China’s Confucius Institute(孔子学院) is a non-profit, international public educational organization(组织 zǔzhī), similar(相似 xiāngsì) to Britain’s British Council, France’s Alliance Francaise, Germany’s Goethe Institute or Spain’s Cervantes Institute.
Built in cooperation(合作 hézuò) with a local educational institution(机构 jīgòu) and run by a bilateral committee(委员会 wěiyuánhuì) and dual-presidency structure, more than 530 Confucius Institutes and 1,110 Confucius Classrooms(孔子课堂) have landed in 149 countries and regions over the 14 years since its debut in Seoul.
CULTURAL BRIDGE(桥梁 qiáoliáng)
“The U.S. and China will never really understand(理解 lǐjiě) each other unless we study(学习 xuéxí) their language(语言 yǔyán) and culture and share(分享 fēnxiǎng) experiences(经验) that build a foundation(基础 jīchǔ) for dialogue(对话 duìhuà),” said Susan Jain, executive director of the Confucius Institute of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which was founded(成立 chénglì) in 2007.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES(工作机会 gōngzuò jīhuì)
Speaking Chinese fluently(流利地 liúlì de) during a Confucius Institute event in late September, first year Stanford University student Charlie Hoffs said her romance with Chinese started from the love of Chinese characters(汉字 hànzì).
“Then I increasingly realized(意识到 yìshí dào) the language’s importance(重要 zhòngyào) for the economy(经济 jīngjì) and tourism(旅游 lǚyóu),” she said. “Chinese is a vital skill.”
For Lytone Chibona, a Confucius Institute student in University of Zambia, learning Chinese is simply practical. “Very few of them take up practical skills such as learning the Chinese language … which they can use while looking for a job. That skill can later turn out to be your main job in the long run(长远 chángyuǎn),” said the 22-year-old.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY(多样性 duōyàng xìng)
Speaking of the UCLA Confucius Institute, Shabnam Fasa, artistic director of the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra, told Xinhua: “The Institute is a powerful force for cultural diversity. They are looking to teach the world what true collaboration and multi-cultural discourse looks like in a creative, impactful way.”
Globally, more than 9 million students have attended(参加 cānjiā) Confucius Institutes and Classrooms. Calligraphy(书法), ink painting(中国绘画), or kung fu(功夫) complement the language program. The Institute also plays a role in promoting traditional Chinese festival celebrations.
“What I like most about Chinese culture is that it’s rich, it’s deep, it exposes you to a lot of things,” said Charles Wanika, a Kenyan student.
重点词汇 Key Word:
人们 <名词 n.> people; the public
- E.g. Rénmen de pǐnwèi gè yǒu bùtóng.
People differ from each other in their tastes.
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