Hot Language of the Moment: Mandarin Chinese
As some of you know, I've been taking Mandarin Chinese lessons at Langara College. I just completed Level One over the holidays and will be going back this Saturday for Level Two. My whole reason for taking it was to allow me to communicate better with my contacts in Asia. During my trip to COMPUTEX in Taiwan, I felt pretty useless. All my non Chinese friends would look at me for guidance when it came down to lay down the native tongue. I would just look back and shrug. I figured that it was a good idea simply because of my travel and my business. Turns out that Mandarin is now one of the hottest languages to learn.
I was reading in the paper the other day that even as far as Alabama (what the hell?), people are learning Mandarin, and there is a shortage classes and instructors. Today, in the local paper, I read that even the local government is sending officials with the most likely chance of interacting with Chinese VIPs to Mandarin crash courses put on by UBC. The crash course not only covers common phrases, but also culture and customs so that they can best interact with Chinese officials. This is likely in preparation for the 2010 games and to fix relations with China that were botched by the current Canadian Federal Government.
Looks like I better concentrate and pay attention in class. Otherwise, my non Asian friends will be translating for me in Taiwan this year 😛