Just last week twelve people graduated from the first intensive Mandarin Chinese language and culture course which took place at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
Course facilitator, Ms Jill Murphy, said she was delighted at how well the course went and said a second course will begin later this month, to cope with the huge number of people who want to take part .
“We had business people and people with a general interest in learning more about China and travelling to China. There was a good mix of people and I think they learned a lot from it.”
The demand for the course has been such that a second course will be running from July 30 to August 3.
“I have had dozens of enquiries from people interested in taking part but I didn’t want to have too large a group so we decided to run the second course later this month.”
For the past year, the Letterkenny-based Chinese teacher has been giving private lessons and has taught evening classes in mandarin Chinese at LYIT.
The strengthening of ties between Ireland and China has led to a surge in interest from people in Donegal wishing to learn more about the language and culture and this prompted Ms Murphy to establish the course.
“During the course, people learned the basics of what they need to know about China, its language, culture and traditions. I think it definitely sparked interest and gave an understanding of this very interesting country.”
Ms Murphy continued: “My hopes for the course were to not only teach people some of the language basics which they will need to know, but also provide an insight into the traditions and customs. And I think I managed to cover all of these aspects and enlightened people as to what to expect when visiting China as tourist or for business.”
Ms Murphy explained further: “China is a fascinating and complex country and I gave an overview of the history and an insight into how China has become the global super power that it is today. The rise in the popularity of Chinese is unsurprising, given the links being forged by governments and businesses worldwide. Now, more than one billion people speak Mandarin Chinese. Indeed, it is quickly becoming an essential skill for business people and world travellers alike.”
Ms Murphy added: “As more people have become aware of the course and the Chinese evening classes I have been teaching there is a lot of interest in people hoping to travel to China in the future. I am now looking at the possibility of putting together an escorted tour which can be tailored for tourists or business people.”
The second one week intensive course will start on July 30 and there are still some places left. It is suitable for business people, teachers, students (leaving Cert and above) and anyone with an interest in China. To register contact Jill Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginners and intermediate Chinese lessons will be starting in September.