chinese: the next international language?

vincent   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 09:13 GMT
Do you think chinese may replace english as THE international language in the future? it's crazy but China is the country with the biggest economic growth in the world, in 2020 they'll have the same gross domestic product as Japan and they'll be 1 500 000 000. It could be the "chinese tsunami".(instead of a japanese one).

Or maybe it'll be spanish...
nic   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 11:45 GMT
Well, i don't think because it has a big economy, it will become the most spoken language in the world. English is very important nowaday and i don't think spanish will replace it. But, who really knows? Only history will tell us.

Chinese is very far from occidental languages. Even if you are french, spanish, polish etc, it will be easier for you to learn english.

Imagine the work you need to do with the chinese, pronunciation, alphabet.........
vincent   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 11:58 GMT
nic i don't say i want to learn chinese but let's imagine china becomes so powerful in the future that it begins to impone its language.Well i know it's only pure fiction.I just wanted to know if yous think english is strong enough to remain the international language for a long time.
vincent   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 12:36 GMT
Especiala dedicaça a tots los occitans per aqui e primièr de tot a Nic!
Soi desolat, sai pas cossi traduir aquò.
Long live the occitans and cultural-linguistic diversity!

Anem a fotre lo oai pertot!!!!!!
endie   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 15:49 GMT
I reckon that English will remain language #1 in the world. Chinese is too difficult to learn and it has too many a variety even in its homeland and some residents of Chinese north wouldn't even understand the tongue of Southerners. At least, that's what I know about it.
English is way easier to learn and it is already established as a quasi-international language - it is learnt in practically all countries on our planet and why change it if English is spoken by major economic players and plus it isn't hard to learn it, there's a major English-language mass culture learners can ladle examples from! Television, movies, Hollywood, internet, books! No need to translate, just take it and study.
You can't find the same abundance of cultural products in any other language and that is mainly why English, I believe, will keep its dominant status for many decades to come!
...   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 16:18 GMT
Does history remain the same?
Just think about the Roman Empire and the Ancient Greece, and of course Greek and Latin...
The twentieth century and this century are the centuries dominated by the US and English, and the next century will probably be dominated by China and Chinese. Things could change because mentalities could change. We believe Chinese is too complicated: the fact is we don't know it, and think about the Japanese and the Chinese who learned English-> it is the same!
Ben   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 16:30 GMT
I have to agree with Endie that the biggest problem with Chinese would be dialect. There are just too many extremely different dialects of the language (that happens when you have a character, rather than letter-based system of notation). In fact, I would almost argue that Chinese is really a series of languages with a mutually understood written format.

I DISAGREE, however that English is easier to learn. It's just more commonly understood in the Western World.
Ryan   Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 22:51 GMT
The only way Chinese will ever be the next international language is if China wipes out the United States in a war.
Zhongguoren   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 04:18 GMT
Zhongwén hengkùai jìuhùi chéngwéi shìjiè yüyén. Zhonggúo yijing shì shìjiè dì'èr zùi qiángdà de gúojia!

English most probably WON'T lose its place as the premier international language, but Chinese will almost certainly become a second international language.

As for the dialects problem, yes, there are many dialects in China. People in Hong Kong and people in Beijing nearly speak two different languages. BUT, one variety of Chinese- Putonghua (that's the one spoken in Beijing and Chongqing and Taipei) is spoken by more people than all the other dialects combined- ONE BILLION people, as a matter of fact. Even people in Shanghai and Taiwan, who have their own dialects, learn Putonghua and can communicate with other Putonghua speakers from other parts of China (Hong Kong is a different story). So, to be more specific, PUTONGHUA Chinese will become the second international language.

Maybe Europeans won't start to learn Chinese all of a sudden. But Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, even Indian and Pakistani pupils will be poring over Chinese textbooks in a few years' time. And those Asian countries, together with China, account for nearly half of the world's population. So, there'll be an English sphere in the Occident and a Chinese sphere in the Orient.

Wo ài zhonghúa, wo ài zhonghúa. Zhonghúa lìshi wuqian nián.
vincent   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 09:45 GMT
Endie,don't you know that for Chinese and other asian peoples, english is as difficult as chinese for us? there is NO language easier than another.It depends on your first language.For a dutch it'll be easier learn english than spanish, but for a spaniard it'll be easier learn italian than spanish.
vincent   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 09:49 GMT
mistake:'ll be easier learn italian than english
nic   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 12:46 GMT
It's not so simple, i don't know if spanish will be easier for an italian. As french i had many more difficulties for learning

But of course i understand what you mean.

Comer, mangiare, manger
Venir, ver, venir
nic   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 12:56 GMT
sorry, i don't know what happend

As french i had many more difficulties for learning spanish but no difficulties with italian
Antonio   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 12:58 GMT
That Chinese tsunami won´t happen. Plus, no-one will speak Chinese.
socrates   Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 13:54 GMT
dear friends, please remember that in this world nothing is certain.You cannot foresay the future