Chinese language offers hope to Ghanaian university students

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As the economic cooperation between China and Ghana continues to grow, more and more Ghanaian students in remote areas are poised for their future with the Chinese language.

For most of the time, Ghanaian students at the Confucius Institute of the University of Cape Coast, west of Ghana, immersed themselves in the learning of the Chinese language and traditional Chinese culture, from lion dance to crosstalk in class.

Charles Delali Adegah, an indigene in his mid-thirties, who has studied Chinese language and culture to master's degree level and teaches at the Confucius Institute, told Xinhua that he found joy and prospects in learning the language.

"Because I studied Chinese, I got the chance to study in China totally for free. When I finished my first degree, I spent a year abroad, and when I returned, I was hired as a translator by a variety of companies. Currently, after completing my Master's degree, I had this offer to come and teach at the Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Coast, " he said.

The Confucius Institute teacher recounted how he struggled through his elementary and secondary education because of financial challenges and urged Ghanaian students in tertiary institutions to take the opportunity to study the Chinese language because of its prospects.

"We all know that many companies in Ghana are Chinese-oriented and, with a background in Chinese, it is easy to enter these companies. So, I will say, if you get the chance to study Chinese, you have to seize the opportunity and learn it well, "Adegah added.

"When I first started learning the language, it was difficult, but as I progressed, I realized that there are a number of companies here in Ghana that would like to employ Ghanaians who speak Chinese. Now I have the prospect of traveling to China and furthering my studies there, " said Belinda Koomson, a student at the University of Cape Coast in her early twenties, who has also been studying Chinese and culture for the past three years to the intermediate level.

The final year university student further emphasized that the bridge between China and Ghana has been laid, hence making it necessary for Ghanaians to learn the Chinese language.

"The Chinese have come to learn our language, so it's also best for us to learn their language in order to communicate with them so that we can work in harmony," said Belinda.

Tang Hong, President of the Ghana Association of Chinese Societies and the Ghana-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged Ghanaian students to study Chinese because of the many doors that it opens to people.

"The Chinese language is very deep and beautiful. If you know the Chinese language, you can talk to a huge population in the world," said Tang.

According to Ou Yamei, Chinese director of the dean, the institute has rolled out a variety of courses, including Chinese martial arts, handicrafts, calligraphy, songs, and dances.

The Institute, established in February 2016, has seen many locals who made a difference in their lives after the study of the Chinese language, Ou said.

"We will strive to improve our teaching and provide high-quality lessons to our students to cater to their increasing needs," said Ou.

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