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Minty
Apr 4, 2006, 05:42
Last month, the Defense Department gave a $700,000 grant to public schools in Portland, Ore., to double the number of students studying Chinese in an immersion program. In May, Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, and Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, introduced a bill to spend $1.3 billon over five years on Chinese language programs in schools and on cultural exchanges to improve ties between the United States and China. The bill has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
After 2,400 schools expressed interest, Advanced Placement Chinese classes will be offered in high schools around the country starting next year. Beijing is paying for half the $1.35 million to develop the classes, including Chinese teachers' scholarships and developing curriculums and examinations, said Trevor Packer, executive director of the Advanced Placement Program at the College Board.

-NYTimes

It is evident that people are starting to recognize the grandness of acquiring familiarised with the Chinese language.

I also saw in on CNN that some Western people in the U.S. are employing Chinese nannies to teach their children Mandarin, Chinese.

RockLee
Apr 4, 2006, 07:42
I wonder how long the Chinese madness will last. People don't realize that almost all Chinese are studying English, why bother studying Chinese? Also, there is a huge difference between Mandarine and Cantonese. Unlike Japanese the Chinese do not require special business ethics nor have a business culture like the Japanese. Japanese tend to do business in Japanese, Chinese do business in English.So no need for studying Chinese.

Nice stories never last long, that's what I think about it.

lastmagi
Apr 4, 2006, 08:23
There's.... quite a lot of different reasons for people to study Chinese, actually. Language isn't solely for business. To suggest that and then say something along the lines that "Well, so studying Chinese isn't really that important" is rather insulting, of any language, since it ignores the cultural impetus.

Anyway, thanks for that, Minty. I think I might have read about this somewhere.... I wonder how this interest in China started? In my school there are two different language tables during lunch, Japanese and Chinese. I've sat in on both, and the level of interest in China far outweighs that of Japan, where the table is often dead quiet with me awkwardly sitting with my Japanese professors, poor guys :D

RockLee
Apr 4, 2006, 08:53
There's.... quite a lot of different reasons for people to study Chinese, actually. Language isn't solely for business. To suggest that and then say something along the lines that "Well, so studying Chinese isn't really that important" is rather insulting, of any language, since it ignores the cultural impetus.You can't deny that AFTER the whole Chinese economy issue people suddenly get more interested in studying Chinese.Before there was hardly talk about it or at least not that much.

I never said that it's not important, I said it's not really required to do business with Chinese.Also, business have absolutely jack to do with Chinese culture.

Thus studying Chinese seems like a waste of time to me, because they learn English and conduct business in English.Unless you actually want to live in China or have any specific need/situation that requires Chinese, I can't seem to come up with a reason why you should even bother.(outside the fact you learn it for fun) :souka:

bossel
Apr 4, 2006, 09:51
It is evident that people are starting to recognize the grandness of acquiring familiarised with the Chinese language.
Grandness? Nope. It's partly a fad & partly business related. China's economy is growing & so is interest in China & its language. Just like it was in the 70s & 80s with Japanese.

In this particular case you quoted: Haven't you noticed who grants the 700,000? The Defense Department. Hmmm, why oh why?



So no need for studying Chinese.
Actually, if you really want to do business in China, it's quite good to have at least basic Chinese knowledge (& some knowledge about Chinese manners). Makes a good impression & relaxes the atmosphere.

Ma Cherie
Apr 4, 2006, 10:36
While I think it's good that people are learning another language, I can't say that I like the idea for the sole purpose of China's changing economy. Learning Chinese to live in China, may be another story, but most people who choose to live in China will more likely live in Beijing or Shanghai, where you will find people who speak English.:souka:


I would have to agree with RockLee about the economy issue. When China was still isolate, people weren't interested in learing it.

RockLee
Apr 4, 2006, 20:32
While I think it's good that people are learning another language, I can't say that I like the idea for the sole purpose of China's changing economy. Learning Chinese to live in China, may be another story, but most people who choose to live in China will more likely live in Beijing or Shanghai, where you will find people who speak English.:souka:You'd be surprised how many people DON'T speak English.Having at least basic knowledge is a must when you live in China.


Actually, if you really want to do business in China, it's quite good to have at least basic Chinese knowledge (& some knowledge about Chinese manners). Makes a good impression & relaxes the atmosphere.There you say it yourself -> if you really want to do business in China. But outside of China it's not that necessairy.IMHO at least.

dreamer
Apr 4, 2006, 21:46
Hum...I feel like studying chinese more seriously now... :P

godppgo
Apr 5, 2006, 04:05
I guess there are always people who want to learn a language for pleasure purpose. Knowing a little Chinese is definitely a plus when it comes to doing business in China. However, most Chinese will speak English to an English-speaker in business situation so I really don't see the point of attaining a high level of Chinese if its just for business purpose (given that Chinese is one of the hardest languages to master).

Minty
Apr 5, 2006, 05:26
Thanks for all the responses. I can see the majority of the posters donft see much point of learning Mandarin, Chinese. I am not surprise at all considering English is much more useful and there are much more Chinese learning English. Another thing is, China today still has a poor reputation, and I hope that will change in the future.:bluush:

But it is a fact the huge majority of people in China cannot verbalize English decently to communicate at even the most primary of levels. Even in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. So for people to who are in the business field with Chinese it is not such a bad idea to learn some Chinese.

4321go
Apr 5, 2006, 11:35
Chinese language is hard to learn !
English is more easy to learn~

Ma Cherie
Apr 5, 2006, 14:04
Chinese language is hard to learn !
English is more easy to learn~


That's odd, I heard that some Chinese people found it difficult to learn English while some Westners found it hard to learn Chinese. :souka:

RockLee
May 14, 2006, 20:48
It depends on the person, some people (like my friend) picked up Chinese pretty fast, some just can't. It has nothing to do with the language being difficult or not.