Chinese universities to offer Urdu, Persian classes

Chinese universities to offer Urdu, Persian classes

BEIJING: Two universities in China's Xinjiang region will add Urdu and Farsi (Persian) to their undergraduate curriculum.

Shihezi University and Xinjiang Normal University, based in Urumqi, are setting up Urdu and Farsi departments, respectively.

The universities will start enrolling students nationwide this summer, a Shihezi University press release on Monday said.

Farsi is the official language in Iran and Tajikistan and a major language in Afghanistan.

Currently only six universities in China offer Farsi as a major, producing less than 500 people proficient in the language. Xinjiang's increased cooperation in trade and counter-terrorism with Farsi-speaking countries requires advanced Farsi language learners, the press release said.