Educational Questions & Answers

THE SCHOOL OF CHINESE LANGUAGE IN KOLKATA - WHY SHOULD YOU LEARN CHINESE LANGUAGE?

- To be the ambassadors of our country in all Chinese-speaking nations.

- Learning Chinese is an extraordinarily agreeable experience through which one can immerse oneself in a different culture. Unlike most languages, Chinese has a unique ideographic writing system, which provides visual comprehensibility. The grammatical structure of Chinese is not only logical, but also pragmatic, related to the particular way of Chinese thinking. Knowledge of the written language opens up the culture of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

- Traditional Chinese culture, from Confucianism and Chan Buddhism to martial arts and Chinese cuisine, has an enormous influence on East and Southeast Asian nations. It is worthwhile studying this intimately through the language. Chinese culture has also greatly inspired the western world through Marco Polo and others. Mao, contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi carried a profound influence on world politics.

- Because Language is the river which can connect peoples; knowledge of language helps break barriers

- Chinese literature has been grossly neglected by us, in its original language. Learning Mandarin would allow us to enjoy the pleasures of the same without any dilution

- Interaction with Chinese-speaking persons becomes smoother and happy, whether in cultural, social or business situations

- The Chinese people, more than westerners, appreciate a foreigner knowing their language

- Spoken by the largest number of human population- Speakers of Chinese not only live in China, Taiwan, and Singapore, but are also spread throughout Southeast Asia, North America, South America and Europe, where large Chinese communities congregate; now, even in Africa and ofcourse Australia. Chinese people today have been playing increasingly important roles worldwide.

- Helps to bridge differences which exist between the two great civilizations and countries (India and China)

- To add a micro-drop of understanding to the ocean of un-understanding between the two countries by providing and creating a better and correct perception of each other and each others' culture

- Language would be a platform for the launch into the exciting future which is clearly before us; a century which clearly belongs to India and China.

- To become Interpreters or Translators, ever-increasing demand exists

- To take advantage of the massive shortage in India of Chinese-speaking workers

- Trade and interactive relations between the two countries are slated to rise many fold, creating an urgent requirement of Chinese-speaking persons

- People's Republic of China currently boasts the fastest growing economy in the world and is widely regarded as potentially the biggest global market in the twenty-first century. Proficient speakers of Mandarin Chinese will find jobs in various fields such as business, government, international relations, information technology, tourism, education, translation and much, much more. Of all foreign languages, Chinese is of greatest current interest.

- To work gainfully in the newly established offices and factories of Chinese companies

- The scope and opportunities for students who learn Chinese as a foreign language: Large incomes are being earned by those already fluent in Chinese (Mandarin). An Interpreter already commands upto Rs. 5000 per day in today's fast-paced world. Specialised interpretation provides even richer benefits.

- To take advantage of the massive and rising shortage in India, of Chinese-speaking persons. Demand for Chinese speaking workers and managers is ever-increasing

- Tourism, whether be hotels, places of interest, travel companies, need guides and Chinese-speaking persons for customer-care jobs

- Airline industry with increasing traffic between India and China needs bi-lingual on-board staff

- Chinese companies are increasingly having a presence in India and need local managers/workers; vice versa, Indian companies are doing the same in China

- Huge unsatiated demand in IT & BPO industry

- Value-adds to CVs

- Etc etc

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE CAREFUL ABOUT

A complete mastery of Chinese is certainly not an easy task for anyone; even the Chinese. A very well-educated Chinese has a vocabulary of about 6000 to 7000 characters (out of about 10,000* currently used characters, left after nearly 20-30000 characters have gradually fallen into disuse). A literate worker possesses the knowledge of about 1500-3000 characters. A knowledge of about 3000 characters is necessary to read a Mandarin newspaper. A proficient foreign student with a career in mind should understand anywhere between 1500 to 6000 characters. This study requires about 3 years - 3 years of dedication, application and passion.

(*Note: It is important to know that although characters used may be only about 10000, Chinese words which are usually made up of more than 1 character, are many fold more than the number of characters.)

Now, it is a well established fact that a native language Teacher, a Teacher of the same origin as the language, is 500% more competent to teach correct and authentic phonetics compared with a local foreign person. The true anecdote below illustrates the massive loss of time and effort when phonetics are attempted by a local teacher.

A senior Chinese government official attended a convocation of a language school (Chinese being one of the many taught) as Chief Guest. To honour the CG, the best student of Chinese who had completed 3 years of the Diploma Course, gave a short welcome speech. The Chief Guest politely applauded the effort at the end of the speech.

Later on, he privately revealed, "I did not understand one word of the speech".

Three years ! Time wasted for 3 years! We must be careful.

In today's fast-paced world, we cannot afford to waste a day, leave alone more than a 1000 days. We owe our youngster and our students a debt. Let us teach them something useful, something authentic, something correctly.

Whilst elaborating on the need of native Chinese Teachers from China, we face two different dilemmas:

1) The lack of will of our authorities to issue long term Visas to Chinese nationals for employment in India;

2) The high cost of (relative to the situation in India) competent native Chinese Teachers.

Any language school must make the right choice in the interest of its youngsters & students, who join with a desire to learn Chinese.

Should it offer a cheap experience by compromising on the quality of education as pictured in the previous example?

OR

Should it not waste a learner's valuable time and teach correct authentic phonetics whilst covering the cost of a nature Chinese Teacher?

The Choice belongs to the Student in India.

The Student must remember: There are no shortcuts to learning Chinese. Dedication, practice and hard work is a key requirement to be successful. Equally important is being taught by a native Chinese Teacher.

WHERE SHOULD YOU LEARN CHINESE LANGUAGE?

In Kolkata, only at The School of Chinese Language; The School is a non-profit endeavour, a Trust, founded on July 16, 2008; we are also a part of the NGO Partnership System of the Planning Commission of India, Government of India. The School was inaugurated by and is recommended by Consul General of China; it provides a platform towards breaking of barriers with the power of Language and Understanding. Insofar as the relationship between the peoples of China and India are concerned, we are of the firm belief that there is a gap in the understanding of each other, and each other's cultures; we are also convinced that the 21st century belongs to the two great nations. Thus, The School participates in creating one micro-drop of understanding in the ocean of un-understanding that lies between the two peoples.

It is well-documented that (1) India & China, together, shoulder to shoulder, can be leading world powers (2) More and more Indians wish to learn Chinese Language (3) There is a massive paucity of native Chinese Teachers and (4) More than 2.5 billion people would benefit from a friendly association between our two countries.

(1) The School is the first school in Kolkata to sign an Agreement with Calcutta University and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies whereby we offer our Chinese Language courses to a larger number of Students. Courses are conducted by and Certificate are awarded jointly by CU, MAKAIAS and The School to successful Students.

(2) The School is the first school in India to sign a Partnership Agreement with leading Chinese University, Kunming Medical University, which provides the opportunity to interested Indian Students to avail of quality yet affordable higher medical education in China. The unique and interesting part is that Students would complete the 1st year of Chinese Language studies at The School before joining Kunming Medical University, China.

(3) The School is proud to successfully implement the first-ever Students' Exchange Programme between Shida Fuzhong (leading high school of Yunnan), St Xavier's Collegiate School (leading school in India) and The School. The first batch of Student exchange will take place from 2011.

(4) The School holds regular Interactive Sessions and get-togethers for the benefit of all persons interested in Chinese, language, culture et al.

(5) The Chini Adda (Zhong Wen Jiao), also a first, founded by The School, is a platform where all Chinese Language Experts & Beginners including the Chinese community in India and China, and all Students (and ex-Students), not only of The School, but also of other Institutions such as Calcutta University, Viswa Bharati University (Santiniketan), Ramakrishna Mission School of Languages, Rabindra Bharati University, Jawaharlal Hindu University, Banaras Hindu University et al get together periodically. This Chinese Corner is a comfortable and informal platform which supports interest in all participants about the two countries, allows all to practice Mandarin, understand the nuances of both cultures and, most of all, improves the understanding between the two peoples.

(6) The School is the first school in Kolkata to be recommended by and have the active support of Consulate General of China and Hanban who send Volunteer Teachers from China to The School to ensure correct phonetics and Chinese Language teaching to our Students.

(7) The School is the first school, possibly in India, to offer a number of courses suitable for different segments. Some of the Course are:

(a) Express Course (Sucheng Kecheng)

(b) Express-Business Course (Sucheng Shangwu Kecheng)

(c) Intensive Course (Qianghua Kecheng)

(d) Special-Traveller's Course (Luxing zhe Sucheng Kecheng)

(e) Special Chinese Classroom Course

(f) Special Course for Tourist Guides

(g) Special Chinese Class for Children

(h) Basic Applied Chinese Language Course (Zhongwen Jichu Shiyong Kecheng)

(8) The School also offers highly reliable Interpretation & Translation services through its efficient Faculty.

(9) Most importantly, all our Teachers are native Chinese-speaking persons.

We invite you to peruse our website www.zhongen.in for further information. You may find our page "What is The School upto!" particularly interesting. You will also find us prominently in the news on the website of Consulate General of China (kolkata.chineseconsulate.org), by whom we are recommended.

The School of Chinese Language 11/1 Sunny Park Kolkata 700019 India Telephone: 91 33 24858399 Email: chinese@zhongwen.in Website: www.zhongwen.in

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THE SCHOOL OF CHINESE LANGUAGE IN KOLKATA - WHY SHOULD YOU LEARN CHINESE LANGUAGE?