The Global Times recently profiled my new book along with an interview. A week later, they published another version of the article, for language learners. From a PR perspective, this is a 恭喜恭喜 “double happiness.”
Like other English newspapers published in China, the Global Times English edition caters to two audiences: Foreign residents in China looking for news in English, and also Chinese who are interested in reading the news in English for language study or personal preference.
You may have heard the statistic that there are more people studying English in China than there are native speakers of English in the entire world. There is a similar statistic — also frequently quoted for its surprise-cognitive-dissonance factor — that China has the largest number of English speakers in a single country, more than America, even! I would have to say that both are pseudo-facts at best, since it depends on how you define a “native” speaker or, for that matter, what it means to “study” a foreign language.
The population of India — where English is used as a working language — may be significant enough to match China’s own claim to the largest number of English speakers in a single country. And as for “study” of a language, as a speaker of Japanese, Mandarin, and native English, I can attest that real communication ability and the study of a language are usually two different things. I studied French in elementary school; I would hope that my vague recollections of pommes frites and une bibliotheque do not still qualify me as an actual speaker of French, as those above pseudo-facts seem to imply about Chinese students of the English language.
That said, interest in the study of English in China is huge. It is a huge industry. Huge numbers of people do speak at least some of the language, in the hundreds-of-millions HUGE, according to some estimates. So I was delighted that the Global Times re-purposed my interview as a language lesson: It can be used well by Chinese studying English since the context is in the article, but foreigners studying Mandarin can also get some benefit (characters and pin yin are all included). In a future post, I will include some of the words, idioms and proverbs that I used in the book.
In the meantime, here is the list they came up with with a couple of my notes in parentheses:
Chinese you need:
Upgrade：升级 (shēng jí)
Shape：形成 (xíng chéng)
Opportunity：机遇 (jī yù) (I like to use the word 机会 – jihui)
Strategy：战略 (zhàn lüè)
Challenge：挑战 (tiǎo zhàn)
Transformation：转型 (zhuǎn xíng)
Trend：趋势 (qū shì) (for supertrends I use 大趋势 – daqushi – big trend)
Urbanization：城市化 (chéng shì huà)
Affluence：富裕 (fù yù)
Sinofication：中国化 (zhōng guó huà)
Inception：创始 (chuàng shǐ)
Consumer-oriented：消费者为导向的 (xiāo fèi zhě wéi dǎo xiàng de)
Consultant：顾问 (gù wèn)
Capacity：容纳能力 (róng nà néng lì)
Now if only somebody could come up with a good translation for “Show me the money!”