A Bimbo, Re-Defined

...a princess's diary...

jeudi, avril 07, 2005

Top Ten Most ~~~~

It has been some time since I wrote such a long post.

Anyway, I got bored and looked at some statistics.

Like this:

Top Ten Most Widely-Spoken Languages on Earth
10) French-129 million
9) Malay-Indonesian-159 million
8) Portuguese-191 million
7) Bengali-211 million
6) Arabic-246 million
5) Russian-277 million
4) Spanish-392 million
3) Hindustani-497 million
2) English-508 million
1) Mandarin-1 billion+

I am suddenly glad that, the fact that me being a Singaporean, I get to speak more than one language since young. This fact is really difficult to be understood, if you are from a country like France, or Italy, where one language predominantly rules.

Also learning a language from birth is really different from learning it when you are adults. Somehow you can never speak it naturally, just like your mother tongue. And there will always be certain rules about the language that you can never understand. and evolution of the language that you can never follow.

For example, a french friend who just got back from New York, is apparently so amused that they used 'HUGE' to describe everything. This place is huge, that song is huge..etc. This piece of news is huge. To him, anything can be huge.

It irritates me so much is when squeeze and his friends started to use 'huge' in everything.

Silly frenchman 2: Is the wine good?
Silly frenchman 1: It is HUGE (paying extra emphasis on the word 'huge' of course!)

Silly frenchman 1: Is that document ready?
Me: yup
Silly frenchman 1: Is it HUGE?

As much I try to explain, it is difficult to. Yup, I guess it takes a 'native' speaker of the language to fully understand the slangs, no? (I know, it is not too difficult to guess that Silly frenchman 1 is Squeeze himself. haha)

Still dun agree? try explaining how to use the word 'Lah' then

Also, I guess it also makes sense that our SM suggested about learning Malay. Why not? It is ranked 9th.

(I can visualise the people complaining about the tremedous stress the children are going to face in school, should they be made to learn another language)

For me, I must improve my french even more, and I think I will want to pick up Malay when I get back. who is joining me??=P

Before coming to France, I did not realise the importance of language. Even if I have been to China a couple of times. and other countries who doesnt speak english. After coming here, you realise, why are most of the people stuck in the same country for the rest of their lives? The answer is very simple: the Language barrier. This is especially true for non english speaking countries.

During Chinese lessons, I will usually just treat the constant nagging of my Chinese teachers, on how important the language is due to the rapid development of China, etc, as some bullshit. Okok, I know that language is important, but should language be the ONLY thing that is emphasised? the Chinese teachers also make it sound like knowing chinese is the only pre-requiste that we need, to enter the China market. which, in fact, is very very wrong. wits and other business skills are much more important than that.

Somehow, I feel that the Chinese teachers, especially the old ones, are seriously suffering from an inferiority complex.

Why? you ask. Because most of them are seriously challenged in English. AND being in Singapore, an English speaking country, being very fluently in Chinese and really bad at English, is not really getting you anywhere, unless, of course:
1. you want to work as a Chinese teacher.
2. OR you want to do some research in Chinese.
3. OR you want to work in China.

Lets say the only amazing skill you have is your powerful Chinese. It is not really easy to find a job in China, considering that there are millions of people with Chinese more powerful than you. And maybe research life isn't that easy, and it is difficult to find people to fund your research.

SO, you are left with option ONE. which is what you can do, with a metal rice bowl, and a chance for you to boss people around : TEACH.

My observation is that, most Chinese teachers (the older generation ones) have no other choice and career paths, but to teach. Their passion for teaching is almost gone, and they sticking around just to cling on to their jobs.

PLUS, they get ridiculed some times, by rude children (as observed when I was doing relief teaching), as they do not possess a good command of English. The children can be quite mean sometimes, knowing that they are superior than their teachers in this sense.

So they get bitter and grab every chance to remind themselves and the world that they are very important, the language they are teaching is very very essential for survival. They could go on like some damaged CD, repeating the same thing over and over again. But perhaps, this message is hidden behind their bitterness, as that is all I hear.

Of course the Chinese teachers now are different lar!! (Jancy is one, so I must place a disclaimer!!=P) they are usually well versed in both languages, so there!

I, for one, love Chinese. But my As and distinctions in Chinese is definitely not the result of the teachings of my school teachers, as I never listen during lessons. My classmates are usually doing other work under the table or reading some book. But we all scored well with all A1s and distinctions, so no one is complaining. So the chinese teacher felt somewhat redundant I guess, which made him ramble even more on the development of China..etc..


One friend commented, after the many reports on how proud or obnoxious the Chinese people find Singaporeans. He said, knowing Chinese can be an advantage, as well as a disadvantage. Because knowing Chinese, allows you to communicate well. But also, the China Chinese people will expect your cultural background to be similar, which in fact is so not true!

We grew up in a totally different environment, with different cultures and religions all around us. How is it possible for us to think the same way as the people in China do?? C'est pas possible.

A classic example is a Singapore woman showing empathy by asking, 'wah, how do you manage without a maid?' to a Chinese mother of 3. The latter might take offense, but to us, it is really really natural. With the working and all, there are very little time you can spend with your child, surely you will not want to spend the rest of your time doing housework, no?

Anyway, for the females!! if you managed to make it so far. *sniggers*

Top Ten Richest Americans, Younger than 40
10) Ken Griffin, age 34, President of Citadel Investment Group, worth $725 million
9) Dan Snyder, age 38, Owner of Washington Redskins, worth $740 million
8) Larry Page, age 30, President of Products and Co-founder of Google, worth $900 million
7) Sergey Brin, age 30, President of Technology and Co-founder of Google, worth $900 million
6) Jerry Yang, age 34, Chief Yahoo and Co-Founder of Yahoo, worth $1.28 billion
5) David Filo, age 37, Chief Yahoo and Co-founder of Yahoo, worth $1.45 billion
4) Jeff Skoll, age 38, Chairman of Skoll Foundation, worth $3.85 billion
3) Jeff Bezos, age 39, Co-founder and CEO of Amazon.com, worth $4.85 billion
2) Pierre Ornidyar, age 36, Founder and Chairman of eBay, worth $7.06 billion
1) Michael Dell, age 38, Founder and CEO of Dell, worth $17.12 billion

And this list is perfect for me, as my personal expiry date for men is 40 years old. Any man younger, I can accept. HAHAHAH. any man after that, is too seasoned for me (imagining wrinkles all over)

I wonder who are the ones still eligible??=P anyone here knows???

disclaimer: the last part is just for fun!