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Sam L
Nov 19th, 2004, 12:11 PM
I read this in the "What languages do you want to learn?" thread. I don't know who posted and it's irrelevant because I've heard some other people allude to this as well and I just don't see it.

Why?

The problem with Chinese is that it's already the most spoken language in the world (through the sheer number of people who speak it), but it's not the most widely spread (not even close) nor the most used (in science, business and other areas).

I assume we're talking about "lingua franca" here.

For a language to achieve that it needs to be wide spread like English is now in the physical world and especially on the Internet and be most used in important areas like science, diplomacy and business.

Chinese will probably remain the MOST spoken language but I just don't see how it can become more widely spread, especially with English been how widespread it is right now and looking like it'll continue its dominance.

And in terms of areas like science and business, in the Asia-Pacific region it could become lingua franca but English is a simpler language and already used most often so I don't see it losing its status either.

The other problem is English is a neutral language for Asian people like Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and South-East Asians. Many of these people don't like their regional neighbors and I can't see them using Chinese over English.

The only way Chinese can become a true "lingua franca future language of the world" is if there is a war between English speaking countries like UK and US and China and China wins. That's the only way.

Sorry it may seem like a rant, but it's not, I just want a discussion. ;)

Truthwillout
Nov 19th, 2004, 12:43 PM
Actually the real contender for lingua franca in the future may be Spanish. Now there are more Spanish speakers than English speakers in the world. For those interested in languages get a load of this
1) Over the last 30 years thousands of languages have died out.
2) Yesterday, the last speaker of the only oral language spoken by women only died in Africa she was 92.
3) There are still about 3000 languages spoken across the planet today. In 20 years' time at least half of them will be extinct.
4) In North and South America alone hundreds of native American languages have disappeared since the war and those which are left are slated to go the same way
5) Some linguists think that if things go on at this rate, one century from now there might only be a score of languages left on the planet (among which Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese)
Each language which dies out is an irremediable loss. Languages are part of the human heritage just like monuments and art

bee
Nov 19th, 2004, 12:50 PM
The future is now in china....I think a lot of business worldwide is trying to move its offices inside China. I guessed knowing how to speak chinese is a necessity.

Chinese is actually a very difficult language to learn... compared to English.. :)

Cuckoo
Nov 19th, 2004, 01:17 PM
I read this in the "What languages do you want to learn?" thread. I don't know who posted and it's irrelevant because I've heard some other people allude to this as well and I just don't see it.
That was me Mate :cool:

The problem with Chinese is that it's already the most spoken language in the world (through the sheer number of people who speak it), but it's not the most widely spread (not even close) nor the most used (in science, business and other areas).No, your right, it's not commonly used anywhere around the world, However It apparently is the fastest growing Language and fastest spreading in Asia and Australasia, Apart from The People who speak it in China Itself, It is well used in Malaysia, Singapore. In alot of schools over in that part, Chinese is becoming a Compulsory Langiage to learn as of the Chinese Influence.

Also spoken in Taiwan etc and the more chinese influencial parts of Asia such as North Indo-China etc.

Here in NZ about 10% of the Population is Chinese, Alot are students who come to learn English, and usually end up immigrating, Secondary Schools are now seeing the benefit of the Chinese Trade and Culture and are opting to to learn the Chinese Language as a Subject.

science, diplomacy and business.
Bingo, Chinas markets are now expanding accross the globe and opening up to the world, the share size of the Chinese Economy now is frightfully large, the share population that engulfs 1/6 of the worlds population lives overthere, You have a opening market which is letting go on it's communist state owned restrictions, together with it's ever growing population, A country with an infinite amount of investors and Investments, Surley in time to outgrow the EU and the US.

They Invested in Formula One, The Shanghai Circuit, the most advanced circuit on the Formula One Calender.

Their Space Programme, Not nearly as big as Russias or The States, but becoming just as Technological, If not more.

Chinese will probably remain the MOST spoken language
Mandarin or Hindu, as well with the Population Chinese or Indian.

China has it's one child policy to curb the population, India doesn't, I don't know where they stand on the issue, but their population is expected to grow larger then Chinas. I geuss peice-wise the spoken language will also increase.

but I just don't see how it can become more widely spread, especially with English been how widespread it is right now and looking like it'll continue its dominance.Got not argument there, English is the International Language of the world, Everyone is expected to speak English. China's evergrowing economy and population is just a clear indication of how influencial China will be in the International Arena. Don't think China will take it over as the most "widley" spread language, but it's a definite language which is going to be more progressive during this generation in the next.

The other problem is English is a neutral language for Asian people like Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and South-East Asians. Many of these people don't like their regional neighbors and I can't see them using Chinese over English.They may well have to if they want to succeed economicially in the future, Most people who are studying Japanese at the Universities over here are the Chinese, same as Korean, the Chinese make up most of the classes.

The only way Chinese can become a true "lingua franca future language of the world" is if there is a war between English speaking countries like UK and US and China and China wins. That's the only way.
Sorry it may seem like a rant, but it's not, I just want a discussion. ;)[/QUOTE]
I don't see it taking over the likes of English or French as Most widley spoken Language, as you said they would have to colonize or invade a few countries and set up a few Tianemen Squares and Great Walls here and thre ;) However as the Economy Grows in China and the interest surrounding it, the language of Chinese Grows.

This may be a tad of topic, But look in Auckland NZ, Look around the Streets of the Gold Coast and Brisbane, even in Sydney, Ozzie and NZ have a large growing Asian Populations, Noticabley Chinese, Her in NZ by the year 2025 Chinese are expected to make 25% of the population. Quite a Scary thought huh?

"Sluggy"
Nov 19th, 2004, 01:23 PM
nnnnneh, i think Chinese is an important languague, but its not going to eclipse American as the The international language.

Cuckoo
Nov 19th, 2004, 01:27 PM
American is a Language? you mean English?

"Sluggy"
Nov 19th, 2004, 01:54 PM
American, like the international language. I belive American English is the English that is spoken internationally. Many places use deformations of the forefathers English, but you never hear people in the United Nations saying "The Rayn is Spaaaaain Stays Maynly on the PLayyn".

"Sluggy"
Nov 19th, 2004, 02:04 PM
I didnt explicity say that American English is better or that we are the best. here is the article which i think illustrates the domination of American English throughout the world:

American English an oxymoron?
Why is "American English" supposed to be an oxymoron --- or at least more so than, say, Australian English, Latin American Spanish or Quebecois French? Perhaps a better word for American English would be majority English. After all, most English speakers worldwide speak and write a variety from North America. This comment strikes me as non-NPOV, and an attempt to portray some social-class-bound insular dialect as normative, an attitude which ever has been and remains a jaw-dropping pretension. -- IHCOYC 11:47 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Most? Since when?
Population of the USA: around 280 millions. Canada adds 85% of 31 millions. Population of the UK is 58 millions, add 19 millions for Australia, 8m for New Zealand and maybe 4m for the native English speaking population of South Africa. No matter how you slice the pie, the center of gravity for the English language is in North America and not in any of the outlying islands. -- IHCOYC 13:40 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)
In India English is the language in which most university courses are taught. It is also the language used in most areas of administration, and they have many English language newspapers. Out of a total population of 1 billion potential speakers, some 40 million plus Indians speak British English there. The situation is similar in countries like Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria and Singapore etc. etc. When English is taught as a foreign language in Europe and elsewhere it is very often taught as British English through organizations like the British Council.

When I was in Sweden in the mid-1970s, the saying there was that people over 35 had learned British English in school, and that people under 30 learned American English. -- IHCOYC 15:10 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)
IHCOYC is correct, at least regarding number of speakers. There are 341 million first language speakers of English, 210 million of those are in the United States (228 million in North America). There are 508 million including second language speakers, and 240 million of those are in the United States (260 million in North America). I'm not even accounting for some English usage being American rather than British (or another Commonwealth country) in origin outside of North America. It is also worrisome that some Wikipedia editors feel obliged to move pages and alter spelling on the basis that Commonwealth English is not only more correct, but is also more common than either American English or North American English. (My United States figures are actually a bit low since they date from 1984 and most of the other figures are from the late 1990s.) I believe the US probably has the most influence on the English language today, although only partially due to the influence of numbers. More of the influence is through movies, television, books, the internet, and other media. More immediately, I think Wikipedia would benefit from a clearer definition and analysis of the various types of English, including different orthographies. My figures are primarily from http://www.ethnologue.com/ Daniel Quinlan 08:21, Aug 3, 2003 (UTC)

The main thing that concerns me is when British English is taken as a familiar norm in descriptions of other languages. I've seen pronunciation guides that say to pronounce Goethe as "Gertie," for example. Reference to the variety of broad A and O sounds in British English are other frequent sources of confusion; most North Americans don't even hear the sounds as separate phonemes. Since the introduction of the IPA this sort of thing is seen less often, but there's still a lot of it in older reference books; and older reference books have a way of being perpetuated here.
Some writers on British English treat American English with profound condescension. This annoys especially when you realize that the prestige dialect of British English is strongly bound to social class --- you had to have gone to a handful of the "right" boarding schools to get it exactly right --- and a dialect spoken by a much smaller percentage of the population of the British Isles than Standard American is in North America. There's a passage in Fowler's The King's English that mocks American place names like Indianapolis and Memphis, as if Bognor Regis or Stow-on-the-Wold were superior in euphony or dignity. This tradition is not wholly dead among the prescriptive usage writers, and I think that some North Americans are still cowed by it. -- IHCOYC 13:58, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)
"Proper" British English is not simply the preserve of the public school elite - whilst it may be true that those from the public schools may be more likely to use RP in their everyday speech, most across the nation know how to use the correct form and do so for official documents etc., even if they revert to their local dialect for normal usage. Even though I was comprehensive-schooled (in Scotland nonetheless) I still know how to correctly use the English Language and so do those around me. This appears to be in contrast with the situation in the USA. 217.43.185.226 10:34, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Oh the superiority of everything American! Hah! Considering the linguistic inabilities of your president, the hilarity of watching winners of Oscars trying to construct sentences and the sheer inability of an astonishing number of American students to communicate in any even moderately articulate manner (which is why a number of European universities in the last five years have been forced to start summer courses for visiting American students with special 'basic english' grinds explaining such things as use of verbs, definite and indefinite articles, how to use the past tense!!!) America can hardly brag about its skill or knowledge of english. The lame excuse about comparing population numbers is a nonsense. American english (well at least the lliterate variety) is found on the American continent. The result of the world uses British english or a nativised version of British english, in which some aspects of American english may make an appearance. In no sense can American english claim the right to be the international brand of english and it is a particularly ludicrous form of arrogance to think it can, based on the fact that there are more people in America that in Britain, Ireland, Australia. But the worst form of 'so called' english has got to be MTV english, which consists of nothing more than a string of empty-headed, poorly constructed cliches with all the substance of a quarter pounder and fries. :-) FearÉIREANN 14:41, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure of the point of this discussion. Whoever added "oxymoron" to this article was obviously aiming tickle a few ribs with some humour. I am given to understand from the couple of business trips I've made to Sweden that they very sensibly take courses in Business English (which leans towards British English as much of Sweden's business is centred on the EU) and Technical English (which leans towards American English for spellings like 'program' and 'color' extensively used in software). Whatever the figures say (and I dispute the validity of your source Daniel which quotes only 11 million speakers of English in India from a 1960s survey) there's no denying that a significant number of people prefer to read and write in British English. It's just the same with American English of course; only the vast majority of British English speakers don't live in the state of technical bliss that is the USA. On Wikipedia we quite rightly have a policy at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPOV#Americo-centric_point_of_view decrying Americo-centrism in view of the fact that this is an international encyclopaedia. It's a shame that attempts to roll-back Americo-centrism as sometimes paranoiacally(sic) seen anti-Americanism by certain individuals. Let the status quo survive. Mintguy 15:13, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The two points I actually sought to make was that calling American English an "oxymoron" struck me as a violation of NPOV; and that assuming easy familiarity with the phonemic structure of British English is not a good idea in explaining the pronunciation of non-English words. I do admit to being somewhat ornery about the Brits presuming to judge "Americanisms," and the supposed pre-eminence and universality of the British boarding-school dialect. I went to grade school in Canada, and learned a subset of the British spellings myself. I'm not on a tear to remove them.
I cheerfully agree that Dubya is no Churchill. -- IHCOYC 19:05, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)
You are a bit behind the times as regards english dialects. The days when Oxbridge english was viewed as the correct version have long long since gone. Right now, a BBC programme is on using scouse (a dialect I hate, BTW. It sounds to me like a cat chewing a wasp.) But BBC Four seems to require it. 'Proper english', ie, Oxbridge, has been out of fashion for decades, with Estuary English, Scouse etc far more popular. BTW 2 (sounds like a TV station that!:-) I came across a US student's history essay that has down in my university's history as one of the worst attempt at communication ever witnessed. (You'll enjoy this!) Writing about the Irish Easter Rising, an American woman (allegedly a history major, though I find it hard to believe!) wrote:

It is like the Irish don't like the english and their rules. So they like rebel in Easter. Patrik (sic) Pierce (sic) leads the rebells (sic) and they take a big post office in Oconnel (sic) street, and they gang up on the British. And they tell them like 'no queen here'. But the english don't like it and send in their soldiers from the first world war in France or somewhere to stop them. And the english like arrest Pierce and devillera (sic) and lock them in a big prisom (sic) but the Irish keep rebelling and rebelling and get their new republic with devillera as president and Michael Collin's (sic) becomes his right hand man. And then they fight a war of independents. And the Irish throws the english out and then have a civil war, where Collin's is killed at Bale na Bla (sic) and Northern Ireland joins england and the queen.
AAAAAGH! And that is only one paragraph. The strange thing was that the woman could not understand when she got a fail mark for the paper! She said she had never failed anything before in her life. The question on all our lips was, how could she have possibly passed a single exam in her life, let alone make it to college? But she was the worst. Nobody else has ever quite hit that level of awfulness, though every year some try and come close! :-) FearÉIREANN 20:03, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

One doesn't want to belabor a point or anything, and perhaps this effusion should be passed over in silence; but would you mind explaining just what in the bloody Hell that has to do with the article that this page supposedly exists to improve? Dandrake 02:03, Mar 17, 2004 (UTC)
I expexct she'll get a job as a Hollywood screenwriter. Andy G 20:29, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Anti-intellectualism (zeech! that page needs a real article) is a major feature of the culture of the USA. One of the many ways this trait manifests is in a certain impatience with usage norms. Reading is a solitary vice to most Americans, and it gives you no fresh air and exercise. There are indeed many US high schools who would look at that paper and see that the student had learned where the event took place, who the combatants were, and kept in mind enough proper nouns to make small talk about the Uprising. And that would in the minds of many teachers be enough. Spelling and grammar is another department.
Now if you want to hear ugly English, let me send you to Tennessee. The speech of that state, especially in the female mouth, sounds like a cat being tortured.
You haven't heard an Ozark dialect then. Then again there are both Western and Eastern accents within the Dialects. I'm always shocked by a lot of these studies on phonology and dialects within the US... When they get to MO, Southern Il, and Arkansas they don't tend to do enough studies, especially as the demographic centor of the US is in MO. I can't find the article, or perhaps it was this one, but there was one a few days ago which listed the differences in the Saint Louis Metro Area from Midwestern English. The blurb wasn't quite right but it was right in the fact that the Peoples inside Saint Louis City and in parts of the county talk different than lets say 30 miles away in Franklin and Jeffereson counties and that the dialect is unique to St. Louis. It was wrong becuase it grouped accents in the saint louis area which are actually in deep Franklin Counties and Jeff Counties. The accent in Tennessee is actually pleasent compared to that of your typical Ozarkian.
But most of this seems to be leaving behind the main business of embellishing the article on American English. -- IHCOYC 01:01, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

"Sluggy"
Nov 19th, 2004, 02:04 PM
We got you surrounded, come out with your hands up, When you are ready speak American English!

Spunky83
Nov 19th, 2004, 02:07 PM
Actually the real contender for lingua franca in the future may be Spanish. Now there are more Spanish speakers than English speakers in the world. For those interested in languages get a load of this
1) Over the last 30 years thousands of languages have died out.
2) Yesterday, the last speaker of the only oral language spoken by women only died in Africa she was 92.
3) There are still about 3000 languages spoken across the planet today. In 20 years' time at least half of them will be extinct.
4) In North and South America alone hundreds of native American languages have disappeared since the war and those which are left are slated to go the same way
5) Some linguists think that if things go on at this rate, one century from now there might only be a score of languages left on the planet (among which Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese)
Each language which dies out is an irremediable loss. Languages are part of the human heritage just like monuments and art

As a cultural studies student, I love your last sentence...God, we seem to have similar personalities, but you are definetly better educated than me. What are you, a college professor or something?

Being a chinese myself, I wouldn´t mind if chinese became the world language number one;)

"Sluggy"
Nov 19th, 2004, 02:24 PM
Ok.

Truthwillout
Nov 19th, 2004, 02:43 PM
As a cultural studies student, I love your last sentence...God, we seem to have similar personalities, but you are definetly better educated than me. What are you, a college professor or something?

Being a chinese myself, I wouldn´t mind if chinese became the world language number one;)

I've told you before, Spunky83, we are Plato's wandering halves waiting to meet again :hearts:

Epigone
Nov 19th, 2004, 03:09 PM
Chinese is actually a very difficult language to learn... compared to English.. :)I think that Chinese is actually quite easy to learn. To become proficient at writing may take some time, but I think that things like grammatical structures are very easy to pick up, so speaking is easy if you can remember the tones.

2ace2
Nov 19th, 2004, 04:06 PM
Actually the real contender for lingua franca in the future may be Spanish. Now there are more Spanish speakers than English speakers in the world. For those interested in languages get a load of this
1) Over the last 30 years thousands of languages have died out.
2) Yesterday, the last speaker of the only oral language spoken by women only died in Africa she was 92.
3) There are still about 3000 languages spoken across the planet today. In 20 years' time at least half of them will be extinct.
4) In North and South America alone hundreds of native American languages have disappeared since the war and those which are left are slated to go the same way
5) Some linguists think that if things go on at this rate, one century from now there might only be a score of languages left on the planet (among which Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese)
Each language which dies out is an irremediable loss. Languages are part of the human heritage just like monuments and artLingua franca has got nothing to do with the number of people who speak it. It's all determined by the economical, political and military power of a nation.

Fingon
Nov 19th, 2004, 04:13 PM
I don't see Chinese becoming the most spoken language, and for practical reasons.

English did not only became a "universal language" because it's the language of the two latest great powers (UK and US), but because of its simplicity.

It's a language easy to learn, the grammar is not complicated, compared to other widely spoken languages such as French or Spanish.

Chinese is a very difficult language, and not because of the grammar only, but because of the lack of an alphabet, that makes it extremely difficult to handle, and honestly I don't see how you can learn all those signs. Computer's keyboard only can have as many keys, you need to use specific software to generate special characters.

With western alphabets, and A is an A, and it's used in English, Spanish, French, Italian, portuguese, german, there are small variances but not really major.

With Chinese, a set of signs is valid only for Chinese, not for Japanese or Korean, and so on.

Think of Japan, a huge economic power, the Japanese economy is still the second in the world, and most electronic gadget come from Japan, however, widespread use of Japanese was never a reality, not even in a small scale, simply because it's too difficult and not practical.

If you look at computer programming languages, all of them are based on English. Anyone working on software will have to have some exposure to English.

I think that if the Chinese want their language to compete with English, they need to make huge changes, the first would be the adoption of an alphabet (the Koreans have done that, if I am not wrong the symbols represent letters, not words). But also, they would need to use a compatible alphabet, that's the problem with Korean, you still have to learn a whole bunch of new signs, they need an uniform set of signs.

I believe the only language with real chances of competing against English is spanish, only because besides being spoken by a lot of people (and widely used in the US), it compensates for its complex grammar by being a phonetic language, an "e" is an "e" and it's always pronouce the same way, once you learn 24 or so basic sounds you are done with pronunciation.

But because of the wide use of English in computer software, business etc. I don't see Spanish taking over, only becoming more important.

ys
Nov 19th, 2004, 04:46 PM
English will prevail on its simplicity alone.

Dying languages? Honestly? I don't care.. In fact I am glad they die.. This is not the 19th century. And a language is nothing but a media. These days the human knowledge of any dead language can be preserved even if no one speaks it , and that removes all issues about losing some heritage.

Multiplicity of languages is just another dividing element for human kind. I strongly believe that the future belongs to all those dividing elements - such as languages, national identity, even religions - to be gone one day. Nationalism only causes wars and trouble. And in that we are losing the most improtant thing - that we all are earthlings. Desire to keep thousand of languages alive is just a sentimental PC stuff, and quite harmful one at that.

I don't think that the world needs more languages than an average person is capable of knowing, i.e. 3-5. The rest may be left to specialists to learn, to study.

Truthwillout
Nov 19th, 2004, 05:24 PM
Lingua franca has got nothing to do with the number of people who speak it. It's all determined by the economical, political and military power of a nation.

Granted, economic, political and military power certainly account for English being the most widely spoken language today.
However, this may change one day.
Imagine, what a united latin America could do.
On top of it, even within the US today, Spanish is gaining ground. Contrary to all previous immigrants, Spanish speakers settling down in America don't give up their language even after several generations. And this is not a recent phenomenon. For example when the US annexed California, Texas and other Spanish-speaking territories in the 19th Century, most of the original inhabitants stayed where they lived and have continued handing down Spanish to their descendents to this very day. In certain American states whole areas speak Spanish and nothing else (ever been to Florida?). Even people running for elections have to speak some Spanish today (see Kerry and Bush). Some researchers think that within 2 or 3 generations, Spanish might be as widely spoken as English in the US and maybe become official there. So?

2ace2
Nov 19th, 2004, 05:38 PM
I don't see Chinese becoming the most spoken language, and for practical reasons.

English did not only became a "universal language" because it's the language of the two latest great powers (UK and US), but because of its simplicity.

It's a language easy to learn, the grammar is not complicated, compared to other widely spoken languages such as French or Spanish.English is not an easier language to learn than French.

Fingon
Nov 19th, 2004, 06:12 PM
English is not an easier language to learn than French.
it is, French verbs are :scared:

Cuckoo
Nov 19th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Strange, If you wanted to learn piss easy Japanese, Hiragana has only 46 Characters, You can write anything in Japanese with that, Then you have Katakana which is another 46 Characters, but used for Japanese words that derived from English, ie Bus = Basu, Orange =Orenji.

Then theres the 3000 odd Complicated Kanji Writing System which they stole from the Chinese, Different Kanji have different meanings when put together with different Kanji and Combinations. The "Oon" and "Kun" meanings.

bah I forget half of it. ;)

The Vietnamese changed to the Roman Alphabet, however Laos and Myanmar forbid it!

2ace2
Nov 20th, 2004, 01:19 PM
it is, French verbs are :scared:It just depends on what your mother tongue is

Vincent
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:22 PM
Fingon, I guess you don't really understand how do Chinese works. I know it sounds offensive, but I find your suggestion about marking huge changes is ridiculous. It's very hard to explain unless you understand Chinese perfectly, personally I find Chinese is a better language than English though English will still be regarded as the most influential language in the forseeable future.

Kesalauantait
Nov 20th, 2004, 06:58 PM
it is, French verbs are :scared:

To me, someone whose first language is nothing like English or French, they are both are the same difficulty.

In fact, they appear related to me (even though I know they aren't). I mean look at the words "comprehend" and "comprends", they mean the exact same thing in English and French.

;)

Martian KC
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:31 PM
I would not for the life of me want to learn Chinese.:p

Pengwin
Nov 20th, 2004, 11:07 PM
The percentage of Chinese that speak English is very high and is continually growing. I don't think Chinese will be the language of the future even though wo hui shuo zhong wen.

Ekkekko
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:15 AM
That was really impressive ti-online :D
True, in terms of the number of people speaking chinese, it would overhaul the number of people speaking english easily. Over one billion people speak Chinese. That's about one out of every five people or more than any other language in this world. Chinese has become one of the most important languages to learn for political, economic, cultural and artistic reasons. The impact of internationalization and globalization have made Mandarin a.k.a Chinese an increasingly important language in corporate America and in law firms and other professional venues. In a century when Chinese influences are becoming increasingly pronounced, as suggested in the international distribution of literature, film, and arts of all types, the acquisition of the Chinese language will situate you in an advantageous position in your future career. Now that China had joined the WTO, it would lead to further economic modernisation which would mean opening up the Chinese economy to Western competition. How would this affect the world? Well, let's just say that over time, China's market would become a more attractive place to sell goods and services from industrialised countries of Europe, Japan and North America. Investment opportunities would be even greater, so to speak. If china becomes an economic powerhouse, it may become more assertive about playing a more active role in asia. The US government has designated that its relations with China to be one of the most important foreign policy issues now and in the forseeable future. Thereby, sucessful communication in Chinese is the key to promoting a better understanding of China and its market.

Sam L
Nov 21st, 2004, 06:40 AM
Yes, thanks for the responses guys. This thread has been a most interesting read.

But I agree with Fingon. Chinese is harder because I have read people who are neutral to learning languages that have said so.

So it's just not harder from an Indo-European perspective but from a neutral point of view too.

theklein
Nov 21st, 2004, 07:47 AM
Its not, its got to be either English or Spanish

Cuckoo
Nov 21st, 2004, 01:03 PM
but because of its simplicity.err..Apparently English is one of the hardest languages to learn, It's the most complicated out of any other language, believe it or not and particulary one of the hardest syntaxes to comprehend in the E Language is all it's paradox's

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..

Lets Face it, It's easy to us who speak it, perhaps not so easy for foreigners.

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

quicksand can work slowly,
boxing rings are square and
a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce
and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?
One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.


In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?
How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent?
Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love?
Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable?
And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which



your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects
the creativity of the human race
(which, of course, isn't a race at all).

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.
The Good thing about the English Language is that it has only one writing Style and using the universal alphabet, so no need to be drawing Squiggles (arabic) or writing in blocks (hebrew) or making complex characters that take 34 odd strokes to write (Kanji/Mandarin)

It's a language easy to learn, the grammar is not complicated, compared to other widely spoken languages such as French or Spanish.Tell that to the people who are learning it.

Tochio
Nov 21st, 2004, 01:04 PM
China growed very fast after their open their country
so it possible that in the future Chinese will become
the most use.

flyingmachine
Nov 21st, 2004, 01:51 PM
I think Chinese will become very important as they grow. Therefore, the impotantance of Chinese as a language will be greater influence too. As well as the increase of Spanish speaking popluations in the US. Languages such as Chinese and Spanish will be increasely important in the future. So it is impotant for English speakers to learn another languages.
Despite saying that. I don't think Chinese will be "franca liugca" of the future because the present major power i.e. the US speaks English and even the up and coming powers will use English such as India and Europe (As Europe expands you have have a language in order to communicate each other members of states and I'm afraid it's going to be English.) As well as the increasing numbers of Chinese using English.
I think English will be still widely use even long after the dealine of USA.
;)

wongqks
Nov 21st, 2004, 02:18 PM
SPEAKING chinese will be becoming veyr important in the future, but writing chinese will not, simply english will always be the universal form of documentation communication.

I know a lot of western people are taking speaking chinese and that will be important for them in order to build a relationship with the chinese, but at the same time, many chinese are learning english to bring their level up to par as well. So I don't see any time when chinese will replace english at least in the writing department

rand
Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:52 AM
I think that Chinese is actually quite easy to learn. To become proficient at writing may take some time, but I think that things like grammatical structures are very easy to pick up, so speaking is easy if you can remember the tones.
not completely true because in mandarin chinese you have only about 3000 possibilities to make words...which means you NEED the characters to be understandable (sometimes you have to draw a character in your hand to be understood), so if it might be easy to START learning chinese (skipping the characters), after a while you're stuck, and if you want to learn the language properly you have to start all over again....

rand
Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:53 AM
it is, French verbs are :scared:
but pronounciation is very tricky....

Martian Jeza
Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:57 AM
it is, French verbs are :scared:

French is a beautifull language. Don't have difficulties with french because that's my mothertongue :D

"Sluggy"
Nov 22nd, 2004, 11:51 AM
The finer points of any language are hard to learn. the examle about Produce and produce, refer and reefer, etc are funny and silly, but do not really support your argument that English is such a hard languag to learn. for conversationally purposes, English is relatively easy. French also has tons of tricky and plays on words. for instance, here is one i leared at age 12 in french class: Le verre vert va vers le verre vert. translation: The green worm goes toward the green glass.

rand
Nov 22nd, 2004, 11:55 AM
The finer points of any language are hard to learn. the examle about Produce and produce, refer and reefer, etc are funny and silly, but do not really support your argument that English is such a hard languag to learn. for conversationally purposes, English is relatively easy. French also has tons of tricky and plays on words. for instance, here is one i leared at age 12 in french class: Le verre vert va vers le verre vert. translation: The green worm goes toward the green glass.
yeah but how do you pronounce worcestshire for example? the thing is:in french, if you know the rules, you know hos something is pronounced, in english, that's not true, that's what I mean...
and no it doesn't mean english is more difficult than french, I just wanted to point out that english isn't as easy as people tend to think...

"Sluggy"
Nov 22nd, 2004, 12:02 PM
Oh absolutely Rand, I agree. i still dont know how to pronounce that delicious sauce we use on steak. but simple english, just to communicate the basics, is not too tough.

Experimentee
Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:18 PM
Apparently English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. The grammar is very complicated and there are many more exceptions to rules than in other languages. I find French is much easier than English.
I dont know Chinese but it looks difficult, especially with the thousands of characters. The intonation is very important too, if you pronounce something slightly different then it takes on a whole new meaning.

"Sluggy"
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:02 PM
pfffffffff, hate to disagree with you but i cant see how someone could think 'Conversation' French, German, Italian, Spanish is easier than English to learn. thats just my experience, having lived in Germany, Austria, France and sometimes Puerto Rico, people are always saying English is the easiest to learn.

rand
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:08 PM
pfffffffff, hate to disagree with you but i cant see how someone could think 'Conversation' French, German, Italian, Spanish is easier than English to learn. thats just my experience, having lived in Germany, Austria, France and sometimes Puerto Rico, people are always saying English is the easiest to learn.
maybe that's partky just because everybody gets overwhelmed by english/american products (songs,tv-shows and movies), that makes it easier to learn a language you know :)

Hulet
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:11 PM
From personal experience, English is freaking hard to learn. Seven years on and I haven't still mastered it and am still learning it. :(

I don't know what will be the future language of on Earth will be, but, on Mars settlements, I think it will be Chinese, if all the talk about space exploration by the PRC is not just talk.:)

"Sluggy"
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:18 PM
From personal experience, English is freaking hard to learn. Seven years on and I haven't still mastered it and am still learning it. :(

I don't know what will be the future language of on Earth will be, but, on Mars settlements, I think it will be Chinese, if all the talk about space exploration by the PRC is not just talk.:)


that is tooo funny. :lol: I take your word for it. i always thought it was the easiest language. Europeans are bombarded with English at school so mabye thats why its easier for them to learn, and Puerto Ricans are spoon-fed it too.

propi
Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:22 PM
I find English way easier than Spanish or French... after studing english and french for X years I thing a person would be more fluent and so in English, at least I think so
The fact about english grammar being hard.... sure it can be but there's no comparison to latin grammars, plus there're not as many tenses as French or Spanish have and finally the lack of accents is simply a blessing ;)