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The myth of English superiority over Chinese
Posted by : Parth  [Wednesday, October 28, 2009]

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During the turn of the century as the East-West divide began to bridge, many important changes began to be seen. One of the most important and pivotal ones was the imposition of the vernacular (or English) over the traditional dialects of Asia such as Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese. People practicing these languages were told that their traditional methods were already antiquated and that these systems were inferior to that of the simple phonetic western ones and that it will be wiser that they “move on”.

Firstly we must counter the myth that surround the usage of Chinese, the most prominent of these being that Chinese being a very hard language to master. Granted that there are 40,000 characters that must be learnt before you can call yourself proficient in Chinese, however all of these characters are based on a few hundred pictographs and ideographs which in themselves are easy to remember.

Apart from this, in the 1950’s China released a system of Romanized Chinese which eliminated the need to learn the Characters themselves while focusing more on the more important tonal nature of the language. This system is called Pinyin and has been granted official status in Singapore apart from China and is also recognized by the American Library Association, and the US Library of Congress.

Also one must keep the current standing of Chinese in mind as it is fast becoming a rival to English. Experts are already predicting that Chinese will acquire a status equal to that of English by 2020. Also people in the immediate vicinity of China are now posed with an interesting decision to learn English, Chinese or both as languages to secure their economic future.
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