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Old 04-29-2017, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,804 posts, read 806,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's "useless." A Chinese person who spoke Portugese could be involved in business with Brazil, which at 208,000,000 people is more populous than Russia, and is an emerging economy. Tens of millions of Chinese people are learning English and many have a working command of it; not the case with Portugese... so, it could be an advantage. As far as Portugal itself goes, there's not really anything specifically advantageous, since it's so small.
Proficiency in one more foreign language is almost always an advantage, at least, it doesn't hurt.

But learning Portuguese is extremely difficult. Not everyone has the chance to do business with Brazil. That's why even in Macau, few people are willing to make the effort.

Personally, I'm moving to Spain pretty soon and I've just started learning Spanish. It's definitely the hardest thing I've tried to learn, I'm not even sure whether I will be conversant in Spanish after 5 years in Spain. I believe Portugese isn't easier.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:58 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,260,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebaruna View Post
The same thing can be said about chinese. In SoCal the chinese language courses available at local colleges and universities cater pretty much only to chinese diaspora kids. Why put so much effort into learning it since very few jobs require chinese knowledge, and the few who do are usually worked by heritage speakers.
Not true.
I taught Chinese in Los Angeles for 3 years and usually 1/3 of the students were not of Chinese origine. I had white, latino, black, muslin, Indian, persian, japanese/Korean, and Southeast Asian students. And the program director said enrollment skyrocked in the previous few years and they had to double the number of classes (one course was $4000 back then). That was more than 10 years ago and I would think there are even more students now.

Additionally, we SHOULDN't learn a language just for the goal of money making. People learn to play the piano or tennis, do they all want to be professionals to make money? Learning languages can be a hobby for many. Many are truly interested in China and its culture. I have taught some really good students.
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,857 posts, read 3,419,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Not true.
I taught Chinese in Los Angeles for 3 years and usually 1/3 of the students were not of Chinese origine. I had white, latino, black, muslin, Indian, persian, japanese/Korean, and Southeast Asian students. And the program director said enrollment skyrocked in the previous few years and they had to double the number of classes (one course was $4000 back then). That was more than 10 years ago and I would think there are even more students now.

Additionally, we SHOULDN't learn a language just for the goal of money making. People learn to play the piano or tennis, do they all want to be professionals to make money? Learning languages can be a hobby for many. Many are truly interested in China and its culture. I have taught some really good students.
Yes, and I was about to rebutt a previous poster saying Cantonese is a useless language but you make an even better point here that pretty much rebutts that argument. I've personally known many Westerners who learn Mandarin Chinese because they are interested in the language and Chinese culture, not because they felt compelled to learn it. Yet that same goes with standard Cantonese and even standard Fukienese (Minyue or Hokkien), which have their own share of non-native fans. The obstacles to learning language-dialects such as Cantonese and Fukienese is of course there aren't as many instructors out there for them as Mandarin. Cantonese has its own romanization systems such as Yale, Meyer-Wempe, Chao-Barnett and Jyutping as does Fukienese (though I forgot the name of the system for the latter) but they are not as well known as Pinyin.

Someone can definitely study Portuguese if they are interested in the language and culture but I do not consider Macau to be the ideal place to learn Portuguese language or learn about Portuguese culture just like Hong Kong should not be considered the ideal place to learn English. Outside of Portugal proper, Brazil is probably the next best place (although I heard Brazilian Portuguese somewhat differs from Portugal Portuguese just as American English is slightly different than British English.)
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:55 PM
 
211 posts, read 121,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Not true.
I taught Chinese in Los Angeles for 3 years and usually 1/3 of the students were not of Chinese origine. I had white, latino, black, muslin, Indian, persian, japanese/Korean, and Southeast Asian students. And the program director said enrollment skyrocked in the previous few years and they had to double the number of classes (one course was $4000 back then). That was more than 10 years ago and I would think there are even more students now.

Additionally, we SHOULDN't learn a language just for the goal of money making. People learn to play the piano or tennis, do they all want to be professionals to make money? Learning languages can be a hobby for many. Many are truly interested in China and its culture. I have taught some really good students.
So if 1/3 of your class was non-chinese, 2/3 of the class WAS of a chinese background, right? Which proves my point saying that chinese class are mostly filled chinese-heritage speakers. I took a chinese class at a local CC, and indeed at the beginning of the semester there were some non-chinese students who had signed up for the class. However many dropped quickly, and only a couple made it until the end of the semester. Many people find the idea of learning chinese fun and exciting at first but are quickly put off by the amount of studying it requires. Most people are not willing to put on the effort since it serves no purpose to them, like it would to a heritage-speaker.
I completed the semester but didn't move forward to level 102. In my professional field knowing chinese is of no use, and local chinese refuse to talk in chinese to an outsider (I'm White). I had no practical incentive for learning, and not enough personal interest to continue learning. I forgot everything, what a waste of time hahaha
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:52 PM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,639,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebaruna View Post
So if 1/3 of your class was non-chinese, 2/3 of the class WAS of a chinese background, right? Which proves my point saying that chinese class are mostly filled chinese-heritage speakers. I took a chinese class at a local CC, and indeed at the beginning of the semester there were some non-chinese students who had signed up for the class. However many dropped quickly, and only a couple made it until the end of the semester. Many people find the idea of learning chinese fun and exciting at first but are quickly put off by the amount of studying it requires. Most people are not willing to put on the effort since it serves no purpose to them, like it would to a heritage-speaker.
I completed the semester but didn't move forward to level 102. In my professional field knowing chinese is of no use, and local chinese refuse to talk in chinese to an outsider (I'm White). I had no practical incentive for learning, and not enough personal interest to continue learning. I forgot everything, what a waste of time hahaha
I think there is some truth to Chinese professionals not wanting to speak in Chinese in foreign countries. That's also my experience. My experiences mostly limits Chinese who speak no English to the oldest generations.

There is more interest then ever in learning Chinese as a second language, but I don't see it becoming a popular language to learn. Kansas high schools toyed with the idea of having Chinese classes, but I think most stopped offering it. English, Spanish, and more rarely French, German, and Latin are offered some places.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
I think there is some truth to Chinese professionals not wanting to speak in Chinese in foreign countries. That's also my experience. My experiences mostly limits Chinese who speak no English to the oldest generations.

There is more interest then ever in learning Chinese as a second language, but I don't see it becoming a popular language to learn. Kansas high schools toyed with the idea of having Chinese classes, but I think most stopped offering it. English, Spanish, and more rarely French, German, and Latin are offered some places.
It is because Spanish and French are way easier than Chinese. They take 1/5 of the effort to be reasonably fluent for an English speaker. And Spanish is basical an official language in the US.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:36 AM
AFP
 
6,898 posts, read 4,235,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
never heard of Partuguese certificate as a requirement to be a civil servant in Macau. It is a Chinese city.
Why would anyone care to learn this useless language
Ridiculous comment there are over 260 million Portuguese speakers worldwide about 220 million native speakers. The fact that the language is of no use to you doesn't make it useless. Just as learning Mandarin would be useless for me doesn't make Mandarin a useless language. Some people have really poor manners on here I have to say.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,773 posts, read 5,121,205 times
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^Yeah Mandarin really isn't as powerful as people say. It's honestly no more useful than Portuguese. I feel like some people need to realise that foreigners will never try to learn Mandarin en masse. The bar for achieving limited fluency is too high for Westerners, it's weak in the academic field (apart from arts, like literature, history, philosophy, anthropology etc.), and unlike Japanese, China has no soft power to support its promotion.
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:58 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,260,811 times
Reputation: 7581
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFP View Post
Ridiculous comment there are over 260 million Portuguese speakers worldwide about 220 million native speakers. The fact that the language is of no use to you doesn't make it useless. Just as learning Mandarin would be useless for me doesn't make Mandarin a useless language. Some people have really poor manners on here I have to say.
Brazil needs to grow in order for Portuguese to stay relevant. For some reason, the country is showing developed nation kind of anemic growth before it is anywhere close to rich. Its per capital GDP is caught up by China recently I believe. 10 years ago it was considerably higher.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:21 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,260,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
^Yeah Mandarin really isn't as powerful as people say. It's honestly no more useful than Portuguese. I feel like some people need to realise that foreigners will never try to learn Mandarin en masse. The bar for achieving limited fluency is too high for Westerners, it's weak in the academic field (apart from arts, like literature, history, philosophy, anthropology etc.), and unlike Japanese, China has no soft power to support its promotion.
like always, never miss a chance to put down China.

Of course mandarin can't compare with English Spanish or French, all those old empire languages due to history. But Portuguese? really? First, China's economy is far more than all the portuguese countries combined. two, Mandarin is one of the official language of the UN, a privilege few have.

China's economy is 50% more than the entire Spanish speaking world, not even including HK, Taiwan, Singapore. In fact, all the spanish speaking countries combined is hardly larger than Japan in terms of economic size.

As to Japanese, I do respect Japan, But Japan has been declining for 30 years, and Japan is not coming back. In 40 years, Japan will lose 1/3 of the population.

Soft power? for a Taiwanese, probably. You think everything in Japan is a huge deal. Japan can hardly do anything internationally without US approval. It should really obtain some diplomatic independence (instead of being somewhere else's little lackey) first before claiming "soft power".

Soft power is something countries like Canada love to talk about, because they have no hard power. I don't remember any time soft power achieved anything in this world. I am sure Finland or Sweden must have a lot of it, but nobody in reality listens to soft power, unless they want to.

Of course foreigners won't try to learn Mandarin en mass. Only English has that kind of status.

"number of countries where a language is spoken" is really insignificant. People don't really learn a language just to travel. They learn it (other than personal interest) to do business. A language's prominent is almost directly proportional to the economic size of those country where it is spoken. English's status is PURELY to the economic size of the US, without which, few people would be interested in learning it.
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