In his book “A Gift to My Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing” Jim Rogers, an American who has lived life with enough energy and enthusiasm for several dozen people, counsels his young daughters: “learn languages and make sure that Mandarin is one of them”
Why learn languages?
If Jim Rogers, so successful in business, English-speaking, coming from the world’s most powerful country, feels so strongly about languages and about Mandarin in particular, we have to ask why! After all, surely he could just get by on expecting everyone else to speak English? On the contrary, Rogers is a great believer in the importance of learning other languages, and has moved his family to Singapore to expose them to Asian life and the Chinese language.
He explains to his daughters “Our family is American… but we have moved to Asia to help give you as much exposure as possible to the bigger world beyond US borders” On language learning he tells them that “People who can speak or read other languages have a great advantage over those who don’t”.
Why learn Mandarin?
Rogers sees China as being where the United States was in 1907; a country with tremendous potential, and he calls this the “century of China”. He and his wife Paige considered moving to Vienna, Spain or Shanghai before deciding on Singapore. “We chose Singapore for many reasons, including a bilingual culture, great education, the world’s best healthcare, efficiency, etcetera, everything works”.
Rogers has bought a map of the world, a globe and a piggy bank for each of his daughters, and tells them that Mandarin will be the next global language. He writes “probably the best advice I can give anyone, anywhere in the world, is to have your children and grandchildren learn Mandarin. For their generation, Mandarin and English will be the most important languages in the world”.
Don’t wait to get started on Mandarin! La Academia can help you (or your children or grandchildren!) to make the most of the “century of China” – contact us on 0161 491 1444 to start your lessons today!