"Belt and Road" Initiative facilitates language development

Source: Xinhuanet| 2017-07-28 19:14:25|Editor: Yamei
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BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhuanet) -- "China's Belt and Road Initiative has facilitated the development of languages in recent years, and such progress will be conducive to the sound implementation of the Initiative in the long run," said Yao Xishuang, chief editor of a recent published report of Chinese language development.

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, China has witnessed great achievements in the development of languages internally and overseas, Yao said.

"51 countries (regions) along the Belt and Road routes have set up 134 Confucius institutes and 130 Confucius classrooms in their primary and middle schools," Yao said while citing the report.

According to the report, six language research projects related to the Initiative were approved by China's State Language Commission in 2016.

And Chinese colleges and universities have set up 72 foreign languages teaching programs including 65 less commonly taught languages so far.

While hailing the language development under the Belt and Road Initiative, Yao also laid emphasis on the constructive role of languages in promoting the sound implementation of the Initiative.

"We used to regard language as a carrier of ideas or a tool for communication," he said. "But nowadays, language serves as a key to enhance people-to-people ties."

"If people do not understand each other due to language barriers, it is difficult for them to know each other better," he said.

Moreover, language often embodies culture and wisdom of a nation, thus, language learning can lead people to a better taste of a country's culture, which will help build bonds among peoples, he added.

The Belt and Road brings together areas that are home to more than 1,000 languages and dialects.

Hence, Yao said, there exists a high demand of translation machines, global learning network platform, and language database to realize effective communication.

Yao also called for making language learning more entertaining to attract more learners and help them learn well.

He gave an example of Chinese language learning -- making Chinese characters vivid in everyday life.

"If we make things like children's slides, biscuits, jewelries, and handbags into the shape of Chinese characters, the children may become more interested in Chinese learning," he said.