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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Interest in Mandarin rising worldwide

By Liu Fei (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:42, December 16, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The sixth Confucius Institute Conference, attended by more than 2,000 presidents of universities and representatives of Confucius Institutes from 105 countries and regions, ended in Beijing on Dec. 14.

It has been eight years since the establishment of the first Confucius Institute. Hanban, China's national office for promoting Chinese language and culture abroad, has founded more than 350 Confucius Institutes and 500 Confucius Classrooms in 105 countries and regions over the past eight years, and the number of foreigners learning Chinese has exceeded 40 million.

Thirty-six Confucius Institutes and 131 Confucius Classrooms were founded in 2011. And the number of foreign Chinese learners increased by 39 percent from a year earlier.

More than 8,000 teachers and volunteers have been sent to over 100 foreign countries to teach Chinese, and more than 5,000 foreign students from 118 countries have been awarded scholarships and come to China for advanced studies in China.

The Chinese language craze is heating up worldwide, and more and more foreigners are beginning to pay attention to China and to learn Chinese in order to communicate better with Chinese people.

Confucius Institutes worldwide carried out about 13,000 cultural activities in 2011, which attracted a total of more than 7.2 million participants. These activities have provided a platform for foreign Chinese learners to show off their talent and for ordinary foreigners to have a clearer understanding of China and the Chinese culture.

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