Wednesday, May 09, 2012
From here in Spanish, an article that begins with an unsourced swipe at French.
The Chinese boom is gaining adherents, with an increase of 40% last year for Mandarin classes in the country and more than 15 centres in Madrid to learn the language as an extracurricular activity.
In the Madrid region 1883 people took tests last year in the city's Confucius Institute.
With the growing demand of Chinese, Raquel Rubio and Xiaojuan Liu have created "Enjoy Mandarín", a company that manages the hiring of domestic workers, au pairs and playmates for children. It began with Raquel looking for a way for her son to learn Mandarin. "Although there are numerous companies in the UK and US that offer localization for Chinese caregivers, we could not find any in Spain. Without intermediaries, we had to find a person with a good knowledge of Spanish and ensure that this person had a good knowledge of proper Mandarin and not other languages used in China.
At the moment about a hundred families enjoy the benefits of Enjoy Mandarín. Au pairs and playmates are the most requested services. Generally the families that come to Enjoy Mandarín have children that already know English, or because one of the parents is a native speaker, or because the child goes to a bilingual school.