Friday, July 14, 2006

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Keeping Indigenous Languages Alive

Although twenty-seven American states have passed laws declaring English their official languages to shore up the “common” language, the real danger is faced by other languages. Now some efforts are being made to keep American indigenous languages alive.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Speak Chinese?

A new web site to teach Chinese was launched recently by the Chinese government. It includes audio-visual presentations, interactive exercises and advice for teachers of Mandarin Chinese (free subscription) as well as photographs and descriptions of cultural icons such as the Great Wall, kung fu actor Jackie Chan and basketball star Yao Ming. The site is part of the government efforts to supplement the network of “Confucius Institutes” around the world. According to the Chinese government officials more than 30 million people around the world are learning Chinese in 100 different countries. That of course does not match the 250 million Chinese who are learning English. Yet, as the economic power of China continues its fast rise so will the popularity of the language.