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Monday, December 3, 2007

Demand for Learning Chinese Classes Growing

Iowa Press Citizen Newspaper article with a number of great quotes on why people are Learning Chinese.

"People are learning this language to understand and communicate. It's not just the grammar, because when you learn a language you learn about the culture," Hanson said.

Good point, for example the difference in when does yes mean yes, and no mean no. Yes, I understand what you are saying, verses, yes, I agree with you. Typical communication issues. As well as the issue of being respectful by not disagreeing in public and such.

Chinese is the seventh most popular language to study and the second most rapidly growing language, next to Arabic, being studied in U.S. colleges, according to a report by the Modern Language Association. Enrollment in Chinese language courses spiked 51 percent since 2002, according to the report. Arabic surged 127 percent in that time.

Translation - Arabic enrollment was so low that it's easy to have rapid growth using percentages and the US involvement in the Middle East has sparked a huge growth in the need for US Arabic fluent language users. Chinese growth is more do to people seeing it as economic, where Arabic my guess is due to government needs (like having enough intel analysts).

"China's present and future are intertwined with ours economically, politically in all ways imaginable. Language is the best tool of human communication we have, so we should learn Chinese. They are learning English," Polumbaum said.

I agree - the US and China are definitely going to have more and more to do with each other as China rises from the position of weakness it has been in politically and economically for the last 200 or so years. Interesting times ahead!

"It gives you an instant hospitality from the people. Westerners, we typically want everyone to speak English. When you can speak their language, they are very impressed," Smith said. "We have to treat China as though they were in our backyard, as though it were a business in Ohio. They can't be seen as foreigners. They have to be seen as partners."

Nice sentiment, but when doing business in China, you need to be careful. You don't want to end up like Chrysler did with their Jeep. There are successes, and there have been failures on investments in China.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Study in China will be more and more popular!

December 28, 2007 at 2:58 AM  

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