Chinese in Schools

Posted by Mark

Are there any schools in Kuwait that teach Chinese as part of the curriculum? When I was in school French, Italian, German and Spanish were all languages I could learn if I wanted to but really it actually makes more sense to have kids today learn Chinese.


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98 comments, add your own...


  1. mariyam says:

    My children have studied Arabic (forced) in their curriculum all their lives and can’t speak any Arabic. So if the national language is not taught effectively in schools, how are they ever going to teach a very valuable language like Chinese? Children in Dubai can learn Chinese and there are Chinese cultural centres that teach the language and about the wonderful customs and culture. I think any society that does not have a Chinatown is not a valued society. Dubai has the Dragon Mart which is something, Kuwait has nothing but Chinese massage parlors.

    • Acerboy says:

      Doesn’t matter you learn Arabic your entire life but if you don’t practice talking you won’t ever find it useful.

      • Ashraf says:

        +1..

        your kids dont talk Arabic coz they didnt show any interest in the subject.

        i pitty you for thinking that chinese language should be given more priority than the national language.

        you leave your country & come to this country to earn and without respecting the country that earns you your bread & butter you are endorsing the language of a third country.

        how lame does that sound.

        PS: I think it would be pretty cool have chinese language in schools. but i dont see how has it become so valuable all of a sudden?

        we atleast think twice before buying something thats made in China. there products are so bad that other countries have started endorsing *Made in Japan* *Made in Hungary* etc in their adverts.

        i still prefer French & Spanish over chinese. ;)

        • Andy says:

          Wow. Talk about racism. In one post you ask everyone who works here to respect your country and in the next breath castigate the whole of China complaining about the quality of goods in ALL chinese exports.

          Need to put those multicultural glasses on and kick out the rascist BS.

          As a proud ex member of the anti nazi league (an anti racist organisation) your post is offensive and inaccurate hidden under a veil of nationalism.

          • ltv says:

            racism? welcome to kuwait!

          • Your Kidding Right? says:

            @ Andy, You offend me by supporting a country who a great piece of their economy is based in thief of intellectual property and a horrific human rights record. Throw in all the environmental concerns and what you have is a socialist system with utter disregard for the rest of humanity. Who is the racist?

      • meme says:

        The teaching of Arabic in the private schools is very poor. They fail to make it fun, nor to make it interesting for the children.

    • lol says:

      You really love Dubai trying to get the passport?

      Dubai’s “chinatown” is manufactured, they’re supposed to come together naturally.

    • carolyn says:

      hi,i did agree that chinese will be very popullar in the world , as i am chinese but my kids still cannot speak well chinese in kuwait ,as u know we should always pratical ,but actually we cannot coz the father is kuwaiti, and i am trying to make them learn as much as i can , maybe i should travell china in the summer holdai offen that will easy to help.and really i feel that kuwait kids become most lazy students ,so i donot sujject going to school learning chinese in the class for the kids better take them travel china or if u can stand keep them study in chinese family 2 months it will much better that kids study 3 years in the book

  2. zigan says:

    there is no language called “chinese”

    the top 2 languages spoken in china are Mandarin and Cantonese. You are most probably referring to Mandarin.

    I recommend you ammend your post

    • Mark says:

      Mandarin is one of the Chinese languages spoken.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China#Languages

      All the different languages in China are grouped under “Chinese” and since my post wasn’t referring to any specific linguistic group I used “Chinese”

      • Mark says:

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse
        /chinese

        1. the standard language of China, based on the speech of Beijing; Mandarin.

        2. a group of languages of the Sino-Tibetan family, including standard Chinese and most of the other languages of China. Abbreviation: Chin., Chin

        3. any of the Chinese languages, which vary among themselves to the point of mutual unintelligibility.

        4. a native or descendant of a native of China.

          • Ashraf says:

            Thats ok Mark!!! Stop bombarding the guy with Comments of proof!! he got the point ;)

          • zigan says:

            Mark Please read Geronimos Post.. because that is essentially what i was addressing.

            Your childish and numerous posts only further indicate to me how Naive you really are considering your “international” exposure..

            Ive also worked with Chinese people for many years and all of them would give you a blank look if you asked them if they “spoke chinese”,

            Just as i would give a few people a daft look when they ask if i speak “kuwaitanese”.

            Your post said:

            “When I was in school French, Italian, German and Spanish were all languages I could learn if I wanted to but really it actually makes more sense to have kids today learn Chinese.”

            With all due respect any educated person would look at this phrase and know you meant Mandarin, given the fact that it is the most widely spoken language in the world (and rising at and incredible rate). Mandarin would be the only language that would apply in that sentence to give off the meaning you CLEARLY intended.

            Copy and paste is so hard breh…

            how about learning some facts?

            • Mark says:

              So let me get this right, you’re disagreeing with the links I posted supporting the fact that Mandarin is a Chinese language?

            • ahmad says:

              out of all the names you chose zigan :P

            • Edgar says:

              Since you are in the business of pointing out mistake in other’s writting, I figured I would do some pointing of my own.

              #1.- Capitalize the beginning of your sentences, and also try not to capitalize random words in the middle of your sentences. For example “Please” and “Naive”

              #2.- When referring to yourself you wrote i, that should be capitalized as well. For example “I”.

              #3.- When using contractions such as I’ve, it is very important to use apostrophes, otherwise you look like an childish.

              #4.- And lastly, in your last paragraph you stated “With all due respect any educated person would look at this phrase and know you meant Mandarin, given the fact that it is the most widely spoken language in the world (and rising at and incredible rate). Mandarin would be the only language that would apply in that sentence to give off the meaning you CLEARLY intended.” So if it’s so ((CLEARLY)) intended, WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU POINTING IT OUT?. That is all…

    • Acerboy says:

      Zigan your statement reminds me of Russell peters once he had joked !

    • Nael says:

      I agree, there is no such thing as a “Chinese Language”, the two widely spoken languages in China are Mandarin and Cantonese. Ask the natives, they will tell you, not Wikipedia.

  3. geronimo says:

    Be that as it may Mark, I’ve worked solidly with Chinese people for several years and the phrase Chinese is wrong usage to them. If its in the dictionary it means wrong usage has become so popular that thats what its like now. An example would be the sudden popularity of ‘Keralan’ food in the UK. There is no such word as Keralan but the UK is making it popular.

    So when you say ‘learn’ chinese you mean learning a group of languages even if the wrong usage is to be accepted.

  4. LOL, why are stressing all over this lol, enjoy the post and stop being a bunch of cry babies

  5. zigan says:

    Mark Please read Geronimos Post.. because that is essentially what i was addressing.

    Your childish and numerous posts only further indicate to me how Naive you really are considering your “international” exposure..

    Ive also worked with Chinese people for many years and all of them would give you a blank look if you asked them if they “spoke chinese”,

    Just as i would give a few people a daft look when they ask if i speak “kuwaitanese”.

    Your post said:

    “When I was in school French, Italian, German and Spanish were all languages I could learn if I wanted to but really it actually makes more sense to have kids today learn Chinese.”

    With all due respect any educated person would look at this phrase and know you meant Mandarin, given the fact that it is the most widely spoken language in the world (and rising at and incredible rate). Mandarin would be the only language that would apply in that sentence to give off the meaning you CLEARLY intended.

    Copy and paste is so hard breh…

    how about learning some facts?

    • Mark says:

      So let me get this right, you’re disagreeing with the links I posted supporting the fact that Mandarin is a Chinese language?

      How about you provide us with sources that says Mandarin isn’t a Chinese language?

    • Patrick says:

      What is up with you?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Chinese

      “Standard Chinese or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin, Putonghua and Modern Standard Mandarin, is a standardized variety of Chinese and the official language of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), and is one of the four official languages of Singapore.”

      So someone can technically say “I want to learn Chinese” and people will get it. There’s no reason to specify “Mandarin” or “Cantonese”.

  6. zigan says:

    brb going to enroll in some “Pakistani” Classes.

    Lulz..

  7. KPTT says:

    I’m sorry Mark, but I’m afraid zigan is right and his “Pakistani” analogy is completely accurate. People in Pakistan speak Urdu not Pakistani. Even your dictionary.com reference agrees:

    “3. any of the Chinese languages, which vary among themselves to the point of mutual unintelligibility.”

    I don’t understand why you got so defensive over such a trivial matter. Mandarin is China’s official language, but many people still speak Cantonese. If you were to teach your children “Chinese” they would most likely learn “Mandarin.” Thus, if they were to walk into an area of China where Cantonese is spoken, they would not be able to communicate. Does this mean they don’t know “Chinese”?

  8. Bee says:

    I’d suggest checking with the Chinese embassy. I doubt that curriculums are available in any school in Kuwait. It would have to be an after school activity.
    Children learn languages the best and fastest before the age of 7, you can always get a Chinese nanny :)

    • Baqdonis says:

      True. children learn best and fastest before the age of 7. BUT, It’s best to only concentrate on the mother tongue before the age of 7. Learning a second or a third language can definitely delay Alzheimer as research have found but there is a side effect for bilingualism at a young age especially on a cultural level. There is a great book by Amin Ma’alouf on identity for those interested and Interesting articles in thenational.ae by searching for finland language (don’t ask).

  9. Keith says:

    Actually Mark, kids should learn Hindi as well, as very soon India will be the most populous nation in the world as well as an economic power. In fact Hindi is being taught in Chinese schools. Top that!

  10. Mambo Kuwaitiano says:

    In the Kuwaiti public school context it will make sense to offer Hindi as an elective together with Spanish, Tagalog and Bengali, in secondary school and junior high.
    Ranting off topic, I was a bit intrigued to note that whereas Indian schools in Saudi Arabia offered Sanskrit, no schools in Kuwait did. Also the best place to learn Sanskrit today is not its birth place in India but at Cambridge, Oxford and Columbia which have the best faculty and teaching resources for Sanskrit. There’s always something odd about India losing its shine for things typically Indian: first it was basmati then was turmeric and now Sanskrit.

  11. Yummie says:

    Actually I have to disagree. Chinese holds little value in learning unless you plan on going to China or having a career in international business (or you’re just simply fascinated with the language personally). If you want your child to learn a valuable language English is the obvious but Spanish, French, and German are up there as well. Spanish and French are widely offered for a reason and I would suggest sticking with those; Your children are far more likely to utilize their knowledge of those languages thus being more valuable. That’s my opinion.

  12. Pookytoo says:

    Kudos to Mark for enduring this lol :)

  13. Blink says:

    I know they did at BSK, though you have to go through a procedure to do so. It’s not part of the curriculum.

  14. Tripod says:

    Did somebody talk about hindi.. Not even 40% of indians have hindi as their mother tongue.. Its not even the national language of india.. Just over 50% of people in india can speak hindi
    So language of india is not hindi..

    • abdou says:

      Hindi is the national language of India. The president, prime minister address the country in Hindi.

      • Mathai says:

        Abdou: FYI , Hindi is NOT the national Language of India. Yes India has a national bird, animal, tree, flag and a bunch of other symbols but we do NOT have a national language and Hindi isn’t spoken by a large population of the people anyway.

        • Nuno Gomez says:

          @mathai.And You Bloody Bunch of Keralite people Disgrace the Indians by Telling the World that your not Indians but keralaites! Spuds! lolx
          Dude, Your not Speaking, Your money is Speaks! hahahaha.. Sooo True!!!!!!!! ;))

  15. abdou says:

    by chinese he meant Chinese languages. Just like someone said Pakistani, there are Pakistani languages. They are native to the country so it’s ok to call them by what they are. But sorry, nowadays too many gurus have graced the internet trying to granulize and overeducate everyone.

  16. Tripod says:

    From where you got the information that hindi is the national language of india? There is no concept of a single national language in india.. Indian constitution or any indian law says that so and so language is our national language

  17. Mark says:

    Can we all just get along and agree to call it just Indian? :)

  18. Tripod says:

    The principal official language of the Republic of India is Standard Hindi, while English is the

    secondary official language. [3] The constitution of India states that “The official language of the Union

    shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.” [4] Neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a national language, a position supported by a High

    Court ruling. Wiki

  19. Tripod says:

    To all those who doesn’t understand the difference between official language and national language..

    Official language: one designated as having a unique legal status in the state, typically, the language used in a nation’s legislative bodies, and often, official government business

    National language: one that uniquely represents the national identity of a state, nation, and/or country and so designated by a country’s government; some are technically minority languages (on this page a national language will be followed by parentheses that identify it as a national language status). Some countries have more than one language with this status.

  20. Tripod says:

    Am an indian but I hate people referring to hindi as the national language of india..
    In the past some one argued to a member of parliament that as hindi is spoken by the majority it should be made the national language.. The member replied if that is the criteria then crows should be the national bird of india and rats the national animal

    • abdou says:

      It is the duty of every Indian to learn the official language of India and not form clusters only with their own community and converse in their tribal languages among themselves and cut out anyone else who joins in.

      Pakistanis, Bengalis, Nepalis and Indians all listen to Hindi/Bollywood music. So why in the world did they start a Malayalam radio station? Ego fueled community.

      • mentabolism says:

        abdou abdou abdou….so how many hindi speaking Indians actually know a south Indian langauge….
        Talk about forming clusters….pffft!

        • abdou says:

          We should NOT be bothered to learn a south Indian language as we are not South Indians, but we are all Indians. And the official language of India is Hindi. Every Indian should learn Hindi and not only speak their local language. If you are from Kerala, and you cannot speak Malayalam, that’s your problem. But if you’re from Kerala, and you cannot speak Hindi, then that shows a backward attitude and will keep India reeling as a third world country.

      • Nuno Gomez says:

        +1

  21. ali says:

    the internetz is serioz buziness… haha grow up kids… i dont see one chinese person here complaining about it so why should you…

  22. Ali Sleeq says:

    Isn’t arguing over technicalities so much fun?

  23. pipin says:

    ok, I dont know what exactly is the problem and why people are arguing here. I am half Chinese and when Mark mentioned about Chinese, it is common sense that he meant “Putong Hua” or translated roughly “daily spoken language” in China or we’ll say in this case Mandarin.
    People mention about Cantonese, actually it is only spoken mainly by people in Hongkong and nearby areas like Guangzhou and Macau, which are small part (though important) of China, but most people there understand and use “putong hua” as well.

    Chinese/Putong hua is more largely spoken there although varies in the dialects.

    I am not sure kids here will find it important to speak Chinese, but I agree with someone here about learning “Hindi”. :D

    anyway, i didnt complain about Mark “Chinese” writing :)

  24. marius says:

    who cares if chinese people speak mandarine or cantonese,indians ,hindi or others i don’t know…???the point of mark question was obvious…
    from 68 comments ,nobody try to answer the question….

    no matter how powerfull will become (i doubt that) india or china,the sua ,europe ,arab countries,russia will not start to learn chinese or indian languages…

    Mark, why “really it actually makes more sense to have kids today learn Chinese” ???? ok.if you have a hobby in learning foreign languages,if you will go in china….otherwise ,i don’t se the point of your question…

    and for the people who complain about different dialect of chinese and indian….is allways funny when i see 2 indians speaking to each other in….english and not in “indian”….

    • Mark says:

      Well my point is that learning Chinese would be more useful then learning for example French. China is huge and economically its blowing up so there is a bigger chance you will be doing business in the future in China or with the Chinese.

  25. jack says:

    Hindi is very difficult to understand as far as south indians are concerned.. Where as thanks to 300 years of colonial rule english is easily understood in most parts of india..
    there is no language called indian.. And any move to make hindi or any xyz language as the national language will be cause wide spread protest and also the very existence of india as a nation will be in jeopardy.. There is always unity in diversity..

  26. Farid says:

    汉语是一种语言

    The above says “Chinese is a language”.

    I got it from Google Translate, you know how ? I put translate from English to, wait for it, Chinese.

  27. AmonA says:

    Hi, I do agree with teaching kids Chinese. the future is for China with all means, the economy, the population …etc. Mother tong akeed is the most important language for anybody, English will need a looooooooong time to not be important specially for business, but If I have the option to teach my kids a third language then for sure it will be “Chinese”.

  28. Acerboy says:

    There was a time when all Kuwaiti traders spoke Hindi and till date some old Kuwaiti men speak Hindi !

  29. Kent says:

    This is just proof that Kuwait needs more social outlets for people to cope with being board. Because of this we are splitting hairs instead of engaging for other forms of activity. But let me throw my two cents in. Just because more people speak mandarin aka Chinese does not make it the most widely spoken globally. If the bulk of Mandarin is spoken in China and not the rest of the world it would have little value versus Spanish for example.


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