Unable to understand the Chinese Language? Learn it, or be left out.

“On people who complain about being inconvenienced by their inability to understand Chinese.

My suggestion to you is: LEARN

Just a few points to note:

1) English is NOT the ONLY official language of Singapore.

2) Chinese IS one of the four official languages of Singapore.

3) Many service sectors are hiring workers from China because of long hour and low wages, no Singaporeans would take the job. Malaysians demand higher wages than China workers. Other nationalities in general, are generally not as diligent or/and intelligent as China workers. Not to say China workers, mostly secular, do not have much restriction on food, timing off, or uniforms etc. In Chinese, it’s called 吃苦耐劳. (To be able to endure hardships and work hard)

4) Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, it has more speakers than English speakers.

5) Chinese is the oldest living language in the world, it has withstood and survived thousands of years of droughts, floods, famines, invasions, civil wars, foreign invasions, floods, typhoons, tyrannies, massacres, whatever you can imagine.

6) 2.5 million Singaporean Chinese are the rare few offshoot Chinese breed that make English their First Language status, together with Chinese American, Chinese Canadian, British Chinese, Chinese Kiwis, their number is at most 20 million. There are 1300+ million Chinese in the world, 20/1300 < 2%.

7) The most populous race is this world, is Chinese.

8) Majority (>95%) Chinese on planet Earth, speak Chinese or Chinese dialects. From global perspective, Chinese speaking Chinese/Chinese dialects is the global norm, Chinese speaking English as first language might be a norm on the Little Red Dot, but it is not the global norm.

9) Even in Hong Kong, which was colonized by the British longer than Singapore did until 1997, Hong Kongers speak Cantonese 80~90% of the time in their daily life. I have never seen an Angmoh expat complaining Hongkies not speaking English to them, many Angmohs are joyfully learn Cantonese when they are posted to Hong Kong even when majority Hong Kongers know English and English is one of the official language there.

10) China has no problem translating modern science, maths, computer, medicine knowledge from English/German/Japanese/French to Chinese.

11) Chinese has no obligation to stop speaking Chinese, just like Russians won’t stop speaking Russian, French won’t stop speaking French, Japanese won’t stop speaking Japanese. You don’t ask a person to give up his own culture, language, religion or way of life for your convenience.

12) With China growing rapidly, catching up with the West, and the country becoming more open, the Chinese population getting more affluent, the importance of Chinese language will only rise. (Note: China had 2.07 million millionaire households in 2016, surpassed only by U.S.)

13) Hundreds of thousands of thousands of Angmohs are learning Chinese, that include Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump’s granddaughter. And they are happy about mastering a new language skill.

14) You can make another 5 million Chinese speak English, there will be another 1295 million who don’t; you convert another 10 million to English-speaking, there will be another 1285 million who don’t, you convert another 100 million, there will be another 1185 million who don’t. Good Luck.

15) Personally, I’ve started working 2 years ago, majority (close to 100%) of my clients and partners come from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or are overseas China Chinese, overseas Hongkies, overseas Taiwanese. And I communicate with them in Chinese. I’m grateful that I learned Chinese well and was ingrained with the culture when I was young.

15) If you are already whining and aware about being missed out of opportunities, being disadvantaged because you don’t understand Chinese, and you don’t want to learn, then it’s your choice, you will likely spend the rest of your life whining, louder and louder. The party still goes on, 1300 million people are not going to stop the party because the songs are in Chinese and you don’t understand.

Good luck."

This post first appeared on NTU Confessions (#22350). You may wish to share your thoughts with the anonymous soul penned this somewhat reflective piece.


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