Samoan Ambassador Committed to Supporting Samoan Language Course in China

“The first time I heard it, I was fascinated and I was very excited..”

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By: Leota Marc Membrere Gvt Press reporting from Beijing, China. The Ambassador of Samoa to the People’s Republic of China Luamanuvae Albert Mariner is proud of the commitment of students of the Beijing Foreign Studies University to learn the Samoan language and has ensured his continued support for the course.

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Luamanuvae visited the Beijing Foreign Studies University on Thursday and met with students who have taken the course in the past and some who have just commenced their studies in Samoan.

The Samoan Language Elementary Course was launched at the Beijing Foreign Studies University in 2020. It is the first of eight Pacific languages to be taught at the University and the first accredited Pacific language programme offered at a Chinese University.

Since its inception, 95 students have graduated, with 95% being Chinese and 5% international students.

The course is being taught by Setope Sooaemalelagi.

During the students meeting with the Ambassador, they proudly showed off their Samoan language skills by greeting the Ambassador and University staff in Samoan, counting 1 to 10, and saying the days of the week in Samoan.

Luamanuvae says it is amazing that the Samoan language is being taught at the University

“The first time I heard it I was fascinated and I was very excited,” Luamanuvae says.

“I will ensure that my office will provide the support that’s required for the programme so that it continues to grow,” Luamanuvae told the students and faculty.

The students were able to ask questions about Samoa such as the role of a matai and other areas of the culture.

Students studying Samoan in China aspire to visit Samoa and have the opportunity to practice their language skills.