Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Now, this is pragmatism.

(Modern Beijing)

AFP) – Authorities in Beijing plan to make most residents -- from hairdressers to policemen -- learn English under a drive to convert the Chinese capital into a "world city," state media said Monday.

The government programme -- first launched in 2002 in preparation for the Beijing Olympics and recently renewed -- calls for all kindergartens in the city to introduce English courses within five years, the Global Times said.
A minimum of 60 percent of shop assistants, receptionists and hairdressers under 40 will also be required to pass English tests by 2015, as will 80 percent of police officers, the report said.

Every civil servant under the age of 40 with a bachelor's degree will also be required to master a minimum of 1,000 English sentences.
The programme aims to bring "greater convenience to foreigners working or studying in the capital and enhance international relations and cooperation," the report said.

It also comes amid a campaign to transform Beijing from a "city well-known for its culture" into a modern "world city," it added.


Now this is what I call pragmatism.  Can Bolehland do that?  No, instead it's going backwards.  From fluent English-speaking urbanites back to "Apa nama?"  Just walk into KFC or Mac and try to place your order  in English. What about Government Departments?  Semua habis lah! 

"Me no talking the England!"


A true Malaysian said...

It is a bit late for realising the important of English for a country, when comparing to Singapore, but it is still much much better than Malaysia who abandoned English since 1970 (if not wrong).

Proficiency in English doesn't make one 'less Chinese', or 'less Melayu'. Best example here is of course our Justin Choo here. You are still a China man even with your flawless English.

Unlike me, neither here nor there, half-baked.

But, that's beside the point. Just imagine if Overseas Chinese can master English language, I don't see why not our brothers and sisters in China. Just see, another 10 years or so, China Chinese will be superior with two most spoken languages, English and Mandarin.

You can be excellent in Bahasa Melayu, so what? This is what people from China will tell our next generation.

Justin Choo said...


Nice to hear from you again.

If you watch CCTV, you can listen to the Chinese speaking flawless English.

At the rate things are going, I pity the Malays when everything is global, which means English will be spoken. Ignorance is NOT bliss in this sad case.

bow said...

For a Malay ultra nationalist party leader, he think his language ( Bahasa Melayu) is much superior than the English man language, so he refuse to let Malaysian school teach a foreign tongue (English) in the name of national unity no matter it is pragmatic or not, it is mainly due to political reason rather than real life situation, sometimes an ideologue can be hard to comprehend for educated men like us, as we tend to think and see English as a language and not a political tool to stir up nationalism among a regressive population.

Like the case just after cultural revolution in China, English language is not allowed to be taught in institutions either private or public funded school due to the fact that the ruling communist party is worried about their Chinese population will become a group of Englishmen if they became fluent in English language, so the language is banned from China from that time onward. But then again, China is governed by a regressive regime and men at that time, so here come Chinese language only education policy. hahaha....

A true Malaysian said...


Do Malaysia a favour (of course doing yourself a favour), teach English to our youngsters.

Justin Choo said...


This is ironic. My granddaughter right now can only speak English with American "Playhouse Disney Channel" accent!


A true Malaysian said...

Never mind, she is still what she is. The thing is, her peers may not catch what she speaks.

Hahahaha, flawless English. Mine, ironically, mine full of flaws.

Anonymous said...

not that simple in Malaysia, where Malay dramas are in 'bahasa rojak.' I strongly believe this is why many are afraid of English. Therefore we have a language problem that is almost unique to us. Unlike China, where foreign programmes are still restricted and Putonghua is still well-regulated, so promoting English is not a problem cos ppl don't see it as a cultural invasion. Even Disney is aware of this, so they provide BM language option on its pay-TV channels on Astro.


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