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Monday, March 17, 2008

Why Learn to Speak Chinese?

I updated the page, now a section Why Learn Chinese? The goal was to make it easier to read and add more ideas that I have been exploring on the blogs in the various Posts I have done on why learn Chinese.

I started out with a greeting and joke I learned when I was teaching ESL, that ESL students loved:

  • What is a person who knows three languages? - trilingual.
  • What is a person who knows two languages? - bilingual.
  • What is a person who knows only one language? - American.

Followed by three sub-pages to go into more details on important areas of Why Learn Chinese:

It's an improvement over the one huge page that existed. The Resources for Kids To Learn Chinese seems to not belong on this page, but I wanted to show people who are interested in learning Chinese some of the resources available.

The reasons for Learning Chinese, Eight of them are much better. The reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Speak Chinese?

General: To take advantage of this huge economic shift and opportunities, learning to speak Chinese is a great way to give your children an advantage in the increasingly competitive business world. Not everyone in the world speaks English.

  1. China is emerging from a period of stagnation and again taking it's place as one of the great powers of the world. China currently has the second largest economy in the world.
  2. China has become the factory of the world and is moving up the technology food chain. Look at the balance of trade between the US and China. Per Nobel Prize Winner Robert Mundell China will become the factory of the world, in my opinion it already has. Now products are built, as well as designed in China.
  3. Chinese culture is over 5000 years old. By learning the Chinese Language, Chinese you will learn another culture. Learning a language gives you a better understanding through the grammar and even how the words are derived of the culture behind them. There is a lot of Chinese Poetry that lose some meaning when translated.
  4. China is a huge export market for the US. 1/5th of the world's population lives in China. Overseas Chinese dominate the economies of many countries in Asia, and speaking Mandarin gives you an edge in doing business with them. Countries with large overseas Chinese populations include Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. China has become one of the largest trading partners with the US. Over 16,000 US companies sell products in China. Trade is not only from China to the US, but also the other way. $41.8 Billion in 2006.
  5. The world is becoming a global economy. Per a famous book, the world is becoming flat so communication, ideas, and goods are traveling faster and faster between countries including the US and China. Learning Chinese gives you the opportunity to take advantage of this change. It's a great ice breaker when working with people from China if you can say a few words in Chinese. This helps especially when dealing with business people on the other side of the world via conference call.
  6. Learning another language gives you another viewpoint. The word he uses, that is ll of meaning, is Kaleidoscope. It does seem to help mentally as you develop new areas of your brain. It also helps as people age. I once had a fun talk with a programmer explaining how learning a new computer language helped keep his mind fresh. It will also help you when ordering Chinese food.
  7. Learning Chinese will give a student a competitive advantage. Chinese is the fastest growing Foreign Language being taught in US schools. I like Mayor Daly's quote: "We want to give our young people opportunities to advance ... and [Chinese] is a great opportunity to survive in today's economy."
  8. Mandarin Chinese is the most taught foreign language after English in Japan. If the Japanese are learning it, shouldn't people in the US? Mandarin Chinese is the most used language on the Internet.

Excuses not to Learn Chinese is more of the original page I did on Why To Learn Chinese, that was focused on convincing Chinese speaking parents - who I thought my target customers were, but as usual in marketing once I started selling my target customers were a bit different!

Feedback on the Why Learn Chinese? Section is appreciated! Ray@childbook.com



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a list of articles that explain the need to learn Chinese language.
Irene Tsai
CE Bilingual Books

March 18, 2008 at 9:22 AM  

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