Home Politics & Debate
Want to discuss Coronavirus/COVID-19? Head to the dedicated subforum .

A sign of the times?

SystemSystem Posts: 8,600 Staff Moderation Team
What's this about?
"An independent college is becoming the first in Britain to make Mandarin Chinese a compulsory subject. The move at Brighton College, in East Sussex, was said to reflect China's position as the fastest-growing economy in the world. Mandarin Chinese will join French, Spanish and Latin as a core language for 13 to 18-year-old pupils." Click here for story.

I'm not sure what to make of this. As the article points out, China has replaced Britain as the 4th largest economy in the world late last year. Perhaps this move is an attempt to reflect that, to try and equip future students with skills they may need in the future.

But on a wider level, I'm worried. I believe the increasing power of this communist state is a danger to the world. Let us not forget that China is one of few countries that is against bringing in sanctions for Iran as it attempts to produce its first nuclear bomb. The rise of a country like China, a country that pays slave wages to its workers, that has no respect for human rights, is a worrying sign.

What do you think?
«1

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why are they still learning latin?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    Why are they still learning latin?
    I've no idea. I can't think of any business situation in which you might need to speak to a client in Latin, for instance.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:
    But on a wider level, I'm worried. I believe the increasing power of this communist state is a danger to the world. Let us not forget that China is one of few countries that is against bringing in sanctions for Iran as it attempts to produce its first nuclear bomb. The rise of a country like China, a country that pays slave wages to its workers, that has no respect for human rights, is a worrying sign.

    I think its an interesting and a good move, it will be good to know in the future.

    As to China not wanting us to bring sanctions, thats not such an 'out there' idea, I dont think they would work either.

    As for wages, they are (in large parts of the country) no longer at 'slave labour' rates. Much like any country where the economy is growing, people are getting richer and demanding higher wages.

    Yep, its human rights record is fairly nasty, but again, this is improving.

    We shouldn't fear The Red Tide, its the greatest opportunity for growth the World has ever seen. (and of course when people get rich they stop having kids, which will help with over crowding)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    Why are they still learning latin?

    Why is Latin not a good idea?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I learned Latin at school and while it doesn't come in useful conversationally, it's incredibly interesting in a lot of other respects such as origins of language, botany (woo) and the part I find most interesting (and relevant)...the origins of medical terminology.

    It's hardly redundant.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Double post :blush:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:
    I've no idea. I can't think of any business situation in which you might need to speak to a client in Latin, for instance.

    my grandad knew latin, because of that he was almost able to chat to any european person even if badly simply because its the basis of many languages


    i dont use maths day to day, however it still teaches skills in thinking


    and china isnt communist as such, they have walmart there etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote:
    It's hardly redundant.

    I wouldn't say that Latin was redundant, but i can see why they have chose to introduce Mandarin...as it is the number 1 language in the world, in that it is spoken by the most people, and more and more people are learning it. How useful is it in the UK right now...i'm not sure, but in the future with zChina's growing prominence...who knows? :yeees:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru


    and china isnt communist as such, they have walmart there etc

    Yes but they are communist in the importance sense of being undemocratic and authoritarian.

    The rise of Chinas is positive in the sense that it has been the largest reducytion in poverty in human history and is also good for the economic prosepcts of the rest of the world.

    it is bad in that the environmental impacts are potentially devastating and also in the fact that having an authoritarian dictatorship as one of the most powerful nations in the world is not good by any means to world peace and cooperation.......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I started Latin at six, it's really useful for learning languages. Spanish seems more useful than french these days, manderin though, hmmmn, I'll have to think about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was learning Chinese Manderin in the latter years of primary school, but then again I wa sin Australia, alot closer to China.

    You'd think if it was all about business, we;d all be learning Japanese.

    maybe it is a sign of china's growth if they are making people here learn it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally, I love learning languages, so if my school had of offered all those, I'd be all for it. Unfortunetly, we only had French and German and we even had to drop one of them after the first year (which they've now changed so you can drop BOTH which is terrible), so I learnt (and remember) very little German now.

    The use of them? I thik that everyone should be able to speak other languages, people learn English so they can speak to us in our country. Fair enough, theres alot to learn, but even the basics help - I studied French for 12 years through school, and although I only had basic conversation, when we went to Switzerland, I was the only one in my family who could order anything, ask for directions or anything similar in the French towns there. (When we visited the German sector however, we were stuffed. Especially when my sister was given a fork to eat her soup with and we couldn't explain why we were puzzled)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mandarin Chinese will join French, Spanish and Latin as a core language for 13 to 18-year-old pupils.

    - Meanwhile under Labour, in state schools a single foreign language GCSE is not even compulsory anymore.

    Hmm I wonder what happened to ‘Education, education, education’ - while a headteacher in the private sector wants to ‘hand his pupils an advantage in a changing world’ plenty of state school pupils won’t study a foreign language at all.

    I’m useless at foreign languages and so generally wish that French GCSE hadn’t been compulsory for me because I hated it and didn’t do very well in it. Although when there are private schools like Brighton taking this approach which contrasts pretty starkly with that of state schools I think it’s a bad sign. With universities and employers private schools will have a distinct advantage over state pupils in terms of foreign language abilities – actually they already do and the gap should not be allowed to get bigger.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bongbudda wrote:
    Why is Latin not a good idea?
    Latin is interesting, expecially in routes of words and development of european languages. I see no reason why it should be a compulsory language though, it is the official language of zero countries.

    I'm more surprised that latin is as compulsory as french (v widely spoken), spanish (third most spoken language on the planet) and chinese mandarin (most spoken language on the planet) and yet other european (german, italian) and business languages (japanese) are neglected.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    I see no reason why it should be a compulsory language though, it is the official language of zero countries.

    You’re taking a very simplistic view. Essentially the implication of what you’re saying is that we should only study something if it’s practically useful. And while at a basic level that makes sense it shouldn't form the basis of what we study.
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    I'm more surprised that latin is as compulsory as french (v widely spoken), spanish (third most spoken language on the planet) and chinese mandarin (most spoken language on the planet) and yet other european (german, italian) and business languages (japanese) are neglected.

    Er yes I think people are aware that French and Spanish are widely spoken languages – although thanks for pointing it out for everyone anyway.

    However the merits of Latin shouldn’t be seen in that way and shouldn’t be compared to other foreign languages. Latin is different, it gives a basis for studying those languages through it’s influence and helps people understand better word formulation/vocabulary – and I believe there’s been a correlation between students studying Latin doing better in their other subjects than students who don’t study Latin. Although I’m not sure if those figures took all the factors into account or not. (I btw have never studied Latin although would have liked to had I been able to).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's not what I said at all. I fully support someone, anyone, studying anything if it's something they enjoy and appreciate. I fail to see why anyone should be surprised at the existance of a practical subject being compulsory when an arguably impractical subject already is.

    I would also argue that learning latin doesn't give you linguistic skills. I learned french and german quite happily without latin. And queenmab_roo speaks five languages, and none of them are latin.

    No, as I understand it, the implication of the thread was that Mandarin as a compulsory subject is somehow surprising. I don't think it is, I fail to see why it would be.

    Now I remember why I don't like P&D.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    why on earth would china suppotrt sanctions against iran when they are busy building oil and gas pipelines from there to china?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    I would also argue that learning latin doesn't give you linguistic skills. I learned french and german quite happily without latin. And queenmab_roo speaks five languages, and none of them are latin.

    I’m rubbish at foreign languages so I wouldn’t know, although my brother who did Latin and is studying French & Spanish finds his knowledge of Latin very useful. I don’t know if that’s typical or not.
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    No, as I understand it, the implication of the thread was that Mandarin as a compulsory subject is somehow surprising. I don't think it is, I fail to see why it would be.

    Given where we are geographically and given that we are a major EU player I’d assume European languages should be the priority. I personally find it surprising that Mandarin could be compulsory when German isn’t. And given that there’s a limit on how many languages can be learned I find it surprising to put Mandarin above German. After all, Germany is our biggest trading partner in Europe and if we’re looking at ‘business languages’ German is the third largest economy I think.

    Would you be unsurprised if Japanese was compulsory as well? Being another business language that is?
    Fiend_85 wrote:
    Now I remember why I don't like P&D.

    Ahh sorry for being snappy..But I betchya missed P&D really..
    ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Brighton College, is a private girls-only school (I think), therefore it is quite likely that they will still teach Latin. Not sure about Madarin, though, finding FL teachers is hard enough as it is, never mind those who teach the more unusual langauages.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm doing Latin at uni, as an introductory course (Metella est mater!) and so far it has helped a lot with my linguistics course. I understand case and tense so much better in English now.

    I was thinking the other day how much better English Language could be taught in schools, the stuff I learnt in college (really quite basic stuff!) would have helped me so much more in my French lessons at school. For example, I didn't know what things like infinitives were until I went to college, and things like case and aspect meant nothing. If I'd known these things at school, I think I would have passed French with more than a C grade.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:
    What's this about?
    "An independent college is becoming the first in Britain to make Mandarin Chinese a compulsory subject. The move at Brighton College, in East Sussex, was said to reflect China's position as the fastest-growing economy in the world. Mandarin Chinese will join French, Spanish and Latin as a core language for 13 to 18-year-old pupils." Click here for story.

    I'm not sure what to make of this. As the article points out, China has replaced Britain as the 4th largest economy in the world late last year. Perhaps this move is an attempt to reflect that, to try and equip future students with skills they may need in the future.

    But on a wider level, I'm worried. I believe the increasing power of this communist state is a danger to the world. Let us not forget that China is one of few countries that is against bringing in sanctions for Iran as it attempts to produce its first nuclear bomb. The rise of a country like China, a country that pays slave wages to its workers, that has no respect for human rights, is a worrying sign.

    What do you think?

    You're definitely onto something.

    The West is effete and decadent - China is hard and driven. Certainly one of several worrying developments from a Western perspective.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:

    , China has replaced Britain as the 4th largest economy in the world late last year.
    Let us not forget that China is one of few countries that is against bringing in sanctions for Iran as it attempts to produce its first nuclear bomb. The rise of a country like China, a country that pays slave wages to its workers, that has no respect for human rights, is a worrying sign.

    What do you think?
    i think the only country to compare it with regarding the way it deals with human rights at the moment is america ...and the way it deals with its poor.
    before you slag me as an anti american i can assure you i have never been but ...as china lifts itself into an american kind of dream ...more and more consumerism ...more and more flash cars and fast highways ...are you up to date with their highway building? ...more and more private ownership and wealth ...america is increasingly ...ignoring human rights ...its poor are getting more and more desperately poor ...its government become more corrupt and violent ...wouldn't you say that china is coming up ...and america is sinking down?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think the only country to compare it with regarding the way it deals with human rights at the moment is america ...and the way it deals with its poor.

    You cannot seriously compare China and America on human rights. America isn’t perfect but anyone who compares it to China has to be pretty ignorant.

    America is a democracy with free and fair elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, a Bill of Rights and a Constitution. China is a totalitarian regime with strictly enforced press censorship, a closed judiciary and severe human rights abuses.

    I’m assuming that you’ve never looked at Amnesty International’s website. Yes, America like Britain, France and many other democracies does not have an unblemished human rights record. America is not perfect. But if you’ve ever taken a look at AI you’d be aware that as flawed as America is it cannot be compared to China.

    Oh and MR, if America and China are comparable on human rights would you please tell me where the American asylum seekers are?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    with free and fair elections

    This is patently false Dis. I suggest you bother reading the GAO's (internal Federal Watchdog Agency) own report on the rigging of the 2004 election.

    http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_16.shtml

    Working back from there, one can also easily raise the Supreme Court-intervened fraud that was the 2000 election.

    You obviously are unaware of the fact that for some time now election tabulations and results have become the exclusive domain of corporate entities rather than transparent and independent public groups in each respective state.

    Free and fair, especially when the only viable contestants are routinely only those endorsed and funded by big money vested interests and only those from the Democratic and Republican Parties (two sides of the same corporate owned coin), my nation's election are not nor have been in my lifetime and well before.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You cannot seriously compare China and America on human rights. America isn’t perfect but anyone who compares it to China has to be pretty ignorant.

    America is a democracy with free and fair elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, a Bill of Rights and a Constitution. China is a totalitarian regime with strictly enforced press censorship, a closed judiciary and severe human rights abuses.

    I’m assuming that you’ve never looked at Amnesty International’s website. Yes, America like Britain, France and many other democracies does not have an unblemished human rights record. America is not perfect. But if you’ve ever taken a look at AI you’d be aware that as flawed as America is it cannot be compared to China.

    Oh and MR, if America and China are comparable on human rights would you please tell me where the American asylum seekers are?
    i think you missed my point.
    america is going down the totalitarian route ...thats where it's heading.
    its recent human rights abuses and the instigation of homeland security and ...the fixing of elections ...which i pressume is now largely accepted means ...iut is heading downhill toward where china used to be ...and still largely are but ...china now has an amazing economic boom like never before seen on this earth.
    meaning ...the ammount of educated people who are experiencing wealth and comfort is rocketing meaning ...the government will have to give more and more to keep the process going.
    while the american industrial and manufacturing base diminishes ...it heads more toward where china is lifting itself from.
    or don't you see that?
    one nation rising ...as the other descends.
    moraly and economicaly.,
  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    "China Will Grow Larger!" (Quote from a game, ten points to anyone who gets it.)

    Anyway, back to serious points. Compulsory here? I disagree. But who am I, a mere citizen to judge?

    As for China being Communist? Once it was. It isn't now, it's like a benign evil regeime. The people can live quite easily and well as long as they follow rules, a big infrastructure to cater and care for their needs as they work for the Government and Country. Except now, it's not just that - you know some of hte WORST wages paid to Chinese workers are by foreign, western, companies making their stuff there? It is under the Chinese Government minimum wage! State workers get paid more! At least they still have a welfare system to fall back too. But, if you break any of the states rules... WHAM! An angry fist gets you. Dead. You don't step out of line in China and get off lightly.

    China... is the growing power as the west receeds. We've had our boom and we've prospered. Now, like any empire, we must die away to make way for the new blood. This centrury will be that, of the Dragon. All the strongest and most wise leaders in History realise no empire lasts forever. They saw their own grow, or die, depending on the time they ruled. Only the stupid or ignorant think their way can rule forever.

    Why put up a futile fight? It's time for a new power to rule the world. Why is it bad? This is the most interesting phase of history for us to view! We should feel good we can observe it. Some generations were stuck with the same old crap for ages. They were born and died into it... no change. We get change. Change is nothing if not interesting. We can't stop it... let's just sit back and observe the passage of History.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    hi, there, I think we are just trying to live a good life. :hyper:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote:
    I've no idea. I can't think of any business situation in which you might need to speak to a client in Latin, for instance.
    Law and lawyerese
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    achinese wrote:
    hi, there, I think we are just trying to live a good life. :hyper:
    hello and welcome.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think learnign other languages is grand. I wish I had. Foreigh languages were never offerd to children in my town unti you reached highschool. THen, when I was that age, you could choose from French and Spanish. After budget cuts Spanish was the only option. You only needed one semester (1/2 a school year) I think thats wrong and unfair.
Sign In or Register to comment.