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Is learning Mandarin a FAD??!?! Is the next century really going to be Chinese? watch

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    (Original post by Yuppie20)
    you were learning Mandarin to fit in with the Chinese
    so what, racist git? :mad: i am learning english to fit in with the white trash manufactured by the 'mighty' british empire in shakespeare' times. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by dannyparrott)

    3.even if you learn it fluently, if you are caucasian like myself, you will always be a deemed foreignerl!they will be welcoming and lovely etc, but you will remain a foreigner!
    you might have a chance not to let chinese see you that way, but...you chose a wrong reason to learn chinese.

    (Original post by dannyparrott)
    I dunno, I have many reasons against learning it. I decided to learn it for fairly mercenary reasons...chiefly i seek wealth, so i want to be a banker. Its worth learning if your passionate about it, but i think the current notion that it is the language of the future is wrong.really wrong.
    :
    so...:disappointed:
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    (Original post by dannyparrott)
    you may be right. though i really enjoyed my time in beijing, and during the 3months of my stay- i lived with a local.so it was okay meeting people. i did find the langauge difficult, which has certainly frustrated me. But, the reason i post this is i am working out whether to spend the next 6moonths of my gap year back in china, the next 4 years of my life studying chinese at SOAS, and my life tied to the fact that my degree was in chinese...

    so i guess your half right, but i want to work out whether chinese is actually worth pursuing from here on....othereise ill stick with good ol' spanish!xxxxxxxxxxxx
    No, dont study Chinese at university in the UK. The degree is inmo worthless. The average foreign Chinese Language graduate has the following skills:

    - He speaks his mother tongue
    - He speaks bad Chinese

    ...and thats it.
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    All Chinese learn and speak English, therefore, its relatively pointless to learn Chinese and no, it will not become any more significant over the next century. English is the international business language, there are no others.
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    (Original post by Joluk)
    All Chinese learn and speak English, therefore, its relatively pointless to learn Chinese and no, it will not become any more significant over the next century. English is the international business language, there are no others.
    Haha I see you have never been to China. Very few Chinese speak decent English.. .
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    i have been to china though, and yes- they speak crappy pidgin chin-glish but thats all you need really. and if we learned chinese it would take us years and years to advance beyond pidgin english, but we would still survive...

    in english schools it seems that generally the language we learn from the beginning is french, while in china it is english- they care more about learning english than we do about chinese...there ought to be a hell of a lot of chinamen with passable english, and then some of them with good english, so why bother learning mandarin (apart form a linguistic or cultural viewpoint?)

    my fear is that going to a UK university- whether cambridge,edinbrugh,or soas- and putting in a gargantuan effort, memorising characters before you can even begin writing essays,and doing so for 4 years, will not really be as useful as we are told...though it will be slightly useful.
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    Today, in Oxford, I heard a woman say 'Learning Chinese is very yesterday, Arabic is now the language to learn...' Gutted - really gutted. ha
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    (Original post by dannyparrott)
    I have recently spent 3 months in Beijing, studying the language and the culture, and reading about the history and likely future of the place..I would like to discuss this notion that Mandarin is "worth learning!"

    I believe that:

    1. First off, Mandarin is unlikely to be the language of the future because:

    A. billions of chinamen have been learning english as their first foreign language from an early age....the zeal to learn english is increasing year-on-year, so if we need to discuss things with the chinese they will speak our language anyway!

    B. China might not even rise up, there are a hell of alot of factors that ought to prevent it becoming a real world power, e.g demographic timebomb (too many dependents, not enough workers...), china has nearly saturated the world market's with its products (thus will be less likely to achieve double digit economic growth in the future!), china's currency is vastly undervalued and america&co are getting increasingly pissed off---as a result the chinese govt. have vowed (sort of) to start bringing their currency levels up slowly (once chinese currency is at a correct value then their exports will be more costly, and their les educated workers will cost more...etc!!!!there are many more reasons....)

    It is not worht learning for most of us:
    2.Mandarin is exceptionally difficult to learn it properly, if you want to use it in the labour market you may need more than a bachelor degree. A bachelor degree in chinese requires years of intensive study at university when you could be doing more useful things. There is an "opportunity cost", i.e spanish is equally likely to be important and is much easier.


    3.even if you learn it fluently, if you are caucasian like myself, you will always be a deemed foreignerl!they will be welcoming and lovely etc, but you will remain a foreigner!

    I dunno, I have many reasons against learning it. I decided to learn it for fairly mercenary reasons...chiefly i seek wealth, so i want to be a banker. Its worth learning if your passionate about it, but i think the current notion that it is the language of the future is wrong.really wrong.

    debate would be nice, im confused on this topic...:eek3:
    I'm learning Japanese at the moment. It's a beautiful and rewarding language to learn, and not hard if you're motivated. You just need a teacher, the self-taught courses are not so helpful for non-European languages, I think.

    Mandarin, I don't know. The characters look pretty daunting, compared to Japanese Kanji. Apparently you have to memorise at least twice as many for Mandarin - hiragana and katakana helpfully make up many phrases, particles and copulas in Japanese. It seems more difficult, I think that you may be right that Mandarin may remain a Chinese national language, rather than an international one. It might expand regionally though. With Chinese economic expansion in Southeast and Central Asia, it is possible that it will become more widely adopted as an Asian business language.
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    (Original post by Stalin)
    India is in a far better geographical location.

    There's a severe shortage of women in China, things aren't looking all fine and dandy.

    Call it what you want, when the government has no opposition it's more or less a dictatorship, I'm sure the same people are pulling the strings regardless of who's actually in power. The people will eventually revolt.

    The Soviet Union didn't have as many obstacles as China has and also, World War 2 brought the nation closer together.

    1.1 billion out of the 1.3 have a standard living on the order of Nigeria.

    The Chinese economy is a hostage of the foreign international system, but primarily of the American economy. China is incapable of domestic consumption on the order of production. So, when the United States catches cold, China gets pneumonia and that really is an important thing to understand – that China does not have an economy as we understand it in the sense of substantial domestic consumption. The Chinese economy is overwhelmingly export-oriented and therefore China is a hostage to its consumers.

    I'm not denying the fact that China will be a world player, that's obvious, what I am denying is that China will be what the US is today, a superpower.
    Just because you in the West don't like the Chinese government doesn't mean that Chinese people don't like the Chinese government. I'm Chinese myself and I can assure you that the vast majority of Chinese people support their government will not revolt.

    The standards of living in China are not even close to what it's like in Nigeria. I've been to Nigeria. They don't even have roads, electricity or running water. Half the people there can't even read or write.

    China pretty much already owns the USA anyway.

    I don't know how anyone can deny that China will be the superpower in the near future.
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    (Original post by Tefhel)
    I definitely agree with this - China has got a hell of a long way to go with respect to culture. When was the last time you watched or heard or read something Chinese? Weeks, months, years? In contrast America has dominated the world with regards to music, television for decades. I mean, you could go almost anywhere in the world and see American stuff on TV. People around the world are familiar with American culture and thus want to learn English, especially to get a better life there. Since when do people want to learn Mandarin to get a better life in China?

    I mean, people seem to be ignoring places like Japan. Japan, OK, for a couple of decades has been the 2nd largest economy in the world, only behind America! Where are the masses of people learning Japanese? Hardly anyone learns it - in fact I think almost no one did until people started discovering it through stuff like Pokemon.

    Again, why has there not been a vast rush towards learning German? Which was until recently the 3rd biggest economy in the world. Sure some people have learnt it, it was kinda popular in the 70s, but not that much now.

    Sure, China may be a rising superpower, but so what? Why does that mean everyone will suddenly learn Mandarin? Why would it be a new lingua franca? Japanese wasn't, German wasn't. People weren't falling over themselves to learn them even though they were the biggest economic powers on Earth - the only language people have been doing that for is English.

    I don't see why people think Mandarin will be any different. Perhaps the number of people in China? There are a similar amount of people in India, people aren't going on about learning Hindi, schools aren't making Hindi study compulsory.

    TLDR; Yes, I agree. I think it's a big fad. Probably no one will bother learning it because of the daunting characters and tones, and it will be the same as Japanese or Arabic or Russian, niche.

    ETA: I think Mandarin would be a great language to learn for your own interest, to learn about the culture and because you want to learn it. Learning it only because you think it might be useful in the future is just stupid IMO. You're not going to learn it at all well if you don't have the motivation. And if it turns out not to be useful at all in later life, what was the point? If you're not actually interested in China or Chinese culture it would have been a big waste of time.
    It's usually different in various regions of the world. A lot of people all over Asia are learning Mandarin. I'm Chinese myself, but from Hong Kong (so I speak Cantonese), and I am planning to learn Mandarin. I know that so many people all over South Asia and the Far East are also learning Mandarin.

    You're right not many people in the West are learning it, but there is lots in the East.

    People in mainland China usually cannot speak English. Even a lot of the educated people cannot speak English because the Chinese education system doesn't pay much attention to the English language. I know soon there will be a lot of Western people who will have to go to China for work and I'm sure they will have to learn Mandarin. I cannot imagine them being able to survive in China without knowing Mandarin. Even people from Hong Kong have to learn Mandarin when they go into China to work, such as some of my cousins. Right now it's not so obvious, but in the near future there will be huge numbers of people in the West who will need to go to China for work and business, etc.
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    (Original post by Koobideh)
    Just because you in the West don't like the Chinese government doesn't mean that Chinese people don't like the Chinese government. I'm Chinese myself and I can assure you that the vast majority of Chinese people support their government will not revolt.

    The standards of living in China are not even close to what it's like in Nigeria. I've been to Nigeria. They don't even have roads, electricity or running water. Half the people there can't even read or write.

    China pretty much already owns the USA anyway.

    I don't know how anyone can deny that China will be the superpower in the near future.
    What a preposterous statement, you weren't born and raised under communist rule and know next to nothing about China. The Chinese want to live like the Americans and the Europeans, the only problem is that the Chinese government have never heard of human rights or freedom of speech and of expression for that matter, yet you think that the average Joe in China will support his/her government? If you speak out against the government you're taken away, never to be seen again, what a remarkable country, wouldn't you say?

    If the US stops importing its goods from China, the Chinese economy will be weakened substantially, perhaps even destroyed, but China "pretty much already owns the USA anyway" - oh please, come off it.

    I'm not denying that China will become, somewhat of a, superpower in the future, what I am denying though is this thought that China will rise and its people will sit quietly, this won't be the case, if China wants to become a superpower, it'll have to free its people, if it continues its authoritarian rule, it can kiss regional hegemony au revoir as they'd say in French. Furthermore, I can't see China becoming more powerful than the US, every country which has attempted to obtain hegemony in a region and therefore become a superpower has been stopped by the US(German Empire, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union), don't expect China to be exempt from this.
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    (Original post by Stalin)
    What a preposterous statement, you weren't born and raised under communist rule and know next to nothing about China. The Chinese want to live like the Americans and the Europeans, the only problem is that the Chinese government have never heard of human rights or freedom of speech and of expression for that matter, yet you think that the average Joe in China will support his/her government? If you speak out against the government you're taken away, never to be seen again, what a remarkable country, wouldn't you say?

    If the US stops importing its goods from China, the Chinese economy will be weakened substantially, perhaps even destroyed, but China "pretty much already owns the USA anyway" - oh please, come off it.

    I'm not denying that China will become, somewhat of a, superpower in the future, what I am denying though is this thought that China will rise and its people will sit quietly, this won't be the case, if China wants to become a superpower, it'll have to free its people, if it continues its authoritarian rule, it can kiss regional hegemony au revoir as they'd say in French. Furthermore, I can't see China becoming more powerful than the US, every country which has attempted to obtain hegemony in a region and therefore become a superpower has been stopped by the US(German Empire, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union), don't expect China to be exempt from this.
    白痴 :o:
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    (Original post by Stalin)
    What a preposterous statement, you weren't born and raised under communist rule and know next to nothing about China. The Chinese want to live like the Americans and the Europeans, the only problem is that the Chinese government have never heard of human rights or freedom of speech and of expression for that matter, yet you think that the average Joe in China will support his/her government? If you speak out against the government you're taken away, never to be seen again, what a remarkable country, wouldn't you say?

    I think your exaggerating the importance of the Political Freedom. Most people may not be happy but are willing to sacrifice it as long as they become more prosperous and they gain other freedoms ( social and economic). The question is what will happen when China hits a rough economic patch.

    Anyway, as more money is transferred away from the coffers of the state to the people, more freedom will be granted.

    (Original post by Stalin)
    If the US stops importing its goods from China, the Chinese economy will be weakened substantially, perhaps even destroyed, but China "pretty much already owns the USA anyway" - oh please, come off it..

    Well, it is a 2 way relationship. The Chinese don't own the US but the USA is just as dependent on cheap imports from China. It isn't going to stop importing from China ever.


    (Original post by Stalin)
    I'm not denying that China will become, somewhat of a, superpower in the future, what I am denying though is this thought that China will rise and its people will sit quietly, this won't be the case, if China wants to become a superpower, it'll have to free its people, if it continues its authoritarian rule, it can kiss regional hegemony au revoir as they'd say in French. Furthermore, I can't see China becoming more powerful than the US, every country which has attempted to obtain hegemony in a region and therefore become a superpower has been stopped by the US(German Empire, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union), don't expect China to be exempt from this.
    No not really. I don't see why you are comparing to countries that were never Superpowers. Only the later was a military superpower. None of them ever really challenged the US in terms of Economic Supremacy as China has done.

    Furthermore, unlike before, the US is in decline economically. So, whilst the Chinese won't become a Superpower like the US was, they will certainly compete in that position as the US declines.
 
 
 
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