Wednesday, November 28, 2007

English is still King

In my post English vs Chinese, written in 2006, I voiced my doubt over the prediction that Chinese would become the most important language in the world by 2020. Newsweek article English for Everyone (August 20, 2007 issue) seems to confirm that I was right.

Excerpt from the article…

Beijing guesses that more than 40 million non-native speakers now study Mandarin worldwide. But that pales next to the number of those learning English. In China alone, some 175 million people are now studying English in the formal education system. And an estimated 2 billion people will be studying it by 2010, according to a British Council report last year.

Why do more and more people study English despite the rise of China? The same article provides one reason:

China’s rise has actually increased the desire to learn English among the country’s neighbors, as they seek to maintain a competitive edge.


  1. Learn both languages than can become kingS loh!

  2. yeah both languages are equally important.but eng still will and always is king.

    chinese takes time to type la.hahah

  3. kai/winn,
    When I was young, my teachers kept telling us that Chinese must speak Chinese (Mandarin), or else we are banana men. (Since I blog in English, I must be one too.)

    The Chinese-speaking Kevin Rudd has just won the Australian presidential election. The 'Chinese education fighters' (华教斗士) must be more than exhilarated. But I want to remind everyone:
    English is still King. Ignore it at your own peril!

  4. The population in China alone is enough to tip the scales. Good info, KS. Thanks.

  5. happy,
    Mandarin has the largest number of native speakers. It always has. But if you count non-native speakers, that's a different matter.