Maybe We Should Learn Chinese

This article brings up a good point, American schools are lacking in cultural education. It’s not just Chinese culture that our students are missing out on. The world has expanded. We can easily have contact with people of all cultures through the use of the Internet, phones, and even airplanes. We are severely behind in language education. A majority of Americans still speak only one language. An embarrassingly low number of Americans have passports and use them to travel often. Our knowledge of our own geography, let alone world geography, is reprehensible. We need to teach our children about the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America. We need to expand our idea of the world and how to interact with it. It starts with education.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in boycotting all things Chinese, go to http://chineseboycott.blogspot.com. I should mention that I disagree with American relations with China, and I used China as an example because it was what the article was based on. I do believe that Americans have a limited view of the world, and the only way to remedy that it through study and travel.


7 Responses to “Maybe We Should Learn Chinese”

  1. 1 Saur♥Kraut
    July 13, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    Yay! You’re back! Why is there such a vast amount of space between your title and the content now? It’s been that way a little while. Something to do with your sidebar, I’d guess…(?)

    I agree with this, of course. I think everyone in the U.S. should know about other cultures and speak at least one other language.

    Now, I’m a hypocrite, because I only speak English and a smattering of a couple others. But my parents could speak 8-10 languages between them simply because they felt that they wanted to!

    Many years ago (early 1900s) no one graduated from college without speaking at least one other language, usually latin.

    What happened to learning for learning’s sake?

  2. 2 The Zombieslayer
    July 13, 2005 at 10:36 pm

    One of my biggest regrets is I only speak English and restaurant Spanish (I could get by in Mexico in Spanish only, but don’t expect me to read a book in Spanish more than 6th grade level). While this state (California) is slashing education spending, I hope foreign language doesn’t get slashed. Language is the root to a culture and learning a foreign language would be the best way to learn a foreign culture, besides of course immersing yourself in it like being a foreign exchange student for a year.

  3. 3 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    July 15, 2005 at 6:45 pm

    We in the UK have a similar problem in terms of lack of different languages we speak, it’s for the same reason as you though: we think we’re the centre of the world.

  4. 4 Lee
    July 15, 2005 at 11:10 pm

    Thought I was on a roll with my comments but-Ouch! I am afraid with this one I willl agree all children should learn at least onw other language in school, and of course in college they have achoice to do so if they want. But..where I livein NJ- I am the minority in speaking my own language- if you donot speak spanish here, you are lucky if yo cna buy a pair of sneakers- I have to say in cases like this I feel they should learn our language -how will they assimilate? Get educated? I will tell you why they do not have to- we have given them driver’s license tests in their language, voters instuctions, signs in both languages, and so much more – so they never need to ‘bother’-I suppose it is geographical in my case, and I am all for helping others who come here ‘legally’ wanting a better life for themsleves and their children like my own Great-Great Grandfathers and Mothers did-but when they start to tell you should learn their language so you cna speak to htem and they will understand , it gets to me- sorry I was on a ‘rant’ there, but that one hit a ‘sore’ spot with me ! take good care, priorites/Lee PS: my comments usually go in the other direction..really!

  5. 5 United We Lay
    July 16, 2005 at 1:54 am

    It’s not necessarily about being able to communicate with people who live and work here, but our economy is global now, and we need to communicate with people all over the world. Americans aren’t prepared for that kind of business, and I think that will hurt us in the long run. Spanish is a good place to start, but we are way behind in asian and middle eastern languages as well. Few people I know speak any African or Indian languages. We are lacking in our cultural and geographical knowledge as well, and in the end, that indifference will isolate us from the rest of the world.

  6. 6 ts
    July 18, 2005 at 6:14 am

    i know you may think it unlikely, but i assure you that text translation software will internationalize the internet. still, i think it’s very important to learn chinese. i can speak at an intermediate level, and one of the employment options for my wife here is tutoring american kids chinese. i was glad to read this article!

  7. 7 United We Lay
    July 22, 2005 at 4:32 pm

    China severs currency’s link to the U.S. dollar
    Chinese central bank’s move first in series of anticipated financial reforms

    The Associated Press
    Updated: 3:09 p.m. ET July 21, 2005

    BEIJING – China dropped its politically volatile policy of linking its currency to the U.S. dollar but retained controls on its exchange rate, switching the link to a basket of foreign currencies in a move that could push up the price of Chinese exports to the United States and Europe.

    China strengthened the state-set exchange rate of the yuan currency to 8.11 to the U.S. dollar from 8.277, where it had been fixed for more than a decade, the government said in a surprise announcement on state television’s evening news. That raised the value of one yuan by about one-quarter of one U.S. cent to 12.33 cents.

    China had been under pressure for years from its trading partners to let the yuan float or at least to raise its exchange rate. The United States and others said it undervalued the yuan by up to 40 percent, giving Chinese exporters an unfair price advantage.

    The change Thursday appeared to be too small to satisfy the United States or other governments, which say inexpensive Chinese imports are threatening thousands of jobs.

    “This is the start of a gradual appreciation process,” said Frank Gong, managing director of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong. “It will help balance Chinese trade flows. Export volumes will come down. Import volumes will pick up. It will help reduce trade tensions.”

    Malaysia simultaneously announced it was dropping its own policy tying its currency, the ringgit, to the U.S. dollar and would adopt a similar arrangement.

    Some U.S. lawmakers had threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs if China didn’t adjust its yuan trading scheme.

    The yuan will now be allowed to trade in a tight 0.3 percent band against a basket of foreign currencies, the government said. It didn’t say which currencies.

    It said the central bank would announce the yuan’s closing price each day, and that rate would be the midpoint of the next day’s trading band.

    Chinese leaders have said for years that they eventually would let the yuan trade freely on world markets. But they said any decision would be based on China’s economic needs, not foreign pressure.

    Chinese officials said any abrupt change in its currency system would cause turmoil, hurting its fragile banks and financial industries.

    © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    © 2005 MSNBC.com

    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8654171/

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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