Close bilateral ties spark ‘Chinese fever’ among Cambodians

The passion for learning Chinese is on the rise among Cambodians as the two countries have maintained close ties in various fields even during the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

You Rong, a Chinese literature graduate from Asia Euro University (AEU) in Phnom Penh, said the huge influx of Chinese investors and tourists in recent years had motivated him to learn Chinese.

“In Cambodia, the number of Chinese people and investors has increased year by year, and more importantly, they always need Chinese-speaking people to be their assistants or interpreters,” he told Xinhua, claiming that the language allowed him to earn a living wage. work.

The 23-year-old student, who currently works as a warehouse worker for Chinese delivery app E-GetS, said fluency in Chinese was essential for him to communicate with his Chinese colleagues. “With the Chinese, it will be easy to communicate with them or do business with them,” he said.

“I think there is a large job market for Chinese translators and it will be possible for them to earn a good income to support their families,” he said.

A second-year Chinese literature major, Nem Sreang, said many Chinese people come to Cambodia for investment and vacation, offering lucrative job opportunities.

“The Chinese language is widely used. It doesn’t matter if it’s in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam or other countries, there are always Chinese people there to invest,” she told Xinhua.

The 21-year-old student said her Chinese skills have improved a lot since all the teachers in AEU’s Chinese Language Department are native speakers.

“When I graduate, my goal is to run a private school offering Chinese and English classes as well as computer classes,” Sreang said.

Junior student Lim Meavleng, who has been learning Chinese since childhood, said she wants to work as an interpreter after graduation so she can introduce Cambodia’s tourist attractions and history to Chinese people.

“What motivated me to study Chinese is that I want to understand the history of China and the daily life of Chinese people,” said Meavleng, 20. “If I have the chance to visit China, I want to go to Wanli Changcheng (the Great Wall of China) because when the Chinese come (to Cambodia), they always say that the site is magnificent.”

“The Chinese language not only gives me the platform to communicate with Chinese people, but also opens a door to a plethora of opportunities,” said Kong Tifong, 24, who dreams of pursuing her master’s degree in Shanghai, China. east of China.

“After I graduate, I want to be an international relations specialist because this type of work will give me the opportunity to communicate internationally and improve my public relations skills,” he said. .

He said the close relations between China and Cambodia in politics, economy, trade, investment, tourism and culture have encouraged Cambodians to learn Chinese.

Chinese director of the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), Gan Min, said learning Chinese is very popular in the Southeast Asian nation as nearly 100,000 students had enrolled to study at the institute for the past 12 years during the pre-pandemic era.

She said RAC Confucius Institute teaching sites are available in six Cambodian provinces and cities, with two Confucius classrooms, 19 Chinese language centers and two university Chinese departments.

She said AEU is one of the few universities in Cambodia to offer Chinese language programs at university level with the support of the RAC Confucius Institute and the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia.

Gan added that the university is well equipped with digital equipment, so during the pandemic, students can still learn online with native Chinese professors.

“We hope the pandemic will be over soon, so we can resume in-person classes,” she said. Xinhua

  • Key words: Chinese speaking, learn Chinese language
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