DUT STUDENTS VISIT CHINA
By: Nqobile Maphalala
Sizwe Erasmus Mkhize (27), a Durban University of Technology second year student in Language and Translation course, told us how he fell in love with Mandarin, a Chinese
Mkhize was born and raised in the dusty streets of Molweni. He said that growing up he had dreams and ambition of going to China, which he never thought they will be fulfilled.
Through education he learned that you can be wherever you want to be.
“A friend of mine introduced me to Mandarin and at that time I was occupied with my school work.
Every time we met, all she would talk about was how interesting and easy Mandarin was and how it would help us as Language and Translation students. Eventually I decided to
take up these classes,” said Mkhize.
He has been taking the course for six months and completed level 1.
Mkhize said that he has learned basic ways of communicating which include giving directions, descriptions and definitions of simple objects, fundamental ways of communicating like greeting, asking
general questions, and the knowledge of Chinese culture which included calligraphy: the Chinese traditional way used to write characters.
Mkhize added, “I saw an opportunity to advance my language skills as an aspiring language practitioner, I have allowed myself more job opportunities. South Africa has formed strong
relations with China, and I have realised that the best way to communicate is to have an intermediation to help transit messages across from one party to another.”
Nokuthula Hadebe (28) a DUT second year student in Language and Translation, is one of Mkhize’s friends and she introduced him to Mandarin.
“I started Mandarin last year and it was a pilot project. I am one of ten students who were the first group to study Mandarin. I heard it from a lecturer who told me about the course and I
decided to take up the classes. Six months later I finished the course and received their certificates and I am now in level 3,” said Hadebe.
When the news broke out that they would be going for the Summer/Winter holiday camp, they became excited. They were surprised and had to prepare their visas for the trip.
“The trip was amazing, especially when we learnt to use chopsticks and ate all different kinds of food.
We even ate a frog, which was delicious. I had never imagined myself eating a frog,” added Mkhize laughing.
Xu ‘Jim’ Leifang, a Chinese lecturer, said that ML Sultan campus is working together with Confucius Institute that offers Mandarin courses to Language and Translation students.
“The aim of the course is to promote Chinese culture, and for students to have a mutual relationship with other Chinese students.
Students must learn to embrace each other’s culture,” said Leifang.