The director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Zimbabwe, Pedzisayi Mashiri, has called on the Chinese community to learn Zimbabwean local languages if they are to make more inroads with their business ventures.
In an interview with Xinhua on Saturday as the Chinese community celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the new China, Mashiri said it would be proper for Chinese business people to also learn local languages as this would ease communication problems between them and locals.
Although Zimbabwe has high literacy levels, there are some locals who cannot speak languages other than their native ones. So, even when the Chinese can speak English, they may find communication difficult in some parts of the country.
"Since we are learning the Chinese language in Zimbabwe, I think to strengthen the inter-cultural communication would be proper for them to also try to learn local languages such as Shona and Ndebele," Mashiri said.
The Confucius Institute was established in 2007 to propagate and expand the learning of Chinese culture and languages and offers demand-driven courses for people who are either in politics or in business.
"It is a vehicle for expansion and also consolidates the relationship between China and Zimbabwe.