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View Poll Results: yes or no
Si! 40 48.78%
No way Jose 42 51.22%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-15-2013, 06:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
Because China will be the next super power, and business will be conducted in Chinese............ so people will want to have an edge, therefore learn to speak Chinese. Politically, economically etc - there will be many reasons in the near future that will make learning Chinese desirable and imperative.
Yes to the first part of that because China already is a super power and IMO no to the second part of that statement because, as I mentioned earlier, the writing system will prohibit that. The Chinese language is very streamlined except for the wring system. Most people I know who have studied Chinese for business have given up when it comes to the nitty-gritty if writing it. That takes a special interest and a special effort. Spanish at the same time is also a language that is streamlined by the efforts of Spanish speaking nations to afford the best communication possible between them. The so called "Royal Academy of the Spanish Language" has made monumental conscious efforts to hone the language. If you have really studied the language you will know what I mean. North Americans have a love-hate relationship with the Spanish language. To many it represents the illegal alien sub-culture of the poor and uneducated. To others it represents a great world-wide culture with a great history and a great literature. If you don't believe me look at who has taken a negative stand toward the Spanish language just on this thread.

 
Old 03-15-2013, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Same. I have serious doubts that Chinese will become an important language like English. Japan was the 2nd largest economy in the world for some time, very ubiquitous country, but nobody speaks Japanese for the same reason why no non-Asian speaks Chinese. Learning 4000+ characters is too damn hard for most adults. For the average adult to be proficient in conducting business in Chinese, they will have to have had spent much of their childhood learning to read and write Chinese. Not going to happen, ever. The only way Chinese will become a lingua franca of the world would be if they Latinized their writing system.
Reading ans speaking a language in order to conduct a meeting are two different things.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 07:12 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,633 posts, read 23,874,995 times
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It still will not become a world language and when chinas population starts dropping rapidly it will most certianly not become a world language as the majority of the speakers are located in china.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
The only way Chinese will become a lingua franca of the world would be if they Latinized their writing system.
That won't happen because they already have a system of Romanization but Chinese like Japanese and Korean have more homonyms than other languages and according to their own linguists that severly limits the use of a totally phonetic system. The use of Chinese characters in Japanese as well as Chinese cannot be done away with. The Koreans for the same reasons are going back to using more Chinese characters.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The list of "most important languages" will change radically during your lifetime. Too rapidly for any current trends to be of any lifelong relevance. When I was in school, French, Russian and German were considered the most important foreign languages. When I took Mandarin in college, there were only two schools in the US that even had Mandarin offered in their catalog, and now it turns out I was a half a century ahead of my time.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 09:44 AM
 
1,987 posts, read 2,110,011 times
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China may or may not become a world superpower. The United States is a superpower because of the reach of its military (it has bases on 4 continents), its culture (cinema, popular music--even American English is becoming the standard English taught in most countries around the world), its political influence and its demography. China is not only decades behind the U.S. in these regards, but at least a century behind the U.S.

Mandarin is taught in more and more schools around the world, but not that many (and almost never as a required subject outside China). Chinese schools will actually make English a required subject -- in all Chinese provinces -- beginning in 2018. That does not bode well for Mandarin as an international language. At least not in our lifetime or our children's.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 07:01 PM
 
1,392 posts, read 2,133,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
Well see about that.


I think its a load of nonsense.
That is an excellent refutation to his post. I like how you give a detailed analysis of what the challenges are that China will face in becoming an economic power.

In regards to the original post, I would not consider Spanish to be the second most important language in the world because of the relative poverty of most Hispanophone countries. Most Hispanophone countries are not economic powers and do not really dominate in any economic niches. The only powerful Hispanophone companies I can think of right now that dominate their particular niches are Inditex and Cemex and even those two companies are facing challenges. Hispanophone countries are also lacking in high tech. I can't think of any cutting edge high tech companies coming from Spain or anywhere else in Latin America. Unless the Hispanophone countries improve their economies and develop a well educated workforce, the Spanish language will never really gain the prestige to be an important language to learn for business.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 07:39 PM
 
302 posts, read 868,558 times
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Mandarin is less important than it might be because Chinese people who want to do business internationally speak English. You don't have to speak Chinese to do business with China.
 
Old 03-15-2013, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aville239 View Post
Mandarin is less important than it might be because Chinese people who want to do business internationally speak English. You don't have to speak Chinese to do business with China.

Of course you don't. Yet every person doing business with China or Japan or France will tell you they wish or are working on learning the language. It's one more tool that helps the competitive edge.
 
Old 03-16-2013, 09:59 AM
 
1,987 posts, read 2,110,011 times
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@X14. I must agree. Sheer numbers of language speakers do not make a language a world language (Spanish) or a country a superpower (China). Most Spanish-speaking nations are too economically and politically challenged for Spanish to become an international language. That said, I think Spanish is very important in the Americas and the logical foreign language to learn in the United States, unless you have a specific goal of living/working in a specific country (Russia, Brazil).

I must disagree with Tom's pearl: "North Americans have a love-hate relationship with the Spanish language. To many it represents the illegal alien sub-culture of the poor and uneducated." That is absolute bullfeathers. Whereas my generation typically studied Latin, French or German, all of my younger relatives--every last one of them--has decided to take Spanish in high school and college. All their friends (almost without exception) study Spanish. (French, German, and Russian have fallen on hard times in the U.S. Latin is holding its own, and Mandarin is expanding.) Americans are very open to learning Spanish.
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