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Increase seen in students learning Chinese

By Zou Shuo | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-28 07:04
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Students of the Confucius Institute in Barcelona, Spain, prepare in February to perform a traditional dragon dance to celebrate Spring Festival.[Photo by Guo Qiuda/Xinhua]

More Spanish students are learning Chinese thanks to increasing economic and cultural exchanges between Spain and China.

More than 40,000 people are learning Chinese in Spain, and more than 8,000 have taken the Chinese Proficiency Test, which is for nonnative speakers, Xinhua News Agency reported. That places Spain in first place for Chinese learners in the European Union.

The Spanish government also has advocated for the progressive incorporation of Chinese in school curricula.

Teresa Romero Sanchez-Herrero, 26, has been studying for a master's in China studies at the Yenching Academy of Peking University since last year.

"Chinese, which is alien to me in structure and etymology, provided me with a new conception of the possibilities of communication," said Sanchez-Herrero, who can also speak English, French and German.

For native speakers of Spanish, learning Chinese is, at first, a toilsome and slow process. However, as one gets acquainted with grammar patterns, progress becomes exponential and studying turns Chinese into a very satisfactory experience, she said.

"As a student in Spain and the United States, I was hardly ever introduced to history, philosophy, ethics or any area of humanities or social science through a perspective other than the Western view. I would like to develop a global view, and so I have worked to compensate for this bias by studying and experiencing cultures and social settings different from my own."

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