30 fall in love with Chinese language

30 fall in love with Chinese language

MASERU – IT is a language that is spoken by over a billion people, a fifth of the world’s total population.
Learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese will help one not only bridge the cultural gap but will open doors to a world of opportunities.
That has proven particularly true in business.

With this reality in mind, 30 individuals from the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) are now studying Mandarin Chinese, for free.
The programme is also open to government employees.
The classes are held at Machabeng College in Maseru.

Pontšo Thatho, the language tutor, told thepost this week that learning Chinese is a profitable venture as the language is now spoken by about 14 percent of the world’s population.
He said it makes business sense to learn Chinese because in almost every country in the world there are a sizeable number of Chinese businesspeople who speak little or no English at all.

“If you want to increase opportunities in the business world, you must learn Chinese,” he said.
Thatho said there is a gap in the market for people who can speak both Chinese and English.
He said people who can speak Chinese can be interpreters in business forums and in day-to-day business transactions between individuals.
He said that can mean very lucrative wages for such individuals.

Lesotho, in particular, has more Chinese investors who cannot speak both Sesotho and English fluently and in most cases they need an interpreter.
For those who do not want to be hired but need to partner with the Chinese in business, learning Chinese can prove useful, Thatho said.
Thatho said the language’s attractiveness lies in China’s booming economy and its status as a rising global superpower.

China has transformed itself from an impoverished Third World country to become what is arguably the largest global economy in 35 years.
The country has been on an aggressive push for investors while seeking economic cooperation with other countries and major corporations.
Thatho said “there is a huge demand for people who can bridge the gap between this new growing China and the wider world”.
“It is important to learn the Chinese language. It is now considered as an important language worldwide because of its increase in presence in the business world,” he said.

“The other thing that is interesting about the Chinese language is the writing of the Chinese characters,” he said.
“They also have a very rich culture, for instance their tea culture, wine culture and food culture,” Thatho said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Deputy Principal Secretary Thabang Lekhela said it is gratifying that the Chinese Embassy has organised a three months language course for government workers.

Lekhela said “it is also a necessity to learn this language because it allows people to communicate as it is one of the six international languages”.
The course will provide basic knowledge on the Chinese language to government officials so that they can enhance their communication with the Chinese community at home and around Lesotho.

In his remarks the Political Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to Lesotho, Song Changqing, said the course will help Basotho to interact easily with the Chinese people and be able to work hand-in-hand with the Chinese in their country and improve the good relations between themselves.
“The most important part of these lessons is that Basotho will be able to do international business with the Chinese,” Song said.
Song said to study Chinese will mean to study the culture of the Chinese.
“This means people will understand what is behind the language, what makes it powerful, and how it functions in Chinese society,” Song said.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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