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January 09 2006

Firefly 'verse vision of Chinese-English future becoming a reality. Chinese language catching on in U.S. classrooms, including elementary schools.

In the U.S. Senate, the Foreign Relations Committee is considering a proposal to allocate $1.3 billion to boost Chinese language and culture classes in public schools.

If you, like me, are out of elementary school, take Chinese classes via podcast!
Here ya go: ChinesePod.com
And as a further show of the power that China wield, check this link out. Not sure how common knowledge this is but if it isn't, then it's about time people found out.

Forget about them stop buying those treasury bills, I'm wondering what will happen when they want that money back.

[ edited by Djungelurban on 2006-01-09 17:46 ]
First the blue sun company link, and now this. If someone finds a solar system we can terraform, I'll start getting scared.
Well, not a terraformable system, but a possible way we could get there.
Curse words! That's what they need to learn!
Now that is just too cool! I wish I was in elementary school again. I'd just love to learn Chinese. (I'm going to leave out the political jab of them throwing 1.3 billion at Chinese while health care cost this year are already putting the US over their budget...)

I'll definitely be checking out that podcast. Thanks AmazonGirl.
Thanks for that link to the podcast ... I'll check it out after lurking around over here. I just wanted to chime in that my boyfriend's 6 year old nephew has been taking Mandarin in his after-school programme and he likes it. He's also taking Spanish. Now, I cannot even begin to comprehend taking Spanish AND Mandarin concurrently ... and I consider myself to be an armchair linguist ;)

[ edited by GermanCityGirl on 2006-01-09 20:41 ]
Now, I cannot even begin to comprehend taking Spanish AND Mandarin concurrently ... and I consider myself to be an armchair linguist ;)


I don't understand your discomfort -- they are very different languages, so they'd be easy to study concurrently because you wouldn't confuse them in your mind. However, I could see being confused over trying to learn really similar languages simultaneously, (say French and Spanish, or Mandarin and Cantonese). In college I studied French and Chinese simultaneously and did not get confused. :-)
What you said, chickenbird. I took Spanish and Latin during the same year in high school. Not the best plan. Keeping nouns straight between the two wasn't so bad; it was conjugating verbs in their various tenses that proved to be just a little problematic. ¡Muy estupido!

I had read about the Chinese influence on our economy, but it was much less clearly articulated than the link Djungelurban provided above. Thanks for that. Should the U.S. start investing in the yen now?

I'll have to look into the podcasts, though I'm probably past the point I could learn a whole 'nother language; brushing up on Spanish is probably a better idea these days. On a slightly tangential and irreverent note, the Firefly/Serenity Chinese Pinyinary is an invaluable resource for demystifying the Chinese swears of the 'verse. If you're looking to expand your range of authentic (and very off-color, NSFW, un-PC, etc.) Chinese curses, you might want to visit insultmonger.com. Their Swearsaurus contains curses in Mandarin, Hokka, Hokkei and Cantonese dialects, as well as over 100 other languages. Studying foreign languages can be so much fun! :)
I know where you are coming from GermanCityGirl. I took French and German at university. Although they aren't from the same family, I had a tendency to answer my German professor in French. I found it somewhat encouraging that my French was coming more naturally, even if it was in the wrong place. I'm looking forward to checking out the Chinese podcast too, especially since my sister-in-law is Taiwanese. ;~D
chickenbird, this might have just been me but when I was studying Spanish I'd always get whatever Mandarin I remembered as a kid mixed up with it, and now that I'm trying to learn Mandarin again (again) I'm getting details mixed up with my Spanish. Sometimes it's kinda inexplicably goofy reasoning but it can interfere a bit.

Like lately I keep getting "ye" which means "also" in Mandarin mixed up with "y" which is "and" in Spanish and basically I try to use "ye" instead of "he" so lists end up something like, "I did this, I also did this, I also use too many quotation marks in one sentence." It seems like if you're learnign Portugese and Spanish at the same time, while you may occasionally mix them up, they follow essentially the same structure and rules.

I wish I were just a bit younger though, so that I wouldn't have language as hardwired in my brain as now so I'd be able to actually benefit from whatever I'd be learning...

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