China begins studies in Yoruba language, produces first Yoruba-Chinese book

By Samuel Ogunsona

The Government of China has launched a new project aimed at promoting Yoruba language for the economic, political and strategic long term interests of the Asian country.

Asia is the world’s second most populous country only recently overtaken by India.

Irohinoodua was informed that the Chinese Federal Authority has been hiring Yoruba experts on language in its new strategic policy.

One of the experts consulted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Professor Goke Alamu of the Ekiti State University said he contacted by the Beijing Foreign Studies University around 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis to come to China and set up a Yoruba program for them.

“I could have been in China since then but for the lockdown. So, I started an online teaching for their students after writing the syllabus and the approval.”

He said later, the University got an approval from the government and a publishing company was approved for the publication of the first Yoruba textbook for students.

“I worked with three Professors who had the opportunity to study the language in the US. This is the product of our efforts after three years” referring to the first book published.

He said he would be going to China in September to test run the book.

“I have two students already at the University of Ibadan UI who would be trained and take over from me,” he said

According to him he has taught them for two years online, but they are now here to feel the culture of us and improve their proficiency.”

He said “I’m just very happy because this is the first Yoruba textbook in China.”

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