A new way to say ‘op­por­tu­nity’ in China

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO - Matt Prichard

One of the dif­fi­cul­ties in study­ing Man­darin is the va­ri­ety of words for dif­fer­ent things. Surely, many a stu­dent has thought: “I’ve al­ready learned this! I don’t want to learn a new word for it!”

Of course, this hap­pens in other lan­guages too. Try ask­ing about a bus in any Span­ish-speak­ing coun­try. The most com­monly un­der­stood term is “au­to­bus”. But it helps to know the lo­cal lingo. There are at least 23 dif­fer­ent terms for “bus”, ac­cord­ing to al­waysspan­ish.com. In south­ern South Amer­ica, you’ll hear “colec­tivo”. In Mex­ico, it’s “camion”, which also means truck. For clar­ity, make it “camion de carga”, or cargo truck, to mean, specif­i­cally, truck.

In the Caribbean, you’ ll hear “guagua”, pro­nounced

This Day, That Year

Item­fromDec9,1998,in Chi­naDaily:TheYun7-200A air­craft­suc­cess­ful­ly­complete­dat­est­flight­inBei­jing yes­ter­day.

Devel­ope­d­byXi’anAir­craft In­dus­try(Group)Corp,the Yun7-200Ais­the­first­pas­sen­gerair­craftinthe­coun­tryto havepassedthestrict­stan­dard­sofChina’scivilavi­a­tion reg­u­la­tors.Itwill­beused­for do­mes­ticflights.

In Novem­ber last year, China made avi­a­tion his­tory wawa. Vans of­ten used for pub­lic trans­port can be “mi­cros”, “com­bis”, “chivas” or other words.

Be­cause of the va­ri­ety found in a lan­guage spo­ken by mil­lions over a wide area, how­ever, how do you eval­u­ate a per­son’s abil­ity in that lan­guage? One way is to test them on the “stan­dard” ver­sion, of­ten what’s spo­ken in the tongue’s mother coun­try.

A dif­fer­ent way is a test that does rec­og­nize and in­cor­po­rate the va­ri­ety of Span­ish spo­ken around the world, and that test has now come to China. The SIELE, which stands for the In­ter­na­tional Assess­ment Ser­vice for the Span­ish Lan­guage, was de­vel­oped last year. It is the first global, uni­fied Span­ish lan­guage test­ing sys­tem to eval­u­ate and cer­tify the pro­fi­ciency level by dig­i­tal means. The test stands along­side the older DELE, or Di­plo­mas of Span­ish as a For­eign Lan­guage, based on Euro­pean Span­ish.

The SIELE was launched in China last month as part when the coun­try’s first do­mes­ti­cally de­vel­oped large pas­sen­ger air­craft was un­veiled in Shang­hai.

The twin-en­gine, sin­gleaisle C919 is de­vel­oped by the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China. It will have up to 168 seats and a range of 4,075 kilo­me­ters.

Co­mac has won 570 or­ders for the air­craft from Chi­nese and in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tors. Test flights are ex­pected to start soon, with de­liv­er­ies be­gin­ning in 2018. of an agree­ment be­tween Ts­inghua Uni­ver­sity in Bei­jing, the dig­i­tal ed­u­ca­tion divi­sion of the Madrid-based telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Grupo Tele­fon­ica and Xue­tangx, the big­gest Chi­nese Mas­sive Open On­line Course plat­form in the world, launched by Ts­inghua three years ago.

This is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment for stu­dents in China who want to of­fer em­ploy­ers some­thing dif­fer­ent from English. Span­ish, with over 400 mil­lion na­tive speak­ers, is the sec­ond most spo­ken na­tive lan­guage in the world, af­ter Chi­nese.

With boom­ing links be­tween China and Latin Amer­ica, it can be a valu­able skill. One need look only at Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s re­cent visit to Ecuador, Peru and Chile, and the raft of busi­ness and cul­tural agree­ments signed there.

Also, the SIELE, launched in some 30 coun­tries, is ad­min­is­tered dig­i­tally at test­ing cen­ters, and can be taken as a global exam, or its

The air­liner is ex­pected to pro­vide a ma­jor boost to the Chi­nese avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

Co­mac is also plan­ning to de­velop sev­eral ver­sions of the air­craft, in­clud­ing cargo and busi­ness mod­els.

The C919 is the re­sult of seven years of work.

Once the air­craft en­ters ser­vice, an­a­lysts say it will four main parts — read­ing, lis­ten­ing, writ­ing and oral ex­pres­sion — can be taken sep­a­rately. It was cre­ated by the In­sti­tuto Cer­vantes, the 25-year-old non­profit started by the Span­ish govern­ment, which also is be­hind the DELE. The SIELE was cre­ated in co­op­er­a­tion with the Na­tional Au­ton­o­mous Uni­ver­sity of Mex­ico, the Uni­ver­sity of Sala­manca of Spain and the Uni­ver­sity of Buenos Aires of Ar­gentina.

The test is be­ing given now at the In­sti­tuto Cer­vantes in Bei­jing. Ad­di­tional cen­ters will be avail­able next year, mainly in Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Guangzhou. Get more in­for­ma­tion and sign up at siele.org.cn … and, bue­na­suerte (good luck)!

shift and show the ar­chae­ol­o­gists fight­ing thieves steal­ing relics, and grad­u­ally re­veal the rise and fall of the em­peror. Liu He (92-59 BC) was the short­est-reign­ing em­peror dur­ing the Western Han Dy­nasty.

Con­tact the writer at matthew­prichard@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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drive the growth of re­lated man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries across China.

Co­mac also makes the ARJ21, a short-to-medium range re­gional air­craft with up to 78 seats and a range of 2,225 km.

MANJUNATH KI­RAN / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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