At the ASEAN hall of the just concluded China Kunming Export Commodities Fair, Vietnam girl Wushi Qingling (Chinese name) answered customers in not very fluent Chinese, "a bottle of soy source, five yuan".
Chinese language has become popular in Vietnam in recent years, with many people coming to China to learn it, a translator from Vietnamese national bureau of trade promotion told reporter, he himself learned Chinese in Peking University.
At the Kunming Fair, Many traders from ASEAN countries such as Vietnam and Thailand spoke Chinese. Feng Yuanxiu, a Thai-Chinese with Guangdong origin, practiced his Chinese after learning three months at Yunnan University. Mr Yuan, a Vietnamese learning Chinese in Yunnan Nationalities University, worked as interpretations together with his Chinese classmates. A Vietnamese girl at a furniture booth told reporter in fluent Chinese, "I'm interested in Chinese medicine, so I came to Yunan at my own expense. I have studied Chinese for two years at Yunnan Normal University, and after graduation I want to say in Kunming to study Chinese medicine". There are more than 100 Vietnamese at her school alone, she said.
Most people living along the border between Myanmar and China speak Chinese, a Myanmar diplomat in Kunming told reporter. There is a large amount of student exchanges between Yunnan and Myanmar every year, and Chinese language departments have been set up in Myanmar's two foreign language universities. On top of Myanmese and English, many Myanmese take Chinese as an important language to learn.
The China-ASEAN free trade zone covers 11 countries and 1.7 billion people, so communication among languages is particularly important, an official from Yunnan government said.
By People's Daily Online