Author: smuffy

Being a foreigner in China   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2015-5-28 12:12:58 |Display all floors
We can ask ourselves why Hungarians (who can choose their second language) have a reputation for bilingualism, even if it might not always be in English, whereas the Chinese tend to learn English miserably statistically speaking.

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Post time 2015-5-28 12:59:12 |Display all floors
Caged Post time: 2015-5-27 03:18
I'd witnessed the same within China's English-language industry. I think there is at least some psyc ...

Esperanto speaking Chinese you have met? Are you kidding me. Esperanto is spoken by 1,6 million people, if the definition is being able to say something more than hello. 1000 people speak it as first language. Most of these people are in Europe.

Why you compare Esperanto to English? One is fake language, one is world's most important language which everyone should learn.

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Post time 2015-5-28 13:28:53 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Caged at 2015-5-28 13:36
mixamixa Post time: 2015-5-28 12:59
Esperanto speaking Chinese you have met? Are you kidding me. Esperanto is spoken by 1,6 million pe ...

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences officially recognizes Esperanto as a legitimate language with its own culture and literature. Why not follow the objective opinion of the scientific community?
As for how many Esperanto speakers there are in the world, no one knows for sure. Comparing the Esperanto publishing industry to that of other languages, it's believed there are about 8 million. That said, should Esperanto speakers read more than most, that could skewe the figure, with possibly only 2 million speakers, just that each speaker buys more books in the language. Another author estimated about 13 million based on the fact that, Esperanto speakers being universally bilingual, they likely buy fewer books than other language communities since their book purchases are divided between languages.

In conclusion, no one knows for sure.

I myself have met Esperanto speakers from around the world and had met a native speaker from China. I'd participated at an international Esperanto Conference in Beijing in 2004 with about 1500 participants from every inhabited continent and many states including Afghanistan and Iran. I found the vast majority to be completely fluent in the language with no interpretation needed.

Just a few years before that, I had to serve as an interpreter between English and French in Montreal, between co-nationals no less.  Let's be honest, an international NGO on a limited budget able to pull off a smooth international conference of that magnitude in a language with minimal official support worldwide is impressive. I've participated in a few international and national conferences and and heard of some all getting bogged down by interpretation problems in major world languages with massive sums of government money invested in them.

As an example, Canada spends billions on English and French learning, they are both official languages of the constitution, and Canadians still need interpretation between co-nationals. How can a low-budget international NGO outperform a wealthy national government in its communication policy?

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Post time 2015-5-28 13:46:40 |Display all floors
http://www.reto.cn/esperanto/verdareto.htm

Here you can find a list of names for Esperanto-speaking contacts for the local Esperanto-speaking community across China. You'll notice that there are contacts in Urumqi and even much smaller towns that that across China.

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Post time 2015-5-28 21:34:11 |Display all floors
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Post time 2015-5-28 22:15:55 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Caged at 2015-5-28 22:41

Wouldn't making a second language compulsory without making any particular language compulsory achieve the same result? I've always stated that I believe learning a second language ought to be compulsory.

That said, the examples you describe would not require knowing a second language. World maps are already available in Chinese. International sports news is already available in Chinese. And quite honestly, as for "modern life", there are things Hong Kong and even mainland China could teach Canada. Yes, learning a second language is a necessity for the Chinese. I just don't see English scientific publications as being inherently superior to scientific and academic publications in other languages. To have all Chinese learn English is redundant in terms of accessing information from around the world and limits access to that information.

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Post time 2015-5-29 11:32:38 |Display all floors
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