Roundup: Ambitious young Ecuadorians see opportunity in learning Chinese

Updated: April 22, 2022 Source: Xinhua News Agency
fontLarger fontSmaller

QUITO, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Learning the Chinese language is attracting a growing number of young Ecuadorians who wish to develop professionally by traveling to China to learn about its ancient culture and economic opportunities.

During Chinese Language Day on Wednesday, some Ecuadorians highlighted the importance of the language in a global context.

"The Chinese language is important because China is a world power, so it is essential to learn it. It opens many doors for work. It is the language of the future," said 27-year-old Victor Tipun, a student attending the Confucius Class at the Siyuan School of Chinese Language in Quito, Ecuador's capital.

Tipun said Mandarin Chinese is "complicated" and requires discipline but shouldn't be feared.

Noting that many Chinese companies operate in Ecuador, Tipun said job opportunities increase with knowledge of the language, with a chance to travel to China.

Tatiana Logacho, one of Tipun's classmates, is studying foreign trade and sees Chinese as key to doing business globally.

"It seems that the Chinese language would help me achieve greater professional growth, and I would also like to travel to that country. The Chinese culture is very different from ours," said the 20-year-old.

Logacho said that learning Chinese has been a fascinating experience and involves several facets, including calligraphy.

"The truth is that I love it. I feel that it is fun. Learning a new language fascinates me," said Logacho, adding that Mandarin-language skills can contribute to Ecuador's economic progress.

The study of Mandarin Chinese has created a cultural bridge between Ecuador and China.

In Ecuador, the Confucius Class at the Siyuan School of Chinese Language is the largest, with some 2,300 students enrolled nationwide via virtual classes and in person. It serves as the official testing center, and classrooms are decorated with traditional Chinese ornaments.

The teacher, Sun Jichun, or Anita, as her students call her in Spanish, told Xinhua that her students are genuinely curious about the language.

"All the students are intelligent and have fun learning Chinese. They learn quickly. I think they can learn the language very well and travel to China to work," she said, expressing pride in her role as a conduit of the Chinese language.

The school, set up in 2003, has about a dozen teachers from China. They teach children aged four and older with didactic methods and material to make learning enjoyable.

"We are a school dedicated to teaching the Chinese language and spreading the culture. Many students dream of knowing more about China, learning the language to get a job in a Chinese company or winning a scholarship to study in China," said Cao Xiaohong, the schoolmaster.

Cao arrived in Ecuador 20 years ago and set up a school with just three students from scratch.

Over the years, Cao's endeavors changed the lives of many Ecuadorians.

"With the teachers' efforts, the lives of many families have changed in this South American country," said Cao. "They are motivated to study the language because as each day passes, China's influence is greater, and China's openness is felt more. People want to do business with China, and Chinese culture is attracting attention."

Editor: Yu Huichen