One of the many interesting China-related articles in the latest issue of Newsweek talked about the possibility that Mandarin will take over English. The analysis was prompted by the current positioning of China in becoming the world’s economic leader in the next few decades. In a separate article, The China Threat, Goldman Sachs made a strong calculation that it will happen by 2027. However, it has been opined by the author, John McWhorter, that English would be here to stay.
“With another roll of the cosmological dice the world’s language would be Tagalog.”
If we must recall, Latin being the language of the church and science dominated for a number of centuries. However, English phase by phase took over in response to a definite need. What dictates a linguistic power? In the UAE, it helps when an expatriate speaks (and reads) Arabic. However, it is not an ultimate necessity in surviving the business. But in our day to day interaction, work and off-work, we had to adopt some purely Arabic terminologies side by side the use of English in order to express ideas which are new and/or because of its association to a concept. For instance, to more effectively promote the concept of sustainability, the government and expatriates working on it had to adopt the flagship of Estidama as the official word (an Arabic word which means sustainability). The acceptance of something, at times, would involve acceptance of the word.
At the end of the day, economic power does not equate to linguistic power. However, culture and change are interlinked.
On a lighter note, I think that most of us would want to be multi-lingual. If anyone would have the means and interest, why not include Mandarin, eh? (Regardless of the probability of this being the most powerful language in the future.) Right now, I am more interested in learning Korean and French (attribute that to the movies I consume), and okay, Arabic, too.
While I have Philippine jeepneys (souvenir type; thanks to those who sent it to me as Christmas gifts!) in my living room, a portion of it has been “invaded” by China already. You remember this snapshot which I previously shared through this blog post? I had it framed within 30″ x 40″ and is now hanging on the wall.
(This is the same photo on the frame, except that the watermark bears my real name. I liked it a lot because it makes me feel that I’m standing at the middle of everything and nowhere.)
A visitor to my house can effortlessly point that an Asian dwells in it. There’s a fusion of Filipino, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and other Asian pieces. And well, there is a resident Choc Nut and occasional smell of our very own adobo.
0 thoughts on “Why learn Mandarin?”
wow! we still have 16 years to learn mandarin..para sa 2027 (sana buhay pa tayo nun), carry na natin makipagusap sa world! he he!
I would love to be multilingual! 😀 If only it was that easy. Hehe 😀
there’s always a benefit in learning a new language/ culture. For one, if you are doing business especially with a japanese or chinese, it is better to talk to then in their own language. You get a plus points if you can speak their own tongue.
On the other hand, wow ang laki ng frame ah and it’s perfect on your wall. nice table and the center pieces simple but elegant.
Parang pang architectural digest ang room mo ah. My design style is like a tiangge kahit ano nakasabit – for sale baga 🙂
ang cute ng photo of a portion of your house!!! ako rin, very asian/mediterranean yung gusto kong feel of the house.
uhmmm…ilang years kaya ako bago matuto magmandarin. hehehe
ganda nga ng picture na yan. and your room is so neat ha. i love it!
Wow learning Korean ah! Go go go! 🙂
Naku, hindi naman. Sa kakanood lang ng korean series. 😉
i love your photo! i love it more when you framed it. ang husay! 😀
…while others are learning mandarin, arabic and korean, here we’re having an office-sponsored once a week bahasa melayu class. not for anything but to learn the basics so we’re guided on a daily basis (especially at work).
malabong mangyari yan. first of all, chinese is difficult to learn. IT which fuels the business and other services in the internet is run by software written in languages whose backbone is english.
siguro pang greetings pwede pa. Nee haw ma?
I wouldn’t mind learning another language. In an increasingly global village, it’s become a necessity to learn beyond the mother tongue and English. When I worked in Saudi Arabia, I did learn to speak the language out of necessity – it’s what worked. When I travel in South America, I have to force myself into speaking whatever Spanish I could muster – it saved my day!
my kids are learning Mandarin as it’s a must here in Singapore to have another language on top of English. I know where is that photo taken 🙂 ChinaTown in Singapore…nice shot! 😉
whenever i bring my son to play areas, we meet kids of different nationalities and all their yayas are Filipinas. these kids (Emirati, Lebanese, Qatari, British, German, Canadian, etc.) know how to say “kamusta ka, ano pangalan mo, isa dalawa tatlo..” and they will even dance otso-otso infront of you at their Yayas’ ‘command.’
One doll-looking girl even sang “Bulaklak” that Hubby commented, the next generation of expat kids will have Filipino for second/third language =)
…ang ganda ng bahay mo =)