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Old 01-15-2011, 05:48 PM
29,988 posts, read 35,889,753 times
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Originally Posted by paganmama80 View Post
Like i said...in business i can see the value of learning it. But the average america will never travel to china nor be in a position that learning it will benefit them in business matters is my point. Learning it for education and personal growth is one thing, but it's not going to benefit the vast majority of the population beyond that.
Perhaps the OP has aspirations for her daughter to have opportunities better than the vast majority of Americans choose to seek. Just because you don't see this particular foreign language as being valuable doesn't mean it is not.

I have a sister who learned Mandarin Chinese in college and went on to teach English at a Chinese university (pre-Tiennaman Square massecre). She is making certain my nephews learn Chinese while they are young just in case they might choose to use it one day.

If the OP's daughter does not learn Chinese who knows what opportunities might be closed to her? If she does learn it who knows what opportunities await that she may choose, or not? Me, I think the decision that opens the door to opportunites is better than the one that closes the door on them. YMMV.

http://www.childbook.com/Why-Learn-Chinese-s/90.htm (broken link)

Last edited by lifelongMOgal; 01-15-2011 at 05:55 PM.. Reason: link added
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:49 PM
7,508 posts, read 3,598,636 times
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Originally Posted by paganmama80 View Post
I mean no...it reminds me of the drive to make us learn Spanish in school *because you will need it in the future*. The fact is English is a much easier language to use and pick up than Chinese so learning it should be for yourself or certain skilled jobs, but it isn't going to give the average person any sort of leg up in the world or anything.
Originally Posted by jkcoop View Post
It's funny - people in the U.S. tend to get upset if someone here doesn't speak English if they are going to live here. And yet seem to think that since so much of the rest of the world speaks English, then we shouldn't have to speak their language when doing business with them.....

I also think it's advantageous to know multiple languages. Not to mention, you also learn more about the use of English language when learning other languages. I know my son has. The English language is actually very complicated. I wish my son did know Chinese. But that's not offered here. He's learning Spanish.
I agree. It gets to me that the U.S get upset and complained about other languages spoken here. English is hard for a lot of immigrants, depending on the person. I think English is hard too. Chinese may be, a tiny bit, easier than English (at least for me) because my native language has some of their words and tone. I've heard from someone (I don't remember who) that this lady taught in China and the kids over there hated English. They complained because English was hard to them and they were FORCE to learn English.

A friend of mine went to Thailand to teach English, and they were at this church putting chairs away. The two Thai people were arguing to each other, and this other team member got mad and told them to speak English. If their conversation has nothing to do with you, then I don't think it's necessary for them to speak in English for you to know their business.

I think it's good to learn another language, if you will, but forcing someone to do something against their will is different story.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:23 PM
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,990,096 times
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While I am not that far in Mandarin, my experience has been that in most respects it's easier than other languages. It doesn't have much in the way of grammar. Since I have a very good memory, the characters aren't a problem. The only problem for me are the tones. I don't have a musical ear, and I hear that helps with tones.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:26 PM
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,990,096 times
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Our kids will probably be bilingual in English/Tagalog. My husband has said he'll speak Tagalog to the kids, and his sisters will when our kids are with them if we want them to. If we still live out here, I want to find a way to make sure they at least speak Spanish, too. Knowing languages does nothing but help children.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:28 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 15 days ago)
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,364 posts, read 50,627,712 times
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Originally Posted by caroldixit View Post
My friend's daughter has started learning Chinese. Her father is a successful business professional & believes this will be a good skill for the future.

Do you think that our kids should learn to speak Chinese?

I think my daughter had better damn well learn to speak Chinese, since that's what I'm paying her college tuition for!

It can't hurt for a kid to learn it. Don't know if they "should", though. That's a choice.

By the way, daughter is learning both Chinese and Russian. She says Chinese is easy, Russian is harder.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:58 PM
Location: Wethersfield, CT
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Both my son and daughter are taking Chinese in high school and they love it.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:26 PM
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Several years ago our school system was awarded a major grant to be used to implement a Chinese language program. It was awarded by a group that promotes Asian culture.

The schools hired two teachers from China. One taught Asian culture and language at the primary school and one taught language (reading and writing) at the middle-high school.

The kids really enjoyed it. Of course there are many dialects of Chinese and I doubt most of the kids will have a chance to use what they've learned in the business world, but I thought it was a great way to expose them to Asian studies, which aren't usually taught in our district.

Unfortunately our state economy is in shambles and with less money coming in to help fund local education, they had to nix the program last year. Now, we have Asian exchange students come for two weeks each year to share their culture and language through an exchange program with our state university. The kids still enjoy it even though it's not as comprehensive.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:41 PM
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,237 posts, read 23,793,029 times
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Originally Posted by passwithoutatrace View Post
I don't see the point in learning Chinese unless you are actually going to use the language (and I mean you have concrete plans to use it, not "oh it might be useful in the future"). I live in a part of California where people speak English and/or Spanish. When I have children they will be fluent in those languages.

I am in my mid-20s. I know many people my age who learned second or third languages in school besides Spanish (specifically German, Japanese, and French), and reached a point where they were close to fluent. With one exception, I don't know a single person who actually uses the language they spent years studying. The exception is a woman who travels abroad to Japan and wants to teach in that country. All of the people I know who learned Spanish remember a good portion of it, because they actually get to use what they know in real life.

Sure, teach your kids Chinese. Unless you know some native speakers or plan on actually using the language it is a waste of time. The reason Chinese children learn English is because it is considered the most widely spoken language and that is how the business world operates.

Just as a note, I think learning other languages is important, but learn one that you will actually use!

Yes, I fully agree with you.

We are a Greek family and speak our native language. I also speak Spanish, from High School plus my best friend is Puerto Rican, so I have been speaking Spanish which seems like forever. My sons also obviously speak fluent Greek, and High School Spanish as well.

We have more a need to speak Spanish than Chinese........not that it wouldn't be nice, but honestly, Spanish will be used so much more than Chinese....

and hey, if you want to really get technical, why doesn't High School teach Greek ????......I could be offended.....
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:22 AM
Location: Quakertown, Pa., USA
388 posts, read 721,747 times
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My fiancé has been teaching me Mandarin for 3 years and also my 15 y.o. son, my son is picking this up much faster then I am, he loves to speak , write and read Chinese, his dream is to one day work for the Government, ours or thiers as an interpreter, I think he'd be very good at it, my fance tells me he speaks Chinese as well as people in China.
I also believe that being bi or trilingual can only help you in the world today, and as one person on here has stated that business is done in English, well not all countries do business in English and the ones that don't are the ones we, as Americans, now have to deal with, so our best bet, learn as much as you can, it's never to late.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:29 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,696,241 times
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Next school year our 9 year old daughters will be in Chinese after school program. they were adopted from Vietnam as infants and i think learning Chinese will give them some cultural information I just can't do for them. They both are learning some French from me here at home and I help them a lot but I don't know Chinese so I don't know how helpful I can be other than encouraging them to do their best and give them the opportunity.

The world is getting smaller every day and we are only helping our children be better citizens by giving them opportunities to learn different languages and more importantly, cultures. We get Spanish in public school but that is just the minimum. I still think Latin should be taught in school as Latin is the basis for our and other languages. I am hoping our girls will be proficient in Spanish, French and possibly Chinese by the time they graduate high school.
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