage in a book project which compared the way a conceptual cluster of related terms (the people, individual, citizen, and Europe) were adopted, appropriated and, in turn, transformed over time in the Chinese language and worldview. For this project, the authors adopt aspects of the Lublin Ethnolinguistic School’s methodology and innovate in order to provide their own approach working with a combination of texts, corpora, and online resources. Rather than portraying the selected concepts in fixed oppositions (East vs West), the diversity of materials studied has enabled the authors to show that all of these concepts are dynamically changing over time. They are harnessed in discourse strategies in debates and discussions at the centre of our public lives. Underhill’s and Giannoto’s book will be published in 2016 by Edinburgh University Press. The authors have already given papers together at International Conferences in Poland, France and the Czech Republic, and some of them have been filmed and are available on the REP website.