(Question about things) Wu Yinghui: Why is Chinese popular in the world?

  China News Service, Beijing, September 16th, title: Why is Chinese popular around the world?

  ——Interview with Wu Yinghui, Dean of Beijing Language and Culture University Chinese International Education Research Institute/Chinese Language Education Research Institute

  China News Agency reporter Ma Xiuxiu

  Chinese is one of the six working languages ​​of the United Nations and the most spoken language in the world.

For a long time, the use of Chinese has ensured the effective development of the work of the United Nations, and has also promoted cultural exchanges and people-to-people exchanges between China and foreign countries.

  As of the end of 2020, more than 180 countries and regions around the world have carried out Chinese language education, and more than 70 countries have incorporated Chinese into their national education systems. More than 20 million people are learning Chinese abroad, and the cumulative number of people learning and using Chinese is close to 200 million.

  Why is Chinese popular all over the world?

Professor Wu Yinghui, Dean of the Institute of Chinese International Education/Institute of Chinese Language Education, Beijing Language and Culture University, recently accepted an exclusive interview with China News Agency "Dongxi Wen" to discuss the development of "Chinese fever" and the role of Chinese education at home and abroad in cultural exchanges and cultural mutual learning between China and foreign countries. And other issues to make interpretations.

Data map: Thai student Ci Chengwan is writing with a brush.

Zhao Xiaoshe

The summary of the interview record is as follows:

Reporter from China News Service: International Chinese language education helps to promote the understanding of China of the people of the world, and helps to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

What kind of development process has Chinese language gone through from going abroad to becoming more and more popular in the world?

Wu Yinghui:

Chinese going abroad has been accompanied by various periods of China's historical development, but several important periods have been mainly in the Tang and Song Dynasties, Ming and Qing Dynasties, and since the reform and opening up of New China.

  During the Tang and Song Dynasties, the Chinese language going abroad was marked by the spread of Chinese language and Chinese culture after the return of a large number of students from the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and Vietnam, and the formation of a Chinese character cultural circle.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, a large number of people from southern provinces such as Guangdong and Fujian emigrated to Nanyang (now Southeast Asia) and formed Chinese communities in Nanyang, with the spread of Chinese to Nanyang as the main symbol.

Since the reform and opening up, it has been marked by the rapid improvement of China's comprehensive national strength, especially the demand for economic and cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries brought about by the rapid development of economy, science and technology, and the implementation of the "Belt and Road" initiative.

The rapid increase in the value of Chinese has stimulated the enthusiasm of Chinese teaching in various countries around the world. Many countries have formulated Chinese education-related policies, including Chinese education in the basic education of the national education system, and actively offer Chinese courses in schools at all levels and types.

  In addition, the establishment of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms worldwide since 2004 has also greatly promoted the spread of Chinese in most countries, especially developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Data map: Kenyan student Luo Jue is practicing Chinese characters.

Zhao Xiaoshe

China News Agency reporter: What does it mean that more than 70 countries have included Chinese in their national education systems?

What are the reasons for the popularity of Chinese in the world?

Wu Yinghui:

A country's inclusion of a certain foreign language in its national education curriculum is an important sign that the foreign language is licensed in its own country. It means that the country has included this foreign language in its own foreign language education system and will allocate corresponding government resources to support it. Teaching in the home country.

  More than 70 countries have incorporated Chinese into their national education systems, which reflects their good expectations for the real and future value of Chinese. It also indicates that the Chinese language education in these countries will receive more government and social resources to support these countries. Chinese education has gained more room for development.

  The international dissemination of language mainly depends on the comprehensive national strength, which mainly includes hard power and soft power, among which the national hard power is the decisive factor for the international dissemination of language.

Hard power is visible, tangible, and quantifiable. Economy, science and technology, military, etc. belong to the category of hard power. Economy can be quantified by indicators such as GDP, science and technology can be quantified by patents and many other indicators, and military can be used to evaluate various military equipment. Quantification of the number and advanced level of indicators.

Soft power is invisible and intangible, but people can feel that it is possible to make a general judgment on the image of a country, but it is difficult to quantitatively compare the image of different countries.

  Hard power is the foundation of a country's comprehensive strength, and soft power is attached to hard power.

Therefore, the international spread of language is based on hard power.

The fundamental logic of Chinese popularity in the world is that China's comprehensive national strength has continued to increase rapidly since the reform and opening up, which has enhanced the value of Chinese in international cooperation and exchanges. The fundamental driving force for learning Chinese is the cooperation between countries in the world and China in various fields including economy and culture. And the formation of just needs.

When China is strong, Chinese will truly go to the world.

Data map: Students in the winter camp of the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, took a group photo in Hanfu.

Photo by Ye Qiuyun

China News Agency reporter: Language is the best key to understanding a country.

Can you give an example to illustrate the role of Chinese education developed at home and abroad in promoting cultural exchanges and cultural mutual learning between China and foreign countries?

Wu Yinghui:

Language is not only the carrier of culture, but also a tool for cultural communication. It is a bridge between people's hearts and minds under different cultural backgrounds, and it is also the best key to understanding a country.

The results of a series of empirical studies by three Ph.Ds Wang Zulai, Wu Youjin (Thailand) and Long Wei (Myanmar) on the impact of the Chinese proficiency of the people in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam on their perceptions of China’s national image show that the Chinese proficiency of foreign people is not related to China’s The recognition of the national image is positively correlated, that is, the higher the level of Chinese, the better the recognition of China’s national image.

In addition, high-level Chinese experts can also take advantage of their proficiency in both Chinese and their native language and culture. They can use their native language to explain China to their own people, and use Chinese to introduce their own country to Chinese people, so as to more effectively promote cultural exchanges and mutual learning between China and foreign countries.

  Dr. Long Wei from Myanmar participated in the translation of the Burmese version of "Allusions that Xi Jinping Likes". Long Wei also often introduces China's economy and culture on Myanmar TV and other media.

These cases fully illustrate that the Chinese language education carried out at home and abroad can play an important role in promoting humanistic education and cultural mutual learning between China and foreign countries, thereby helping to promote the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Data map: Foreign teacher Thomas teaches Chinese in the classroom. Photo by Wen Qianli

China News Agency reporter: The world is facing the challenge of the epidemic. What is the current status of global Chinese education?

What experiences are worth summarizing?

Wu Yinghui:

With the rapid improvement of China's comprehensive national strength, the overall global Chinese education is in a continuous development trend. However, due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, global Chinese education has also encountered some difficulties. Many countries have a shortage of Chinese teachers, but Chinese teachers cannot be sent out. , Chinese courses in many schools have been changed to online teaching, and the teaching theories, methods, resources, and equipment related to online teaching are facing many challenges.

The impact of the epidemic on the economies of various countries has also spread to Chinese education. It is difficult to guarantee the funding of Chinese courses in some schools. Some countries have closed their countries due to epidemic prevention and control, which has also affected Chinese education for foreign students in China.

In addition, international politics has also had a partial impact on Chinese education, and the development of Confucius Institutes in a very small number of developed countries represented by the United States has been suppressed.

  Support for overseas Chinese education should be categorized and implemented, distinguishing between developed and developing countries, and Chinese as a foreign language education and Chinese education.

Overseas Chinese education is an important part of international Chinese education. It can play an important role in the construction of China’s international communication. We should further increase our efforts to care and support overseas Chinese education, and help solve the difficulties and problems faced in the development of overseas Chinese education as much as we can. And give various forms of support.

China News Agency reporter: What advice do you have for language lovers who learn Chinese at home and abroad?

Wu Yinghui:

China will become the world's largest economy in the next few years. People who understand Chinese will definitely get more opportunities in their future lives. However, it takes a certain period of time to learn a language. It is recommended to be interested in engaging in economic and cultural exchanges with China. People seize the opportunity to start learning Chinese as early as possible, and suggest that they must go to China to study for a period of time to feel, experience and understand contemporary China, and introduce a comprehensive, three-dimensional and real China to their people, and enhance mutual understanding and friendship.


About the interviewee:

  Wu Yinghui is a professor, doctoral supervisor, dean, and director of the Institute of Chinese Language Education of Beijing Language and Culture University/Institute of Chinese Language Education (Key Research Base of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education).

Selected into the "New Century Excellent Talent Support Program" of the Ministry of Education and the Leading Talent of the National Civil Affairs Commission.

Served as a member of the National Chinese International Education Professional Degree Postgraduate Education Steering Committee, a director of the World Chinese Language Teaching Society, a vice chairman of the Chinese International Communication Research Branch of the Chinese Language Modernization Society, and an editorial board member of "International Chinese Teaching Research" and "World Chinese Teaching".

Published "Theories and Methods of Chinese International Communication Research" and other works.

The main research direction is Chinese international communication and management, international Chinese education theory and methods.