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Is Learning Chinese a Bubble?

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carlo
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I wonder if perhaps the comparison is between US hospitals and international hospitals in China

I admit my direct knowledge of private clinics in China is somewhat out of date. But I still see wealthy mainlanders fly to HK, Taiwan or the US for anything serious...

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Dawei3

A short course on drugs in China:  Some drugs can be purchased at very very cheaply.  However, there is no way to know whether they are counterfeit and/or of poor quality.  Even expensive drugs may be counterfeit.  Quality of medical care varies greatly.    

 

For those wishing details....

 

China has multiple drug lists.  The "Essential Drug List" are drugs meant to treat 65% of the common medical conditions at a very low price.  Initially, the central government determines the drugs on the EDL and their price.  These are the drugs that are virtually free.  

 

Each province then negotiates the price of each drug for its province.  Each province adds drugs to their formulary (virtually always because the drug is produced locally, not because it is needed).  Usually the low bidder wins. 

 

The problem with this is that often the winner of the bid lacks the capacity to meet the demand or may make drugs of poor quality.  They have little incentive to make good quality drugs because they control the market in their province.  The local population has no choice; if the drug isn't available, they have to find somewhere to get it.  Whether the drug is of good or poor quality is usually not known by the consumer.  On top of the above problem, counterfeit drugs are common.  

 

There are multiple other drug lists with varying levels of reimbursement (and this post would be way too long to cover them....).  

 

In regards to Chinese medical services, it usually takes just 6 years of school to get an MD in China, including college.  Most doctors learn about both Chinese & Western medicine.  As a result, the time spent learning Western medicine is tiny compared to that of a Western-trained doctor.  Also, Chinese medicine beliefs often conflict completely with Western Medicine, so learning can be very fractured.   

 

About 70% of drugs in China are sold by hospitals and hospitals get about 40% of their revenue from selling drugs.  There has been a push to reduce over prescribing of drugs.  However, doctors would lose much of their income and hospitals couldn't likely function without the revenue from (unneeded) drugs.  Hence, when you are prescribed a drug in China, there is a good chance you don't need it. 

 

On top of this, for higher level medical procedures, doctor expect patients to give them tips 红包.  

 

3 hours ago, carlo said:

ut I still see wealthy mainlanders fly to HK, Taiwan or the US

  

Hence, you can get medical care in China at a cheap price.  However, there is much more uncertainty about the quality.  Hence, as Carlo notes, Chinese that can afford it often fly elsewhere to get treatment (and to get their drugs & vaccines).  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Meng Lelan

I don't think I would retire to China for the medical care. I'd retire to Canada for the medical care. Thankfully I dumped Chinese for French a long time ago so I'm set. 

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abcdefg
On 5/18/2019 at 5:28 AM, Meng Lelan said:

Thankfully I dumped Chinese for French a long time ago so I'm set. 

 

Really? 请问一下,Why did you do that? I remember when you were very gung ho for Chinese.

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Meng Lelan

Just read over some threads back in 2014 to 2015, you'll know why. 

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abcdefg
10 hours ago, Meng Lelan said:

Just read over some threads back in 2014 to 2015, you'll know why. 

 

I remember grumblings about school administrators you disliked. Not willing to plow through two years of old posts; that would take hours or days. 

 

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Meng Lelan

There's grumblings about the ChunWan show too that would be far more enlightening. 

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Yadang
4 hours ago, Meng Lelan said:

There's grumblings about the ChunWan show too that would be far more enlightening.

Like this and this?

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hy

I was forced to pick up Chinese as a South-East Asian kid. I am fluent in mandarin and cantonese. Used to detest learning Chinese.

 

As a person not residing in China, I don't think learning Chinese is a "bubble". I think it could be self-deceiving to think of learning any language as a bubble... because you might actually be in a bubble.

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道艺黄帝
On 5/20/2019 at 9:54 PM, hy said:

Used to detest learning Chinese.

How old were you & what was it that rubbed you the wrong way?

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hy
9 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

How old were you & what was it that rubbed you the wrong way?

I learnt Chinese as a teenager. Nothing really rubbed me the wrong way other than that I was forced. I was an unenlightened, uninspired, closed-minded kid who just wanted to play with friends. haha. Sides, guess everyone here agrees that learning Chinese is difficult.

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道艺黄帝
On 5/23/2019 at 9:20 AM, hy said:

I learnt Chinese as a teenager. Nothing really rubbed me the wrong way other than that I was forced. I was an unenlightened, uninspired, closed-minded kid who just wanted to play with friends. haha. Sides, guess everyone here agrees that learning Chinese is difficult.

I feel that man...I remember taking French class in middle school. I actually enjoyed it, but sadly fell victim to peer pressure and pretended to not care, blow off homework, and half-ass it. It's such a shame to have wasted such a valuable period of my life. Anyway, while I will not say that learning any language is an easy or simple process, and while there is without a doubt a much larger gap between Chinese - English than English and other languages, I still can't say it's specifically harder than any others, rather just more time consuming.

 

I personally have loved my process so far. I'm coming on ten months in a few weeks, and still feel satisfied when I can successfully use a new word/sentence structure in conversation.

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Joe49558529

There is no reason to learn Chinese to reap financial rewards. In the countless hours and years of Chinese study it takes to achieve fluency, you could become certified in any number of lucrative professions, you could have a college degree, you could finish a grad program, etc. IF knowing Chinese is financially beneficial to you, it is an incredibly inefficient way to improve you value. I can think of so many good reasons to learn Chinese - none of which have anything to do with making money. If Chinese ever opens some door for me financially, great, but I'm not banking on it any more than I'm banking on my rock band getting big.

 

 

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道艺黄帝

hahahaha, I wish I knew how to quote on my cell phone, so I could quote the guy above me and explain how wrong he is in so many ways hahhhhaha. 

 

I've been here only a year, and the*legal* economy opportunities that have both been presented to me as well as accepted by me specifically because I have reached a working proficiency even surprised me. 

 

And as far as time invested, I'm at 12 months in China and 3 in the US. 

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DavyJonesLocker

Depends on the type of job you want. They are very few professional jobs that required foreigners to speak Chinese. It's not related just to china. It's pretty much standard across the world as you invariable deal with international people so English is always the defacto language.  If they do require a knowledge of the local language such as sales, then fluent (as decided by the employer, not a HSK exam) will be a prerequisite. Note that even though this would only be a requirement,  your CV and experience, qualification (academic or professional ), will be the deciding factor , not how well you speak Chinese (interpretators, translation being the obvious exception).

 

 

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Balthazar
9 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

hahahaha, I wish I knew how to quote on my cell phone, so I could quote the guy above me and explain how wrong he is in so many ways hahhhhaha. 

 

I've been here only a year, and the*legal* economy opportunities that have both been presented to me as well as accepted by me specifically because I have reached a working proficiency even surprised me. 

 

You simply mark the text you want to quote and tap the "Quote selection" button that appears.

 

And please, do expand, as your experience seems to be relatively rare.

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道艺黄帝

*economic opportunities

 

It seems on my Huawei phone whenever I highlight text, it only gives me standard phone options, not website specific ones. 

 

It started as part time gigs-the Chinese school I studied at also offered English classes to students who are starting from zero. These are generally business people who want to take an hr of online class (while in the office lol). So I do all of my instruction in Chinese. 

 

Then, with my full time job, I landed a nice position at an integrated private school. This means all students and staff are Chinese, save for me and three other 外教. They hired me, yes, to be the English teacher, but also to be the team leader who will bridge the language and cultural gap between the staff. Many of our teachers (体育老师,数学老师,德育老师, etc)  have no use for English, so are limited time very basic sentences. All of the school's headmasters, directors, principal, and consultants cannot speak any English. This means meetings (sometimes weekly, sometimes daily) as well as we chat groups are all in Chinese. I not only need to participate in behalf of the foreign team, but also be sure to give them meeting summaries as well as communicate with 中教 to encourage cross curriculum collaboration. 

 

Salary is a bit less than what I made as a teacher in the Boston area, however work load is lighter, vacation is longer, and there are no state tests or state standards that I need to meet. I just teach our own in house curriculum. 

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imron
13 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

so I could quote the guy above me and explain how wrong he is in so many ways hahhhhaha. 

He's talking about in terms of return on investment for time and effort, and I think it's a reasonably accurate statement.

 

If you are learning Chinese for the economic benefits it will bring then for the time and effort it would take to learn Chinese to a decent level, you could learn a far more economically beneficial skill.

 

When I left China after living working and studying there for a number of years, the type of work I could get that would utilize my Chinese paid significantly less than work that made use of my professional skills (software development), and this was with a proficiency in the language that would allow me to work in an entirely Chinese environment.

 

If you are purely talking in terms of economic return on investment then for the time you spend learning Chinese, you could learn software development (or some other skill) in far less time and earn significantly more than what you'd be able to get from current skills + Chinese.  If you go about it the right way, you can also be working 100% remotely and set your own schedule with plenty of leisure time.  Speaking from personal experience, a decent Python programmer can earn > $100 US/hour on freelance work, and at that rate, working 20 hours a week you could earn > US100k a year.  Learning Chinese can't compete with that economically except in extremely rare circumstances, and if we are allowing outliers, then the outliers of the software industry tend to do economically better than the outliers in the Chinese learning community.

 

That said, there are plenty of reasons beyond economic ones for learning Chinese.  Which is what @Joe49558529 was getting at.  If you're learning Chinese, do it for reasons other than economic ones.

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