30 April 2008

Crazy English

“One-sixth of the world’s population speaks Chinese. Why are we studying English?” he asked. He turned and gestured to a row of foreign teachers seated behind him and said, “Because we pity them for not being able to speak Chinese!” The crowd roared.

Good article in a recent New Yorker on the scramble in China to learn a English before the Olympics.

1 comment:

soubriquet said...

I take it we're referring to Mandarin?
One of the 235 current languages of China. I wonder how many of these delegates can speak them all? I wonder if the other Chinese language speakers feel sorry for their compatrios who cannot speak what they deem to be 'real' chinese?
http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=China