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Learning Chinese increasingly popular in US

China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-02 08:18
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Cool, unique skill

Learning Chinese is growing popular in the United States, Doty said. She was pleasantly surprised to find in the Chinese Bridge competition that many people her age were learning Chinese, with many of them speaking more fluently than she does.

"Although it is difficult with some of the grammar structures because it is very different from English, it is really worth it and you can use it a lot in the world," said Doty, whose Chinese name is Huang Qiuyue.

Hoffs shared her opinion. "Many people have recognized that we should have got on this train earlier.... It is still a rather unique skill.

"I believe that in a time when skills are scarce ... the people who do possess that unique perspective and unique connection with China will be more highly valued," she said, adding that studying Chinese also gave her an edge in her university admission.

She said her main essay submitted to Stanford was about how she chose her Chinese name and what that name meant to her.

"Choosing that name helps me better understand myself. I chose Jiang because when I traveled to Lijiang, I just fell in love with it. I chose Mingxi to express my desire for greater clarity and to live a clearer and more thoughtful life," she said.

According to the nonprofit US-China Strong Foundation, about 400,000 students in the United States are currently learning Chinese, twice the number of 2015.

"People in the San Francisco Bay Area see the value in learning a second language. As Chinese is the most-spoken language in the world, they can foresee that by learning this language, doors for them in their future careers," said Wong, the San Francisco educator.


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