Academics say Portuguese speakers still in demand in China

Demand in mainland China for workers fluent in both Portuguese and Chinese remains strong, Lusa says, citing university professors who co-wrote a book on Chinese students of Portuguese.

 A report carried by the Portuguese news agency the day before the publication of the book quotes one author, Catarina Gaspar of the University of Lisbon, as saying Chinese students of Portuguese are getting to use the language for work earlier and earlier in their careers.

Ms Gaspar said most such students went on exchanges to study in lusophone countries, mainly Portugal and Brazil.

 Some Chinese opt to learn Portuguese after joining the labour force, so they can find a better-paid work or advance their careers, Lusa says, quoting the other author, Madalena Teixeira of the University of Aveiro.

The book, jointly published last Friday by the Macao Scientific and Cultural Centre in Lisbon and the University of Macau, sets out the characteristics of adults in China that study the Portuguese language.