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The language of the future - Russian or Chinese? watch

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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    Easily Mandarin ( Chinese doesnt exist any more than does 'European') but neither will ever conceivably displace English as the language of world and indeed the first language of humanity.
    Don't be silly, of course Chinese exists. It's split into Mandarin, Cantonese, and various dialects.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Most of Africa is rich in natural resources, as is Saudi Arabia. None of them have anything approaching a decent economy. In an age dominated by information technology and services, having a lot of natural resources will not help economic growth. In fact, countries with a lot of natural resources tend to ignore their human resources (since most of the budget comes from those resources and not taxes on labor), which means they only develop industries that are needed to extract resources. This is certainly the case in Russia, where a good 30% of the economy is based on oil and gas. There is little economic growth outside of those sectors, and due to the high price of those resources, the government has no intention of carrying out economic reforms.
    Economic growth depends on social stability and political stability. Having natural resources, as you point out does not guarentee growth. But it is a necessary precondition for certain types of growth. May I note Great Britain's industrialisation and subsquent domination of the world for a century was due to the fortunate placement of natural resources within her domain.

    Regarding a large labor force, you're ignoring the fact that the size of the Russian population is actually decreasing and the size of the labor force is decreasing even faster due to an ageing population. It would take an absolute miracle for the Russian economy to become anything resembling a modern economy for the foreseeable future. To put Russia in the same category as China, India, and Brazil is ridiculous. The latter three are enacting key economic reforms, have a higher and actually growing population, and have a relatively diverse economy. I'd bet willing to bet that Poland and Ukraine will become prosperous long before Russia.
    Russia has been devasted by mismangement of the economy in the last 10 years - as opposed to the highly sucessful Chinese transition (that strangely didn't involve the US and IMF). But economies can bounce back quickly in the space of a very decades. Look at Britain, Ireland, South Korea or Portugal now in comparison to 50 years ago. Yes Russia has a population problem and yes the organised crime levels discourage investment. But if Russia were to sort itself out, I mean in terms of durable economic reforms, stabilising the demographic fall and cracking down on the mafia then it could become rich off its oil and gas, not to mention its hitherto unharnessed capacity for consumer based manifacturing.
    Relative power unimportant? :rolleyes: People aren't stupid. They compare themselves to other people. If other countries drastically surpass Europe's standard of living, there will be severe consequences, even if the absolute income remains the same.
    Except the chances of other parts of the world (ignorning the US and Japan) exceeding European levels of wealth is unthinkable in the next 50 years. Europe will have a slow growth but I can hardly see it becoming impoverished. What I'm stating is, even if living standards in say China or India become comparable to European standards, this won't provoke Europeans into nuking China into oblivion. like you seem to suggest in other posts.
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    Don't be silly, of course Chinese exists. It's split into Mandarin, Cantonese, and various dialects.
    If you knew the first thing about the situation youd know that what the Chinese class as dialects are what most would class as languages. Cantonese and Mandarin and mutually unintelligable - would you class English and German as dialects of one language? Dont be silly.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Cultural influence follows national power. People didn't start speaking French and then English just because they liked those languages. They spoke those languages because they were spoken by the dominant powers of the day. It might take a few decades after America is displaced by another country as the most powerful in the world, but English will not remain the dominant language without America being the most powerful country.
    There has never previously been a situation which as seen a dominant world language nor a language dominant and widespread to the extent of English. Also the situation which in which English finds itself is the result of historical events which are completely different to the situation in which Mandarin currently finds itself and can conceivably find itself in the future. You can find English speakers at all levels of society anywhere in the world. No matter how economically powerful China may become this will not be true of mandarin as Mandarin has never been and will not be anything more than a comparatively provincial (as in restricted to China and surrounding areas) language while English is spoken on every continent and every nation as a result of the British Empire and its successor the USA.
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    Latin had a dominace within Europe that English doesn't today though.
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    If you knew the first thing about the situation youd know that what the Chinese class as dialects are what most would class as languages. Cantonese and Mandarin and mutually unintelligable - would you class English and German as dialects of one language? Dont be silly.
    Considering I speak the language fluently and am partly Chinese I think I would know something about the language. Even the Chinese call it 'zhong wen' ('Chinese'). Probably better to go with their judgement on the language than some foreigner's.

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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    There has never previously been a situation which as seen a dominant world language nor a language dominant and widespread to the extent of English. Also the situation which in which English finds itself is the result of historical events which are completely different to the situation in which Mandarin currently finds itself and can conceivably find itself in the future. You can find English speakers at all levels of society anywhere in the world. No matter how economically powerful China may become this will not be true of mandarin as Mandarin has never been and will not be anything more than a comparatively provincial (as in restricted to China and surrounding areas) language while English is spoken on every continent and every nation as a result of the British Empire and its successor the USA.
    Brighton College has just made Chinese compulsory. It has begun.
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    Considering I speak the language fluently and am partly Chinese I think I would know something about the language. Even the Chinese call it 'zhong wen' ('Chinese'). Probably better to go with their judgement on the language than some foreigner's.
    Nope. Better to go with the educated opinions of neutral linguists than the politically motivated classification of a totalitarian regime.
    Brighton College has just made Chinese compulsory. It has begun.
    The day Madarin music, movies, books etc generally dominate world media then 'it' may have begun. Until then no, Arabic is closer to being a world language than mandarin.

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    (Original post by ferrus)
    Latin had a dominace within Europe that English doesn't today though.
    Not really. English holds the status that Latin once held in Europe. It is the language of international communication and of science etc. Certain Euroean states are making it comulsary for their universities to teach through the medium of English and for graduate research to be conducted in English.
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    Nope. Better to go with the educated opinions of neutral linguists than the politically motivated classification of a totalitarian regime.
    The judgement of most academics specialising in the Far East is poor and backwards, SOAS being really the only vaguely decent place in the country. The person in charge of Chinese at my school (a SOAS graduate who speaks 10 languages and is fluent in Chinese) refers to the language as 'Chinese'.

    (Original post by an Siarach)
    Until then no, Arabic is closer to being a world language than mandarin.
    Ah. That's the first useful thing you've said in this thread - thank you.
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    Not really. English holds the status that Latin once held in Europe. It is the language of international communication and of science etc. Certain Euroean states are making it comulsary for their universities to teach through the medium of English and for graduate research to be conducted in English.
    And what happened to Latin after Rome fell and the Church was greatly weakened?
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    And what happened to Latin after Rome fell and the Church was greatly weakened?
    It mutated into several languages (most notably French, Italian and Spanish) and remained the dominant language within the Catholic church and academia for centuries.
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    (Original post by ferrus)
    It mutated into several languages (most notably French, Italian and Spanish) and remained the dominant language within the Catholic church and academia for centuries.
    I.E. disappeared.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    I.E. disappeared.
    No more that "English" disappeard when it moved from Middle English to Modern English.
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    (Original post by ferrus)
    No more that "English" disappeard when it moved from Middle English to Modern English.
    Exactly. Its amazing how many people are under the impression Latin disappeared into thin air following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    And what happened to Latin after Rome fell and the Church was greatly weakened?
    There is absolutely no realistically imaginable analoguous situation which might see English go the same way as Latin.
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    The judgement of most academics specialising in the Far East is poor and backwards, SOAS being really the only vaguely decent place in the country. The person in charge of Chinese at my school (a SOAS graduate who speaks 10 languages and is fluent in Chinese) refers to the language as 'Chinese'.
    Nonsense and poor judgement. So according to you those educated academically and professionally in the relevant fields, specific languages(s) and area who say that 'Chinese' is composed of distinct languages which are referred to as 'dialects' for entirely political reasons should be disregarded because your mate Bob or whoever refers to the language as 'Chinese' ? How can one question such rational judgement.
    Ah. That's the first useful thing you've said in this thread - thank you.
    Youre a prat and an ignorant one at that.
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    its quite hard at this stage to upturn and go get chinese or russian as the international language. English is getting fairly established and it would be quite a big change to reverse this process. English is already a very conventional language i think, and maybe the language with the widest vocabulary.
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    i don't think that russian is that common outside russia however i do think that it can be important to know in the future. it is such a big country with many resources and i think they will influence more in the future in terms of businesses and such.

    personally i would like to learn both russia and chinese.
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    In any case who wants to speak a language loads of people speak: the joy of learning Cornish is that so few people understand it that you can speak to yourself without being understood
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    Chinese defintely (years of hardwork will not be for nothing, damnit!) and another dark horse..Tamil? Or Hindi? India is a close second to China and has only not grown as fast because its a democracy with the government having less of a hold over the economy and all other parts of society that the Chinese governemtn has. And a little English will always help.
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    Chinese.
 
 
 
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