Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
jkhsu

Is Learning Chinese a Bubble?

Recommended Posts

roddy
I would send my kids there not because "China is going to take over the world" but because I see monolingualism as an idiotic concept that needs to become extinct in this era of global communication.

Aren't there Spanish immersion schools?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

luozhen

The OP is correct in the sense that learning Chinese seems to be a fad. It is something that middle-upper middle class parents want to have on their kids' college application, or even just to brag to other parents, "My kid is learning Chinese!" The advantages are pretty much as limited as any other language. Americans are often mocked for not knowing other languages, but the reality is that the US is larger than Europe and you can go coast to coast, north to south (throw in Canada too), and only hit a few pockets where English use is limited. Language is a skill just like computer programming or accounting. If you can easily add language to your skill set, then it's a plus, but most people would probably be wise to improve their knowledge and skill in their area of expertise.

That said, learning Chinese is not a bubble because China was basically closed off from the world until 1980, and it's only since the late 1990s that things started picking up. For many people, China is only now becoming a part of the world again, in the sense that their exposure to it is frequent. I would bet most people are still more exposed to Japanese culture and art than they are Chinese. Chinese literature, art, music, movies, etc. are still not where they will be once China has risen.

If China's economy implodes, few people will be interested in learning Chinese. However, if China's economy continues to boom, the Chinese can afford to become chauvinistic. Instead of having a translator provided, or speak English, they may expect the foreigner to find a translator and conduct business in Chinese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silent
but the reality is that the US is larger than Europe

Since when is that? That people from the US tend to say that the US (often completely incorrectly stated as America) is the greatest country doesn't mean it's true. Unless of course the 'imperialist pigs' have annexed some area I'm not yet aware off.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meng Lelan
Aren't there Spanish immersion schools?

Yes - many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jbradfor
but the reality is that the US is larger than Europe
Since when is that?

Europe is bigger than the USA only because the imperial pigs of Europe annexed part of Russia :blink:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bunny87
because I see monolingualism as an idiotic concept that needs to become extinct in this era of global communication

along the way of studying languages, I also learned what monolingual life i had before sucked. now i can surf the web in multiple languages, appreciate art, literature, and music of multiple cultures, help people in basic situations where there is a language barrier, etc. I'm not saying it makes me the next CEO or anything, it just made me a better person and more available to those i may have never had contact with. i also believe it makes most people more humble.

and why not Chinese?

many people find a hobby that they claim benefits their lives. some people are gym or yoga fanatics, others are vegetarians and animal savers, others spread the word of their god, some are environmentalists, and people like us on this forum study Chinese. each has its benefit- health benefits, animal's rights, afterlife happiness, captain planet cartoons, communicating with others. it may seem like a fad or a bubble, but it's better than nothing, and a better investment for children than another video game. You can put any of these on a resume/college application, and they all look better than "killed 70 people in 45 seconds in Halo".

p.s. is Zumba a bubble? i wonder...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silent

Yeah sorry, maybe I should have put a smiley behind it and were the quotes insufficient.

Nevertheless the US does have a history of annexing states while Europe is only a geographical area and has no administrative body. As such it has no ability to annex anything at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

It does - anything we decide we want we just grant entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. It's unwritten that once that happens, you're ruled from Brussels.

Aren't there Spanish immersion schools?
Yes - many.

That's ok then, your kids are saved from idiotic concepts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meng Lelan
at's ok then, your kids are saved from idiotic concepts.

Not so fast roddy, those schools start kids at kinder or first grade. Me and the boys moved around a lot before and during the divorce so they were not able to apply to any immersion schools when each was aged five. So what I did was start teaching them Chinese when they reached age five or so. Voila, I saved them from idiocy through my own incredible powers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anonymoose
So what I did was start teaching them Chinese when they reached age five or so.

And how successful was it? Even many Chinese immigrants can't get their kids to learn Chinese properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

And what are their usernames on here?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meng Lelan
And what are their usernames on here?

What do you mean, what are their usernames? They don't belong to any online forums at all. And what do their usernames have to do with the thread topic on the Chinese Bubble?

Even many Chinese immigrants can't get their kids to learn Chinese properly.

Is this scientific? Get the data for us and convince us.

And how successful was it?

I am very proud of their progress in reading and writing even though it can be challenging to work on Chinese for 30 minutes every day after school on top of their schoolwork and music lessons. Thank you for asking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jkhsu

Is this scientific? Get the data for us and convince us.

I don't have any scientific data or links to articles to back this up (maybe someone can find one) but I think anonymoose is right to a certain extent.

What I've seen is kids of Chinese immigrant parents who speak Mandarin will know how to speak basic Mandarin to get around but won't know how to read or write. Those who do know how to read and write were put in Chinese afterschool / weekend programs during their childhood. However, without formal education such as a college major or even a minor in Chinese, most Chinese Americans (who grew up in the USA) can't read a Chinese newspaper. Those that can usually learned their Mandarin as a kid in China or Taiwan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meng Lelan

You have to measure success by what the parents are wanting or expecting not by what roddy or anonymoose or you or whoever was wanting or expecting. For example I might decide that I want the kids to read all ten books in the orange level readers (which equals X amount of new vocabulary)by the end of this year whereas you might have a different goal in mind for yourself or for your kids or whatever. Just because we have different goals and standards of success doesn't mean that I'm going to let others be judgemental about how "successful" my kids are anymore than I should be judgemental about how successful you are or how successful anonymoose is and so forth.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jkhsu

I think what anonymoose wanted to say (although anonymoose really ought to defend him/herself) is that Mandarin is pretty hard to learn even for kids of Chinese immigrant parents. I guess the question is, how are you defining "successful" for your kids?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xiaotao
Even many Chinese immigrants can't get their kids to learn Chinese properly

Chinese immigrants usually are in survival mode when they get to a new country. They wish for their kids to be prosperous in their new land, therefore not insisting on learning to read and write Chinese. Nowadys, immigrants may fear that their kid won't do well, enrolling them for English and math tutoring.

If a parent has the heart and finance for the kids to learn another language, music, etc., they'll find a way, and the results are apparent.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meng Lelan

I just did. See post #55. This semester I am going to define success in being able to read ten stories in Chinese, no pinyin and no prompting from me, and orally answer five to ten questions in Chinese based on each story. It is a hard language to learn but to me it simply means it takes more time, more practice, more patience. It doesn't mean the world is going to blow up if my kids can't read 财经 or might not be able to within ten years.

I am loving xiaotao's post above mine, a green rep for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meng Lelan

:-)

I've seen it. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...