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Stronger bilateral relations makes studying Chinese all the rage in Russia: survey

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    14:45, July 25, 2017

Studying Chinese has become all the rage in Russia, thanks to the two nations’ rising bilateral relationship and cooperation, a survey noted.

According to a report released by Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University in Russia, the number of Chinese language learners has doubled in the past decade, rising from 17,000 in 1997 to 56,000 in 2017. Around 39 percent of them are university students, while 31 percent are middle or high school students. Private Chinese language lessons have become a popular option for the other 25 percent.

The report also noted that studying Chinese language has become a new trend in the Russian educational system. Today there are 179 universities in Russia that teach Chinese language, up from only 18 in 1997, and the number of private schools wanting to teach Chinese language is growing at three percent per year. The report also predicted that Chinese language would be included in the Unified State Exam in 2020.

“I think the reason why there are more and more Chinese language learners in Russia is because of the country’s powerful economy and job opportunities. For these practical reasons, many parents in Russia send their children to learn Chinese language in an effort to invest in their kids’ future,” said Yana Svetlana, a Moscow-based Chinese language teacher.

“Though English is still the lingua franca for international communication, Chinese has been challenging its dominance in many ways, especially in China’s neighboring countries. Western sanctions against Russia have helped shift the focus away from the Western world to China,” said Nicolas Andonov, a student from Moscow State University.

The craze of learning Chinese language has also emerged in many countries in the world due to China’s growing strength. According to Xinhua News Agency, Chinese is the most spoken foreign language in the U.S. after Spanish, while African countries like Kenya are preparing to include Chinese language courses in their school curriculum.

 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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