Friday, October 12, 2007

Even Central Americans Want to Learn Mandarin

I previously blogged about the increasing importance of the Mandarin language, due to China's economic ascension. Now, even the people of Panama are considering making it compulsory for their children to learn Mandarin as a 3rd language.
Mandatory Mandarin lessons for Panama kids?

PANAMA CITY - LEARNING Mandarin could soon be compulsory for schoolchildren in Panama, in a bid to prepare the Spanish-speaking nation for China's growing importance as a trading partner.

Panama's National Assembly will next week debate a Bill to make Mandarin lessons obligatory in all government-run primary schools in the trade-dependent nation.

Mandarin is the official language of both China and Taiwan, and though Panama has no diplomatic relations with Beijing, China has major interests in its transport and shipping sectors.

Congressman Arturo Arauz, who drafted the proposal, said it would help prepare Panama for a 'new linguistic order' prompted by spectacular economic growth in China.

'We cannot ignore that a lot of our trade is with Asia,' he said. 'In 20 years' time, the world is going to be a very different place.'

Under the proposal, children aged between six and 11 would learn Mandarin for a trial period of 10 years.

English would continue to be taught in schools as a second language.


If you are Singaporean Chinese and you don't speak fluent Mandarin, you better start working on it!


Chinese Study Adviser said...

Are you learning Chinese? How long time do you learn Chinese and mandarin? Do you want to know your current level and achievement? I suggest you spend 5 minutes to know your Chinese level through watching a video on

Susan said...


I would like to suggest a website to you and hope you find it useful. [] is a free website to learn English and Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and etc) using videos. These videos are produced by our members and you are welcome to contribute as well. You can make friends too within our community and find online students to teach.

Do take a look and let me know what you think.

A nice song by Richie Ren that I would like to present to you on ECpod (can learn some mandarin from this song too):


Sorry if you find the site slow now - it will be resolved in 2 weeks time after we increase our overseas bandwidth. Thanks.

Rgds, Susan

Susan said...