Rwanda Confucius Institute bridges gap between Chinese, Kinyarwanda speakers

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Confucius Institute
Confucius Institute

As Rwanda and China edge closer to celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties, the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda has bridged the gap between Kinyarwanda and Chinese speakers by publishing two books that will help Kinyarwanda speakers learn Chinese and vice versa.

Kinyarwanda is the official language in Rwanda, spoken by almost all Rwandans in the country.

The book “Practical Kinyarwanda,” published last year, will help Chinese speakers be able to easily interact with Kinyarwanda speakers, whereas the latest book “Practical Chinese 365” will be fundamental in assisting the Kinyarwanda speakers in learning to speak Chinese, according to Zeng Guangyu, the Chinese director at the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda.

Zeng, together with a team of other Chinese and one Rwandan Yanzigiye Beatrice, who is also the director of the Confucius Institute, were responsible for the authorship and publication of the two books.

The books were compiled during the Covid-19 times. “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no way we could teach our students as there was no physical interaction so we decided to devise means of going on with lessons,” Zeng said.

“The book is called Practical Chinese 365 and the 365 is the number of sentences. So it means that a person can learn one sentence daily for an entire year. It also has a total of 52 sections which can help a student that wants to give themselves weekly assignments throughout the entire year,” he said, noting the book is going to be very fundamental in assisting Rwandans that want to learn Chinese easily.

The book “Practical Kinyarwanda” not only focuses on introducing the Kinyarwanda grammar and vocabulary but also on cross-cultural tips to harmonize the differences between the two cultures, which will be helpful for Chinese who want to speak some Kinyarwanda when they are in Rwanda so that communication will be easy, said Zeng.

The book “Practical Kinyarwanda” is only available on the market in Rwanda at present, whereas the book “Practical Chinese 365” is available on Amazon and will first be used in a pilot project by 216 students and staff who want to learn Chinese from Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC), a public college in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

“The Confucius Institute was inaugurated and started operating in Rwanda from 2009 and since its establishment, its activities in collaboration with its partners are focused on popularizing and spreading Chinese Language and culture in the Rwandan community as its main goal,” Yanzigiye Beatrice said.

“Therefore, in the 10 past years, the teaching scale has enlarged; the teaching sites across the country increased from 1 to 13 which have attained the levels of public.” Enditem

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