The Importance Of English In The Chinese Culture

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Language shows a belonging to a certain social/ethnical group. It is undeniably an important defining part of a culture that contains the logic of the nation. As expected, foreigners acknowledge a language barrier as the main challenge while entering the Chinese market. Since the last century, English has maintained its place as an international language used daily in tourism and business spheres. Nevertheless, China is an exception to the rule. According to the Telegraph research, only 10 Million Chinese (less than 1% of the population) are proficient in English. For companies, it means lack of employees with foreign language knowledge and necessity to address their customers purely in Chinese. As a result, companies face following language situations: 1. Usage of Chinglish – Chinglish was created by people with very poor knowledge of English who used out-of-date translating tools. It is alike with direct translation from Chinese into English without thinking about grammar or other mistakes. For foreigners, Chinglish makes no sense and sounds funny. For example, a phrase “怎么说” means a person is willing to know how to pronounce some words. Using Chinglish, it sounds like “How to speak?” (Eaves, 2011) 2. People with an intermediate level of English – Since most Chinese use English only during exam preparation, they tend to add specific features, transfer their culture to the English language. For example, no native speaker uses “Have you eaten your lunch?” as a greeting.

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