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Study of Portuguese and Spanish explodes as China expands role in Latin America

来源:中国日报    2018-09-05 13:59

        When Zhang Fangming started learning Portuguese, it was with an eye to becoming a top Chinese diplomat in Brazil.        张方明(音)当初学习葡萄牙语的时候,他的理想是成为中国驻巴西的一名优秀外交官。
        For Sun Jianglin, a Portuguese degree was about landing a job, but also a deeper knowledge of Brazilian music. “Bossa nova!” the 19-year-old undergraduate cooed. “I really like this kind-of-close-to-jazz music!”        而对孙江琳(音)来说,拿到葡萄牙语学位不仅是为了找工作,也是为了更深入地了解巴西音乐。“巴萨诺瓦!”这位19岁的本科生说,“我非常喜欢这种类似爵士乐的音乐!”
        The pair – who also go by the names Rodrigo and Antonia – are part of a new generation of Chinese students hoping a mastery of Latin America’s languages coupled with their country’s expanding role in the region will prove a recipe for success.        两人的葡萄牙语名字分别是罗德里戈和安东尼娅。他们所代表的新一代中国学生希望,对于拉美语言的熟练掌握再加上中国在该地区不断扩大的影响力,会使他们走向成功。
        Twenty years ago – before a commodities boom made China Brazil’s top trading partner – ties between the two were negligible and few Chinese students studied Brazil’s official language, which has more than 220m native speakers worldwide. Today, record numbers are doing so, wagering it will guarantee them work as diplomats, interpreters or lawyers for Chinese ministries or firms in the Lusophone world.        20年前,在商品热潮令中国成为巴西最大的贸易伙伴之前,两国之间的关系还不紧密,学习巴西官方语言葡萄牙语的中国学生寥寥无几,而全世界以葡萄牙语为母语的人口超过2.2亿。如今,学习葡萄牙语的中国学生人数创下了历史纪录,因为他们认为学习葡萄牙语能让自己成为中国的政府机构和公司派驻葡语国家的外交官、翻译或律师。
        “There’s a saying: ‘Learning Portuguese will help you find a good job, with good pay!’” said Sun, a second-year student at China’s leading language school, the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU).        孙江琳说:“很多人说,学葡萄牙语能帮你找到高薪工作。”她是来自北京外国语大学的一名大学二年级学生。
        There has also been an explosion in the study of Spanish – spoken in many Latin American nations – with about 20,000 Chinese undergraduates in 2016 choosing the language, up from just 500 in 1999, according to official figures.        学习西班牙语的人数也呈现出爆炸式增长,许多拉美国家都说西班牙语。根据官方数据,2016年有大约2万名中国本科生选择学习西班牙语,而1999年仅有500人。
        Margaret Myers, the head of the Inter-American Dialogue’s Asia and Latin America program, said more and more Latin America departments were opening in China because of a push to foster regional experts.        美洲国家对话组织亚洲与拉美项目负责人玛格丽特·迈尔斯说,中国开设了越来越多的拉美语言院系,因为中国在大力培养该地区问题专家。
        “In the past five years we’ve seen … centres open all over the place, from Wuhan, to Tianjin, to Zhejiang – you name it,” said Myers, who wrote a recent report on the trend.        迈尔斯在最近撰写的一份相关报告中说:“在过去5年里,我们看到……各地都开设了拉美研究中心,从武汉到天津再到浙江,不一而足。”
        Many of China’s Portuguese graduates still end up in African countries such as Angola, Mozambique or Cape Verde. But as Beijing’s Latin American footprint grows, they are increasingly looking further west.        中国的许多葡语专业毕业生去了非洲国家,比如安哥拉、莫桑比克和佛得角。但随着中国在拉美的影响不断扩大,他们也日益将目光投向了更靠西的地方。
        “Brazil is a country of possibilities,” said Zhang, from Zibo in Shandong province, who is halfway through a four-year degree at BFSU. Zhang, 20, admitted the 17,000km between Beijing and Brazil meant his knowledge of Latin America’s largest economy had yet to expand far beyond the cliches. He painted it as a resource-rich “melting pot of different races” and admitted most students knew only about its football.        来自山东淄博的张方明在北外的四年葡语专业学习才刚刚完成一半。他说:“巴西是一个充满可能性的国家。”20岁的张方明承认,北京和巴西之间1.7万公里的距离意味着他对这个拉美第一大经济体的了解尚未超越老生常谈的范畴。他说巴西是一个资源丰富的“多种族大熔炉”,不过也坦承,大多数学生对巴西的了解仅限足球。
        Brazilian culture also left a better impression. “Every time I watch it, I will cry,” Sun said of her favorite film, Walter Salles’s Oscar-nominated Central Station.        巴西文化也给大家留下了不错的印象。孙江琳在谈到她最喜爱的电影、巴西导演沃尔特·塞勒斯执导的奥斯卡提名影片《中央车站》时说:“我看一次哭一次。”
        After initially struggling with Portuguese phonetics she had also fallen in love with a language that showed her “a culture which is different from Chinese culture”.        在最初费力学会了葡语发音后,孙江琳也爱上了葡萄牙语,学习葡语让她了解了“和中国文化不同的另一种文化”。
        Chinese Portuguese students have security concerns though. Sun plans to visit Brazil after graduating, but will stick to São Paulo, one of the safer corners of a country that suffered a record 63,880 homicides last year. “Other cities are a little bit dangerous for me.”        而中国的葡语学生也担心安全问题。孙江琳计划在毕业后去巴西,但仅限于圣保罗,这里是巴西更安全的一隅。巴西去年有63880人被杀。她说:“其他城市对我来说有些危险。”
        Zhang said a teacher recently told him of a friend whose Rio home was invaded by burglars while she was studying. According to Zhang’s account, the student asked her Brazilian assailant if she could finish her homework first.        张方明说,最近有位老师告诉他,一位朋友在里约热内卢的家被小偷闯入,当时这位朋友还在学习。根据他的描述,这名学生还请求歹徒让她先做完作业。
        “The robber was quite friendly actually,” he said. “But the final result was that he took her computer.”        他说:“盗贼其实还算挺友好,但最后还是抢走了她的电脑。”

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