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Feature: Ugandans embrace learning Chinese language

By Samuel Egadu Okiror and Ronald Ssekandi (Xinhua)

10:59, December 13, 2012

KAMPALA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of kilometers away from home, Chinese volunteers are in Uganda, teaching the Chinese language in renewed efforts to boost the cultural and trade relations between the two countries.

In Wakiso district, about 15 km east of the capital Kampala is Luyanzi College, a private school owned by a Chinese lady and her husband Ayub Sooma.

At the school some 500 secondary school students and 10 external learners are waiting for graduation in elementary Chinese language, phonetic system, Chinese characters, grammar and conversation.

With the help of the volunteers from China's Guizhou Province, it took the students three months to master the elementary stage.

"Every day we teach them to master the language slowly as they repeat the Chinese vowels and simple conversation," Tu Xi, a Chinese volunteer told Xinhua in an interview on Dec. 10.

Jimmy Dheyongera, the head-teacher of the school told Xinhua that the students can now freely express themselves in the Chinese language.

"They (learners) were trained for three months in Chinese elementary language. They can now talk, greet, ask for water and a way forward and they can bargain in any market using the Chinese language," said Dheyongera.

Luyanzi College is the first privately owned secondary school in Uganda to offer Chinese culture lessons.

"Because we feel the world is going commerce and China is an economic power and many Ugandans have brought Chinese products here but whenever they go to shop they are handicapped by the language so we hope language will help them to excel in their business," said Dheyongera.

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