Monday, November 10, 2008

Learning Chinese for Business - and Perhaps SEO

My last boss told me if he has his choice on what language his children would learn, he would have them learn Chinese. It's the language of the future, he said.

Since I speak Mandarin Chinese already, I wasn't going crazy up and down for it. I mean - shoot, I speak it with my parents. But then again, I have a natural fondness and affinity for language so I like all languages.

But while I speak conversational Mandarin Chinese, I grew up in the States and am a US citizen. My first language at this point is English. I don't have the expansive vocabulary to speak like a native fluent speaker. I also don't read or write Chinese.

And another thing that compounds learning Chinese is the difference between Traditional versus Simplified. As a Taiwanese (R.O.C.), I am a staunch "Traditionalist" that is, traditional Chinese character writing. But with China's (P.R.O.C., Mainland, Communist China) increasing world presence, China's Simplified writing system is gaining more usage. To someone like me, who's used to Traditional Chinese writing, trying to learn written Chinese is not easy because who knows what's Traditional and what is Simplified?

After a lot of searching (yes, SEO skills in use), I found one website that I really like that teaches both Traditional and Simplified:

The website has flash cards to make it easy to learn. Daily lessons are available and can be emailed to you. You can also subscribe via RSS feed. Getting lessons is very easy.

If you want to learn how to read, write, and speak Mandarin Chinese without paying for Rosetta Stone (and without succumbing to Michael Phelps' pitch), then is a great way to start.


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