Interest in learning Chinese on rise in Myanmar for enhanced career prospects

Updated: April 21, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Locals visit a bookshop where books in Chinese are available in Yangon, Myanmar, April 18, 2024. (Photo by Myo Kyaw Soe/Xinhua)

From garment factory workers to aspiring interpreters, young professionals in Myanmar embrace learning the Chinese language, driven by the promise of higher salaries and better job prospects as Chinese investment in the country is on the rise.

YANGON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Amid Myanmar's deepening ties with China, a growing number of students are embracing the challenge of mastering Chinese language, driven by the promise of enhanced career prospects.

From garment factory workers to aspiring interpreters, young professionals in Myanmar are dedicating themselves to mastering Chinese, recognizing its pivotal role in securing lucrative job opportunities.

Chit Chit Po, a 32-year-old garment factory worker, told Xinhua in a recent interview that it is advantageous to learn Chinese, noting that it has potentials to unlock job opportunities and increase pay.

"I admire Chinese clothing, Chinese living styles and their preservation of traditional Chinese culture," she said. "Currently, I work alongside Chinese colleagues. They are hardworking," she added.


Books in Chinese are displayed on the shelves of a bookshop in Yangon, Myanmar, April 18, 2024. (Photo by Myo Kyaw Soe/Xinhua)

Similarly, Su Su Sandi, a 20-year-old student in Yangon's Hlaingtharyar township, shared her experience of learning Chinese for over a year. She said mastering Chinese language can have attractive salaries and promotion prospects.

"I enjoy speaking Chinese. Currently, I dedicate one to two hours a day to studying. I also aspire to study in foreign countries," she added. "I appreciate Chinese living styles, Chinese dances and Chinese martial arts movies," he said.

Aung Thu Soe, 25, talked about his eight months of studying Chinese and the rising job opportunities associated with Chinese language skills due to the presence of many Chinese garment factories in Myanmar.

"Here, there are many Chinese garment factories that were creating job opportunities for Chinese speakers," he said. "I'm drawn to Chinese entertainment, and I also aspire to work in Singapore (a country that uses Chinese language) in the future," he added.

Ei Thandar Tun, a 26-year-old aspiring interpreter in Yangon, said she has been studying Chinese for over a year.

"Writing Chinese characters is quite challenging for me," she admitted, while emphasizing the career growth opportunities associated with learning Chinese language.

"I aspire to become a Chinese interpreter. I also desire to visit and study in China," she added.

Ko Aung Min, a 35-year-old Chinese language teacher in Yangon, said the number of students learning Chinese in Myanmar was increasing as China's economy grows.

He said he started his career in teaching Chinese language in 2013 with a handful of students. Currently, his school in Yangon's Hlaingtharyar has over 200 students studying in both online and in-person classes.

"Learning Chinese is highly beneficial for students in Myanmar, personally, environmentally and professionally," he added.

April 20 this year is the United Nations Chinese Language Day, and it was observed to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity. 

Editor: Li Shimeng