Every one of us has already heard enough about the Chinese and CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), and many of us have witnessed the changes within the country. Pakistan and China have been friends for a long time but still, there seems to be a big gap between the general public of the two countries. One of the main reasons for this is the language barrier. I have always had some interest in the Chinese culture, maybe because of the Chinese martial arts films that I have been watching since childhood. It’s quite astonishing that despite being so close to each other both countries have huge differences in language and culture. While Pakistan has many similarities with its other neighboring countries, China is one neighbor with least similarities. Even though there are very few similarities, Pakistan and china have always shared a strong bond of friendship. That is why they always say that it’s the heart that matters <3. That is why when I got the opportunity to learn Chinese language in Karachi, I grabbed it.
Learn Chinese Language At Karachi University
Coming back to my interest in Chinese and China, I never imagined that one day I will be learning Chinese that too by a Chinese teacher and that too in my own city my Karachi. Yes, you read it right; maybe you are already aware of the fact that for quite some time Chinese courses have been offered in Karachi University. The Confucius institute headquarters, China and Karachi University successfully signed an agreement for the strategic and educational development between the two countries. The main aim of the agreement is to promote language and cultural understandings between both countries.
So it all started with an advertisement I saw in a newspaper about the Confucius institute Karachi. They were enrolling new batches for the language course. The moment I saw that ad, it got my interest and I said to myself why not? And I enrolled myself in the course.
The first class was quite memorable; I had a few interactions with Chinese people before but never imagined that I will be attending classes of their teachers. At first, we were introduced to the initial sounds and tones. The Chinese language is quite difficult to read for us beginners, that is why pinyin is used for teaching and understanding of the language. The Romanization of Chinese characters based on their pronunciation is Pinyin. It’s similar to English alphabets but different sound and pronunciation. There are many apps available to learn the correct pronunciation of words and understand the difference of tones. Some apps that I found useful were the following:
Apart from these apps, the best way is to interact with the friendly Chinese teachers, who are always willing to help. But never play table tennis with them, they might appear very calm and unhurried but once they get in the game there is no way out for you.
I was quite amazed when I saw people from almost all age groups and professions attend the classes. Most of the professionals are from sectors that deal with Chinese clients or are a part of their companies operating in Pakistan. Then there are business persons who occasionally visit China and face difficulties due to the language barrier. After that come the people who love to learn about new cultures and languages. And lastly there is me, who never planned to learn Chinese but somehow happened to get enrolled in a Chinese course and consider it one of the brightest decisions of his life (despite being one of the weakest student :P)
The language is not the only thing that is taught at the Confucius institute, they also engage in many creative activities and some gist of their creativity can be seen in the pictures.
It feels really good to know that such facilities and great learning opportunities are available to us in our city. Pakistan and china exchange a great quantity of products and services and a big chunk of businessmen visit China regularly to extend their operations and opportunities. Only if we take benefit from such programs and utilize our resources efficiently then the moon is the limit for us.
One thing that we should keep in mind is that like every other skill or subject, we need to give attention and take an interest as well only then we can learn or master the art. Same goes with the language; especially Chinese language is no child’s play. Slight difference of tones and pronunciation can change the meaning. But it’s all worth the effort. China has one of the world’s leading economy and largest population on earth, so imagine the doors you will open for yourself after learning about them and their culture.
I really appreciate this initiative between the two countries and their universities. It is quite tough to adjust to a completely different culture, but the teachers and staff at the Confucius Institute Karachi University have adjusted themselves to the environment and we are very happy for them. The language is being taught at a very affordable fee which is another good step by the administration. The latest fees structure as of spring semester is Rs. 5000 for regular weekly classes and 15000 for weekend and business Chinese classes.
If you have any queries or need any information regarding the Confucius institute, feel free to contact us.
How many languages can you speak other than your native language? Would you be interested in learning the Chinese language? Share with us in the comments below!
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