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Demand for Mandarin on the rise

[ 2010-01-06 13:12]     字号 [] [] []  
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The year 2009 witnessed a growing demand for learning Mandarin.

In the most recent such case, British Schools Secretary Ed Balls urged that children in the UK be allowed to study Mandarin under a government plan.

The official stressed that demand, especially business-oriented demand for "up and coming languages" such as Mandarin, was increasing, and thatstudents should be suitably equipped for the world of work.

In a year of financial turbulence, the UK's push for Mandarin-learning looks meaningful in the context of strong business connections with China.

According to a recent survey by the Confederation of British Industry, more than a third of companies seeking staff with language skills wanted Mandarin speakers, followed by Spanish, Polish, Russian and Arabic.

The mounting demand for learning the language has led to the growth of Chinese language learning resources.

The publishing of Chinese textbooks for non-Chinese learners has seen tremendous growth in the past years.

The Beijing Language and Culture University Press (BLCUP) reports more than 2,000 kinds of textbooks have been published since 1985, and the momentum is "strong".

A total of 282 Confucius Institutes and 272 Confucius Classes have been set up in 88 countries and regions. People can learn Mandarin and enjoy Chinese culture in these institutes.

More than 40 million people are learning Mandarin all over the globe, according to Hanban, a non-governmental organization promoting Mandarin worldwide.

In fact, many people are coming to China to study the language.

The US, for instance, has sent more students to China, with the number swelling to more than 15,000 people over the past 15 years.

In 2008, China welcomed 200,000 such students from around the world, the newspaper reported.


1. Why is the study of Mandarin becoming more popular?

2. How many people are learning Mandarin around the world?

3. How many students from around the world came to China to study in 2008?


1. Governments such as that in the UK cite stronger business connections with China, which is also causing more companies to look for workers with Mandarin language skills.

2. More than 40 million people are learning Mandarin.

3. In 2008, China welcomed 200,000 students from other countries.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Demand for Mandarin on the rise

About the broadcaster:

Demand for Mandarin on the rise

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.