N. Koreans actively studying foreign languages: report


North Koreans are eagerly engaged in learning foreign languages, including English and Japanese, a pro-North Korean newspaper said Friday.

“Registration is actively underway for foreign language classes,” the Chosun Sinbo, a newspaper run by Koreans living in Japan, said on its Web site.

The paper reported that the registrants, mostly workers and students in their 20s or 30s, have doubled compared to last year.

One language institute, located in the center of Pyongyang, has taught English, Russian, Chinese and Japanese since the 1980s, but Chinese remains the most popular, the paper said.

“Each course participant quickly learns how to speak (in a foreign language) while learning the ability to translate foreign-language books in his or her special area,” the paper said.

The center plans to have about 1,000 students registered next year, the paper said. Other language facilities in Pyongyang are also busy with registration, and some North Koreans have formed groups to study foreign languages on their own, according to the paper.

North Korea remains one of the world’s most controlled societies. Its regime maintains a tight grip on the flow of information and knowledge from the outside world.


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