Urdu may be a bit more challenging than other languages, but a growing number of Chinese students are choosing to learn it anticipating opportunities to be offered by Chinese companies carrying out development projects in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), says a message received here from Beijing.
The history of Urdu started with establishment of first Urdu Language Department at Peking University in 1951. Later, the universities in the Chinese cities of Xian and Guangzhou also set up Urdu departments.
Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) has been teaching Urdu since 2007 and till now two batches of its students have completed their degree, Head of Urdu Department, School of Asian and African Studies, Zhou Yuan said in an interview.
Out of total rolled-out students, a few have got admissions on scholarships in foreign universities for higher education while some joined different companies. At present, the third batch of 20 students is studying Urdu, she added.
The BFSU will send its students to National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamabad and Government College University, Lahore for six months during third year of their studies to get a better chance to improve their speaking and writing skills.
In this regard, the university gets financial support from the government of Pakistan and Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing, Zhou Yuan, who has adopted a Pakistani name ‘Nasreen’ told APP here.
She informed besides, teaching language to the students of Urdu department, the university organizes competitions of Urdu calligraphy, speech contest and cultural activities to aware the students about Pakistan and its people.
“Such activities not only increases interest of Urdu learning but it enhances standard of Urdu language among Chinese students,” Yuan Yuhang (Shabnam), who is teaching Urdu at the University for the last one year after quitting her job from a bank.
Zhou Yuan said many Chinese students are learning Urdu at different universities and institutes around the country, including Beijing. The reasons for learning Urdu vary. Some have been romanced by Pakistan’s culture, food and landscape; other by the beauty of the language itself. Yet, others see learning Urdu as a practical means of eventually working with Chinese companies carrying out different projects under CPEC framework in Pakistan.
To cope with the demand, several universities in Shanghai, Tianjian, Kunming, Urumqi and Inner Mongolia are considering setting up Urdu departments, Zhou Yuan said.—APP