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LINGUISTS looking to brush up on their Mandarin can enjoy free online lessons courtesy of Heriot-Watt University.

The university has created a teaching programme for anyone interested in learning the basics of the Chinese language.

The programme is available through SCHOLAR, which is an online learning tool currently available to all Higher and Advanced Higher students in Scotland.

The university has decided to open up the availability of the Mandarin lessons to everyone with access to a computer.

Dean of science and engineering at the university and executive chair of the SCHOLAR Forum, Phillip John, said: "We wanted to expose the general public to Mandarin for parents to encourage their sons and daughters to learn the language."

To access free Mandarin lessons, visit http://scholar.hw.ac.uk/sco.html