Chinese is spoken by roughly 1.5 billion people worldwide, making it the mostly widely spoken language in the world. Yet, the Chinese themselves are obsessed about learning English. Quoting the results of a survey done by the Social Survey Institute of China, The Irish Times reported that English-language training in China is an industry worth over two billion dollars a year.
At some point, in the future, “the world’s most populous nation will become the world’s largest English-speaking country.” It further goes on to say that English teachers have become minor celebrities.
In the U.S., on the other hand, the trend toward learning Mandarin is firming up. Which is perhaps why I came across a banner advertisement, announcing Chinese language classes, in, of all things, the online version of the Cambridge dictionary. It said: “Learn Chinese Online with Beijing’s Best Teachers.”
h/t: THE IRISH TIMES