|Department of Chinese
The Department of Chinese Studies was set up in 1994 to promote education in Chinese language and culture for the training needs of teachers and to prepare students to meet the needs of the changing society.
The Han Language is spoken by 94 percent of the Chinese population in Mauritius. Although it has many dialects, there is a common speech which, based on the northern dialects spoken by 70 percent of the Hans, takes the Beijing pronunciation as its standard.
Today, the common speech (Putonghua) is taken as the standard pronunciation and is being steadily popularised throughout China. It is not only commonly spoken by all the Han people but it is also the principal means of communication among more than 50 minority nationalities of China. It is also recognised as one of the international languages in use at the United Nations Organisation. Students and Mauritians at large are showing much interest in learning the language.
The Chinese Government is helping the Mahatma Gandhi Institute to develop the Department of Chinese Studies through established links with the South China Normal University. The Government of the People's Republic of China has donated a language laboratory to help the Institute in its efforts to promote the ancestral languages.