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Why People Who Make Things Should Learn Chinese 588

ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine is making that case that any 'maker' who builds, buys or creates electronics should learn (Mandarin) Chinese. MAKE outlines the resources for anyone wishing to learn the language of the soon-to-be largest economy and source of just about everything we buy in the USA."
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Why People Who Make Things Should Learn Chinese

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  • Or Not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aranykai ( 1053846 ) < minus caffeine> on Thursday July 07, 2011 @08:01PM (#36689288)

    China is poised to become the worlds largest non-native English speaking population in the world. They are learning English at a much faster rate than any Americans can learn Chinese.

  • Re:Here's why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rastilin ( 752802 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @08:08PM (#36689356)

    Funny, but often true. It's useful knowing enough to know what your translators are actually telling them you said.

  • by Roachie ( 2180772 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @08:34PM (#36689588)

    Yea, I remember this kind talk about the Japanese back in the 1980s( yea I'm old, get off my lawn ). Ooooh, better learn Japanese if you want to succeed in business, Ooooh, they are going to take over the world with their mysterious asian cunning, that us round-eyes will never be able to match.

    Glad I could put it into perspective for you. My work is done here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07, 2011 @08:39PM (#36689626)

    Yes. We should all learn the future history lessons of a cult TV show practically designed to be a nerd meme and catchphrase factory that couldn't survive one season. Do you realize how fucked up the world's politics would truly be if we treated every one-season wonder as a new earth-shattering philosophy?

    Ironic and perhaps hypocritical, though, that my philosophy also comes from a cult TV show: "Just repeat to yourself, it's just a show, I should really just relax".

  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @09:29PM (#36689968)

    It ties back to the same fallacy that people always seem to fall for. The first half of an S curve looks a lot like an exponential curve, so we just assume it is one. Computers get faster? The singularity draws near! The Dow Jones Industrial going up? It'll be at 36,000 [] in no time! Travel gets faster? Where's my warp drive?! I grew from 1 foot to 6 feet in my first 16 years? I'll be two miles high by the time I die!

    Whenever anything is advancing rapidly, we assume it will be that way forever, when in reality it inevitably slows down.

  • by rsclient ( 112577 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @11:04PM (#36690492) Homepage

    The British felt the same way about the American and German "bubbles" in manufacturing and steel, too. But they just knew that eventually the two small upstart countries would slow down, resulting in Britain continuing to have a comfortable lead over all other industrialized countries.

    Sometimes the view in the rear view mirror is true.

Loose bits sink chips.