UDSM: Firms demand for local Chinese language experts high

THE Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam (CI-UDSM) is struggling to cope with the rising demand of companies that are looking for local Chinese language experts.

The Confucius Institute Director, Prof Xiaozhen Zhang, said on Wednesday the demands are coming from Chinese firms.

“Since last year I have been receiving many calls from Chinese companies requesting for Chinese translators,” Prof Xiaozhen said.

The CI Director said the demand for Chinese-Swahili translators is exceeding the institute supply and called others to seize the opportunity.

Prof Xiaozhen advised Chinese companies to send their workers to school while encouraging Tanzanians to study Chinese which now guarantees employment.

The CI-UDSM offers two long courses namely a diploma and degree plus tailor-made short courses.

The Confucius, which started some ten years ago, has seen some 173 graduates with degrees and 30 with diploma certificates.

“Almost all students are getting jobs after graduating,” Prof Xiaozhen, told the `Daily News.’

Chinese is among the six official languages of the UN. Others are Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

To encourage others to study Chinese, the Confucius Institute organised the first World Chinese Day Competition over the weekend.

The UDSM Director of Quality Control, Prof Pendo Malangwa, the chief guest, said the Chinese investors in the country give first priority to those who graduated from the Confucius Institute.

Prof Malangwa said apart from teaching the Chinese language, the students also study culture and various sports that are compatible in Chinese culture.

At the competition, nine Tanzanian students declared winners of the Chinese language proficiency contest out of 29 who participated in the competition by showing various talents of Chinese culture.

Ms Evina Deogratius, a Bachelor of Arts in marketing student from Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy, said she is studying Chinese as an additional language because it is an added advantage to her to get employment.

“I like to learn different languages including Chinese because it is a gateway to employment in Chinese companies operating in the country,” she said.

World Chinese Languages Day was launched by the United Nations Communication Division in 2010. The day is aimed at promoting equal use of the six major languages in the UN.

The CI-UDSM was established in 2013 under an agreement between UDSM and Confucius Institute Headquarters at Hanban and Zhejiang Normal University, China.

The main objectives of CI UDSM are to meet Tanzania’s growing need of understanding the Chinese language, culture, technology and skills and to increase mutual understanding among the peoples of China and Tanzania.

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