Is Chinese the new English
In a society where speaking Mandarin is making a comeback, not because of love of the culture but out of necessity, will the 32nd Speak Mandarin Campaign make more of an impact?
“Speak Mandarin. If I can do it, so can you.” That was the message that Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Lui Tuck Yew wants you to have.
Speaking as a Guest-of-Honour at the launch of the 32nd Speak Mandarin Campaign, Mr. Lui urged non-Mandarin speaking Chinese parents to keep the language thriving by speaking it well and having a fun and adventurous attitude about it.
The new tagline (Mandarin. It gets better with use.) for this year’s Speak Mandarin campaign aims to remind Singaporeans to continuously learn and gain competency in Mandarin by actively using the language.
For over 30 years, the Promote Mandarin Council (PMC) had tried to instil in Singaporeans an urgency to speak the language, what with the opening of China as a potential economic powerhouse and the influx of Chinese speaking foreigners (2009 campaign).
But the impetus had been slow on the uptake until the last 5 years when we see more parents registering their children in Mandarin-focused kindergartens and sending them for Mandarin enrichment classes.
Is this due to a renewed interest in the language, Singaporean parents’ pragmatism and kiasu-ism or is it because the parents are unable to help their children with the language? You tell us.
Photo credit: https://news.asiaone.com (Joy Fang)