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Mandarin or Japanese?And to a lesser extent, China or Japan?
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 308
Location: NA

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Mandarin or Japanese?And to a lesser extent, China or Japan? Reply with quote

Ok, so having done an interesting teaching stint in China in 2010, I am back in Australia studying for my education degree (high school). I am now going to add a language component to my degree, the two Asian languagesI have to select from are Mandarin and Japanese.

I will finish my studies in about two years, and the current thriving job market in China (which relates to the growing usefulness of speaking Mandarin) makes me wish to possibly choose Mandarin over Japanese.

While Japanese culture is cool, the job market over there seems no where near as large as in China, and even shrinking to a certain extent. I also believe that, in the Western world, there is a much larger amount of persons who can speak Japanese (while conversational Mandarin could be impressive, fluent Japanese might be lost in a sea of Jap whipped folk haha).

So, in short, I believe that Mandarin would be a better choice (not only to make future ESL contracts more enjoyable) for diversifying my employment prospects. Those employment prospects are both in education (could teach Mandarin in schools if I ever get good enough), but also in other fields. As education has a very high burn out rate, I want to try to be able to diversify after any Chernobyl melt down.

Coupled with an extra qualification in, say, journalism or business, I think this would make me versatile (or completely useless HA~!).

In short- which language do you think is more useful globally, and how do you see the Chinese and Japanese job markets for ESL teachers going in the next decade, respectively?

Xie xie, origato
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 308
Location: NA

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just noticed that I said "in short" twice, in one of the longer message lengths that can be found on any forum. Sorry, I was really tired lol.

DESCRIPTOR- The evil alien robot who goes overly into descriptive mode.

[/img]http://ilookforwardto.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a970bd21970b0133f4f23c1d970b-800wi[img]

[/url]http://www.ilookforwardto.com/2010/10/the-10-largest-economies-in-2030.html[url]

Edit- Attempt at image and link of world economy in 2030. [/url]
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JustinC



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 138
Location: The Land That Time Forgot

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, agreed on the language. As to the extra qualification as a journo or business whatever; how on earth will that give you an advantage? If I were you I'd pick environmentalism, a computer language or an -ology.
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 308
Location: NA

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply, JustinC.


Well, I thought journo would be cool, with a bit of the language, you could (while teaching there) also be a journo, possibly get paid by a news source back home, for example. Visa nightmare that would be though haha. I think I'm having romantic journo fantasies of being on the cutting edge of developments in "The Asian Century".

The journo or business is not necessarily to relate to teaching, just to have something else there to morph into if need be.

Why exactly did you suggest the qualifications which you did, by the way? Is it sarcasm or serious haha?
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 681
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I speak fluent Japanese and I'm now in China learning Mandarin.

Japanese helped me greatly living in Japan, but never outside of it at all, nor did I ever work outside the TEFL industry. Japanese is for, well, the Japanese.

I would put a big bet on Mandarin soon becoming the world's second most important second language (if it's not already) but I'm almost certain that Japanese never will, though it will remain fun for Japanophilies.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though you replied to an old post... (May 2013)... let's see...

Japan, 127 million people, 5.9 trillion dollar economy (deflating)

USA 317 million people, 16.2 trillion dollar economy (stagnant)

China, 1300 million people, 8.2 trillion dollar economy (growth >7%)

World bank data for 2013. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD

I'd bet on Mandarin for a 2nd language (doubly so for the EFL market or the expanding business market).

.
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 308
Location: NA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluetortilla wrote:
I speak fluent Japanese and I'm now in China learning Mandarin.

Japanese helped me greatly living in Japan, but never outside of it at all, nor did I ever work outside the TEFL industry. Japanese is for, well, the Japanese.

I would put a big bet on Mandarin soon becoming the world's second most important second language (if it's not already) but I'm almost certain that Japanese never will, though it will remain fun for Japanophilies.


suphanburi wrote:
Even though you replied to an old post... (May 2013)... let's see...

Japan, 127 million people, 5.9 trillion dollar economy (deflating)

USA 317 million people, 16.2 trillion dollar economy (stagnant)

China, 1300 million people, 8.2 trillion dollar economy (growth >7%)

World bank data for 2013. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD

I'd bet on Mandarin for a 2nd language (doubly so for the EFL market or the expanding business market).

.


Haha, an old thread indeed. I went with Mandarin, and lasted about five weeks of weekend classes. I hope that I can learn some if I return to China, it wasn't going to happen here while studying my degree. Immersion/necessity might help me, otherwise I'm just too lazy to learn another language. Shocked
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 681
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

likwid_777 wrote:

Haha, an old thread indeed. I went with Mandarin, and lasted about five weeks of weekend classes. I hope that I can learn some if I return to China, it wasn't going to happen here while studying my degree. Immersion/necessity might help me, otherwise I'm just too lazy to learn another language. Shocked


Aw, language tain't so bad. Contrary to all the hyped up marketing, one does do a lot better starting off with a thorough overview of grammar and syntax (no yawns please- this is the meat and bones!) than attempting to 'immerse' yourself in a downpour of vocab and phraseology. That is my 'professional' opinion.

You might think that you could accelerate your learning by going through the high frequency useful stuff over and over but frankly that's hard enough, isn't it? Learning language requires patience but is highly rewarding. For most of us, speaking is the worst and will give us the most growing pains. We have to listen really hard- but the problem is while we're stuck trying to recall or word or figure one out the native speaker is already moved on to new words that we didn't hear because we're still stuck at the beginning of his sentence. Our brains then scramble not just to make an intelligible reply, but one at least in a phrase that encourages continuation and all the while pressed for time so that usually instead of saying something apt and smooth we grunt, mumble, or give a one-word dummy answer. And we have to coordinate 72 different muscles in new and different ways (producing tones no less in the case of Mandarin!). It slowly but surely gets better, but in general it will take at least a year or two before conversing over ten minutes or so doesn't exhaust you. Typically speaking of course.

See? It's not so bad. And Chinese characters are just as easy!
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 3135

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived for five years in Shizuoka, Japan (as a JET Programme ALT/PA passing JLPT Level N3 in July 2010) and have lived for five years in Sichuan, China (as a Peace Corps Volunteer and U.S. Dept. of State English Language Fellow; I will take HSK Level 4 this June).

My vote?

Arrow Mandarin and Mainland China

To steal the words of the former dave's poster khmerhit: "try it and see!"

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 308
Location: NA

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fat_chris wrote:
I lived for five years in Shizuoka, Japan (as a JET Programme ALT/PA passing JLPT Level N3 in July 2010) and have lived for five years in Sichuan, China (as a Peace Corps Volunteer and U.S. Dept. of State English Language Fellow; I will take HSK Level 4 this June).

My vote?

Arrow Mandarin and Mainland China

To steal the words of the former dave's poster khmerhit: "try it and see!"

Warm regards,
fat_chris


That's a pretty impressive resume of both jobs and languages, Fat_Chris. JET seems hard to get into, and I imagine the Peace Corps would be too.
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Jezza



Joined: 05 May 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having lived in both countries (albeit some time ago) I would have to side with Mandarin as well. I really think that China will be the world's largest economy in the not too distant future, surpassing the U.S. As a result of that, Mandarin will be the international language, so knowing the language will put you in a better position work wise. Japan I see losing more power but still being a popular place culturally speaking.
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Alien abductee



Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jezza wrote:
I really think that China will be the world's largest economy in the not too distant future, surpassing the U.S. As a result of that, Mandarin will be the international language,

Are you suggesting Mandarin is going to replace English as the international language?
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 681
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alien abductee wrote:
Jezza wrote:
I really think that China will be the world's largest economy in the not too distant future, surpassing the U.S. As a result of that, Mandarin will be the international language,

Are you suggesting Mandarin is going to replace English as the international language?


Language trends are very difficult to predict as they follow political trends. Generally, an international language emerges as a result of widespread trade and technology. And like it or not political power.
China has a very powerful economy but is not a world leader in technology and is not sought out per say except for trade and finance, which (aside from buyers in China) is mostly done in English. However China has been building infrastructure in both Africa and South America and in some places Mandarin is rivaling English as a second language.

English has been the major international language since the height of the British Empire, and I doubt that will change in the decades ahead. As Pax Americana wanes, so will English. But what will replace is anybody's guess. Could it be Mandarin? Seems likely but not guaranteed.

But all in all, I would definitely say Mandarin is the language of choice to pick as a second language. I'm fluent in Japanese and while that did help me, to a limited extent, in doing business within Japan, I could find almost no need for it outside the country. Japan is pretty darn exclusive in that sense.

With instant messaging, tweeting, and what not I would not be surprised if a hybrid world language begins emerging before long. Translation software and voice recognition will have a profound impact on communication (yeah it sucks now but just wait- it will get impressive). People remain 'voice shy' but as more and more robust programs come out that make it easy to speak (and they will), I will think international communications will become polygot and very interesting.
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Jezza



Joined: 05 May 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alien abductee wrote:
Jezza wrote:
I really think that China will be the world's largest economy in the not too distant future, surpassing the U.S. As a result of that, Mandarin will be the international language,

Are you suggesting Mandarin is going to replace English as the international language?


Yes - I think there is a very good possibility it will happen. Some people have said that both will be essential (English as the business language and Mandarin as the online one). Ultimately, if China has the world's number one economy, then it stands to reason I think that Mandarin will have more importance than English.
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bluetortilla



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 681
Location: Fukuoka

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jezza wrote:
Alien abductee wrote:
Jezza wrote:
I really think that China will be the world's largest economy in the not too distant future, surpassing the U.S. As a result of that, Mandarin will be the international language,

Are you suggesting Mandarin is going to replace English as the international language?


Yes - I think there is a very good possibility it will happen. Some people have said that both will be essential (English as the business language and Mandarin as the online one). Ultimately, if China has the world's number one economy, then it stands to reason I think that Mandarin will have more importance than English.


Ultimately Real Politik cannot be ignored. The U.S. is a vast empire with a huge hidden economy. China's economy is vast but based mainly on manufacturing and, so far, little innovation. The U.S. not only outspends China 6 to 1 on military expenditures, the military that it does produce is far more advanced than China's. In fact, the U.S. has been building its military base nonstop since WWII. The U.S. appears to lose wars all over the world when in reality it is accomplishing its goals: destabilization.

People in the world have always spoken the language of the imperial power, which explains why it has been English for so long now. It may seem off-topic here, but it's not. It will take China, Russia, and Europe a very long time indeed to equal the U.S. in military might, and until then, demand for English and love for Starbucks and Hollywood will be great. I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

Is Mandarin an extremely useful language to learn? Sure- but it should be considered that it is NOT global or international (even when used overseas): it is sino-centric just like QQ.


Last edited by bluetortilla on Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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