Thursday, October 15, 2009
- Chinese-language classes start in Liberia
- Why Chinese lessons are booming in the UK
- Chinese language study in the US along with American students studying overseas in China rising fast
Ironically, the size of the country is actually a downside for the language. If China had remained a collection of smaller states instead of the gargantuan country it is now, Mandarin (or another variant) might have become the lingua franca of an entire region instead of a single country, one with a variety of countries and governmental systems. Also, since the eastern part of the country is by far the richest part, a smaller China more focused along the east would have had a higher GDP per capita and wouldn't have to concern itself with keeping track of what goes on in Central Asia.
Back to the main links: this is a good thing, though I still caution governments against enacting any nationwide programs for the study of Chinese considering 1) its lack of relation to any other languages nearby, and 2) the length of time it takes to learn it. What is more important to countries is the learning of the language of one's neighbour, such as this example of Zambia and Portuguese, or this example of the importance of Portuguese to the Spanish region of Extremadura.