A Growing Number of Nigerians are Learning Chinese language

Xuda highlighted the growing interest in learning Chinese among Nigerians, particularly high school and college students

Li Xuda, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy and Director of the China Cultural Center in Nigeria, revealed that there has been a noticeable increase in Nigerians learning the Chinese language recently.

During the International Chinese Language Day celebration at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Abuja over the weekend, Xuda highlighted the growing interest in learning Chinese among Nigerians, particularly high school and college students.

He mentioned the establishment of two Confucius Institutes in Nigeria, one at Lagos University and another at the University of Nnamdi Azikiwe. Additionally, plans are underway to collaborate with more Nigerian universities, such as ABU and the University of Abuja, to potentially establish more Confucius Institutes.

Xuda noted the existence of several Chinese language learning centers and classes in Nigeria, fulfilling the aspirations of many Nigerians to learn Chinese, with numerous individuals in Abuja taking advantage of opportunities at the cultural center.

One of the key drivers behind the growing interest in learning Chinese is the economic partnership between Nigeria and China. In recent years, China has become Nigeria’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade volumes reaching significant levels. As a result, there is a growing demand for individuals with proficiency in Chinese language and cultural understanding to facilitate business transactions, negotiate agreements, and foster closer ties between the two nations.

Acknowledging Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity with over 250 ethnic groups and 500 languages, including Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba, Xuda emphasized the importance of celebrating Nigeria’s languages as integral parts of world culture.

The UN Chinese Language Day, observed annually on April 20, aims to celebrate cultural diversity and promote the equal use of all six official languages within the organization. Xuda highlighted the global significance of the Chinese language, spoken by over 1 billion people worldwide, with many individuals speaking it as a second or third language.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government expressed its commitment to fostering cultural exchange between Nigeria and China. James Sule, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Creative Economy/Tourism, emphasized the Ministry’s dedication to promoting multicultural understanding and appreciation.

Recognizing language as a vital bridge between cultures, Sule affirmed the Ministry’s support for language education and initiatives encouraging the learning of the Chinese language among Nigerians, aiming to enhance cultural literacy and global connectivity.

Beyond the realm of business and commerce, the increasing popularity of Chinese language learning also reflects a broader cultural exchange between Nigeria and China. Li Xuda acknowledges Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity and emphasizes the importance of promoting mutual understanding and appreciation between the two nations. Initiatives such as the expansion of Confucius Institutes in Nigerian universities serve as platforms for cultural exchange, providing opportunities for Nigerians to learn about Chinese language, history, and traditions, while also showcasing Nigeria’s own cultural heritage.

The growing interest in learning Chinese among Nigerians underscores the importance of language as a gateway to understanding and collaboration across borders. In an era of globalization, proficiency in multiple languages not only enhances individual opportunities but also fosters greater cross-cultural dialogue and cooperation. As Nigeria continues to navigate its place in the global community, the ability to communicate effectively with partners from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds will be increasingly vital.

The trend of Nigerians embracing the Chinese language reflects the evolving dynamics of global connectivity and intercultural exchange. Li Xuda’s observations highlight the growing importance of Chinese language proficiency in Nigeria, driven by economic, diplomatic, and cultural factors. As Nigeria and China deepen their engagement and cooperation across various spheres, the ability to bridge linguistic and cultural barriers will be instrumental in fostering mutual understanding and collaboration between the two nations. By embracing linguistic diversity and investing in language education, Nigeria can position itself to fully harness the opportunities of an interconnected world.




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