Students graduate from Chinese language course
Twenty-seven students from the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) shared $5,000 as monetary prize for completing Chinese language courses.
Presented by the Chinese Embassy in Samoa, the prize giving ceremony was held at the University's fale.
Twenty-three students completed the elementary Chinese language course and four intermediate 1 Chinese language course for one semester.
The university's Confucius Institute Chinese Director, Liang Guojie, said one of the challenges faced by the students is the pronunciation of Chinese words as there is a big difference between the Samoan and Chinese languages.
“I think learning another language can open a window to the outside world, especially that China has the second biggest economy in the world after America and also it can help the Samoan people with employment and educational opportunities,” Mr. Liang said.
Chinese Ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang congratulated the students for their achievement, adding he has seen strong and growing interest in learning Chinese among Samoan students since his arrival in Samoa.
“Mastering the Chinese language will give Samoan students many opportunities that China has to offer," Mr. Chao said.
“At present, there are three Chinese teachers teaching Chinese in primary schools, one teacher teaching university students at N.U.S. and one teacher teaching in community courses. Hundreds of Samoan students have benefited from these Chinese courses."
He said language is the key to unlock the rich heritage of a culture or civilization.
“China is an ancient civilization of more than 5000 years. By learning the Chinese language, Samoan students will be able to appreciate the charm of the Chinese culture.
“Language is also the bridge to promote better understanding and friendship between the two peoples. There are many Chinese businessmen and workers in Samoa who can speak fluent Samoan.
“There are also Samoan students or officials who speak fluent Chinese through the Chinese courses here in Samoa or after studying from China on government scholarships,” he added.
Mr. Chao said that “such a momentum of exchanges and mutual learning going on, the understanding and friendship between China and Samoa will grow even further".
He also commended the work of the Confucius Institute and encouraged the students to learn more Chinese and embrace more opportunities in the future.