Learning Mandarin To Gain Access To China

20 May

Learning Mandarin seems to become more and more interesting every year.

To learn mandarin is in the end to learn how to use a new tool. A tool has little intrinsic usefulness, but it is tools that make all difference between cavemen and us. The thing about tools if of course that although they are not useful themselves they have massive possibilities hidden in their form and function, and so it is with Mandarin. By learning Mandarin you will gain access to only the biggest section of mankind who does not already speak English, you will also hold the key to what is perhaps the most interesting country of the next decade, if not this whole century. History moves in leaps and bounds. Potential for change is stored up over the years, be it resentment, be it new ideas or be it a new way of doing things, when the pressure is big enough, society reaches a tipping point and a great deal of things change very quickly.

Remember the Soviet Union? If you are born after 1991 you can be excused if you don’t, but even if you were alive when the red start was alive in Eastern Europe, the fading memory of a rival superpower to The United States will seem more and more unreal as time goes by. That empire almost collapsed overnight, or at least it seemed like it did. Of course it was rather the fact that Russia could not go on forever in trying to compete with the west in terms of arms and technology. It hallowed the nation out from within and when the potential for change was big enough, the great soviet empire just fell apart like ton of bricks.

The same is happening in China, or rather in the relationship between China and the west. For three hundred years Europe and the cultural offspring’s of Europe has absolutely dominated Earth. There can be no doubt about. All of modernity and post modernity contains the shape of and ghost of western dominance. I reckon that this will not be the case in twenty years, and that these shifts will be visible to all within ten. The next decade will be the first in a long time that has not belonged to either The United States or to Europe. It will be the decade of the emerging markets, and at the forefront of this change is China.

China is the zeitgeist of our time. It is the source of most of humanity’s changes in recent years. It is the place that you can count on to be altered, year in and year out, and the near and medium future will see it take on an increasingly important role in the world. Nothing made this clearer than the fact that while western economies foundered in the wake of the multiple collapses of the years 2008 to 2010, and perhaps yet, still beyond, China has continuously belched ahead with annualized growth rates at an incredible 10 percent a year. Greece needed bailing out, China supplied some of that cash .The cradle of western civilization is not the power it was a couple of thousand years ago, perhaps in 10 neither will its offspring.

If you think that this sounds apocalyptic, think again! It is only natural that China should become an important part of the global balance. After all, China is not really a country in the same sense as the The United States is a country, or god knows, my home country Sweden is a country. China is a much more similar to a continent in terms of the weight it holds by sheer population numbers. A fifth of mankind lives in China; about the same as the grand total of both North America and Europe combined.

To get back to my initial point here: learning Mandarin is the key to understanding and being able to benefit from a very near future, one that will be here in less time than the time that has passed since the fall of The Soviet Union.

Rui Ming works for a Mandarin Language School in China that is a great option for those that want to learn mandarin, the lingua franca of the growing economic powerhouse. See the program overview page for more information about learning Mandarin in China.

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