Saturday, June 23, 2007

Time to learn Chinese, eh!

Quite sometimes back, I heard that Arunachal University, now Rajiv Gandhi University, is contemplating introducing Chinese language among other languages in its language department (though right now they are offering English and Hindi only) and I wondered there and then, is it because if in the eventuality of Arunachal Pradesh being negotiated over to China, it would be necessary for the people of Arunachal to atleast know the basics of Chinese. But now, I guess, I know why? It is because the people are left with little choice but to learn Chinese if they want to remain updated with the latest happenings in and around the world or to entertain themselves if they are at the vicinity of Indo-China border as China has jammed signals of AIR and Doordarshan, forget any private news channel and the only available signal is of China Radio International.

Guess folks, it’s time to learn Chinese now.


  • Tara Dagium

    I think that the Chinese language must become a subject in the coming future so that it will be a great help for the coming generation to get jobs in China much easily than the present situation. More important the claims of Chinese Govt. is a dangerous step for the future of the Arunchal people. So, the learning of Chinese language will boost in understanding in the development taking place in China regarding the claims of Arunchal as their part even though it was not there and not even now.

    Most of our people are with the Indian Govt. rather than Chinese.

  • buru

    Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and Chinese economic and military might is expanding at astronomical rates.These facts in addition to being claimed by China makes it imperative on us to learn Chinese.If border dispute is settled in Indias favour then we can use it for doing business across the border.

    Unfortunately the Indian Govt consider us Subhumans and want to keep us caged and ignorant like cows and buffaloes.

  • AG

    @tara,I don’t know if learning Chinese language would help us in getting jobs at China but I certainly do know that we would be able to enjoy Chinese Radio and TV programmes ;-) pun intended.

    “Most of our people are with the Indian Govt. rather than Chinese” –you never know when you would be traded to China, remember Indian Government saying “there would be exchange of territories in the final settlement of border dispute”.

  • AG

    you have a point there. In any case whether AP is settled in either India's or China's favour, learning chinese would greatly benefit Arunachalees.

    and @Tara, I take back my words, learning Chinese would surely help us in doing business with China.

  • Punekar

    Your blog is most interesting for several reasons. The first is that I have not seen an Arunachalee blog before, and the second is that I'm curious as a mainland Indian what people from other states think.
    I'm Tamil and have never met anyone from Arunachal in my home state. It's easier for me to meet a Punjabi or a Marathi than someone from Arunachal. Why is that? How come more Arunachalee students/professionals are not visible in cities like Chennai or Bangalore?

  • Anonymous

    dumb question.
    what is the population of marathis and punjabis compared to ap?
    which is further from bangalore?
    how can a lot of ap students come to chennai if there are no roads in major parts of the state?both students and teachers have to walk over mountains for days to get even a book?all this because indian government dont want roads to be built so that chinese cannot attack using these roads.will you support such a government in your place?

  • AG

    @ Punekar,

    Romba nandri Thiru Punekar for finding my blog most interesting, though for whatever reasons.

    Apart from your home how far have you wandered about in your home state? Which part of Tamil Nadu do you live in? And anonymous has a right question for you 'what is the population of marathis and punjabis compared to Arunachal Pradesh?' If you have the answers, I'm sure you wouldn't be asking 'why is that?'

  • Anonymous

    This is why:

    Times of India Indiatimes Web

    Experts: Roaming ban in sensitive states ridiculous

    4 Jul 2007, 0231 hrs IST,Shalini Singh,TIMES NEWS NETWORK
    Write to Editor

    NEW DELHI: Pre-paid subscribers planning a visit to Vaishno Devi, Amarnath or the hills of Meghalaya, should think again. Indian security agencies are refusing to reconsider a ban for prepaid mobile subscribers of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and the North-East to roam outside their states.

    Foreign tourists are also cut off as there is a complete ban on international mobile roaming — prepaid or postpaid — in these three service areas or a total of 8 states, including Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.

    No Indian citizen with pre-paid connections can roam in any of these 8 states. In fact, you cannot roam even if the service provider is the same across these states. The ban is impacting millions of Indians who travel, given that nearly 85% of the subscriber base in these areas as well as a vast majority of new subscribers in the rest of India use pre-paid connections.

    To top it all, prepaid subscribers don't even know that such a ban exists. It is in the fine print, which is so fine that you can hardly read it. Prepaid subscribers discover this the hard way when they roam outside these states or conversely, when outsiders visit.

    The only saving grace is that the ban does not apply to a small number of post-paid subscribers. This raises two pertinent questions. First, who is to blame, DoT or the security agencies. Industry experts give DoT a clean chit.

    "DoT has no role in ordering such a ban. They simply carry out the orders of the security agencies", they say.

    The second issue is whether the security benefits justify banning prepaid roaming for millions of subscribers. "The problem with security agencies is that they live in a time warp. It makes no sense to deny legitimate users access to cellphones when terrorists have access to alternate technologies like Skype, Google chat, satellite phones and others," says former Indian envoy to Pakistan, Australia and Myanmar, G Parthasarthy.

    Agrees Ajay Sahani, executive director, Institute of Conflict Management. "The ban has never been relevant, either in the past or today. The government didn't allow cell phones in Tripura for alleged security reasons, so everyone there used Bangladeshi cellphones," he says. He too, believes ordinary citizens are being denied access to telecom facilities because of the resistance of bureaucrats who have no understanding of technology or ground realities.

  • William Smith

    I also learn Chinese language by a special and innovative service in Beijing Chinese School. I like to learn in live class with teachers from Beijing directly. I also like to practice Chinese with volunteers freely everyday. Watching Chinese learning TV on CLTV is also interesting and helpful to practice listening and learn more about Chinese culture.

  • Learn - Chinese

    There are some free Chinese lessons designed by CCTV (China Central TV) on Learn Chinese. You can try.

  • Anonymous

    Indian are learning Chinese, are Chinese learning any India language?

  • Susan

    When in Rome, why not let the Romans teach you?

    In Huangshan (黄山) southern Anhui province in Eastern China, Fu Shou-Bing logs on to the computer in the public library near his village. Since discovering ( ), the retired High School Chemistry teacher has been logging on almost every day to the English-Chinese teaching website. Sometimes he cycles the 25 miles home, cooks himself a simple lunch of rice and stir-fried vegetables with salted fish, often returning once again to the library and his new hobby in the evening. boasts an educational website that teaches members conversational English or Chinese (no "this is an apple" stuff here) via video clips contributed by other members. After a vetting and often transcribing process by language tutors commissioned by the site, the clips are available free of charge in YouTube fashion. The twist? Members film each other in everyday activities, hoping other members will learn not just their native tongue, but also cultural innuendos lost in textbooks and more conventional means of language learning.

    "One member filmed himself cooking in his kitchen. We got a few emails asking what condiments he used," says a bemused Warwick Hau, one of the site's more public faces. One emailer even wanted to know if she could achieve the same Chinese stir-fry using ingredients from her regular CR Vanguard (华润超级) supermarket. "We often forget our every day activities may not be as mundane to people on the other side of the world," Hau adds. Another such clip is "loaches" - a Chinese mother of 3 filmed her children and their friends playing with a bucket of loaches - slippery eel-like fish the children were picking up and gently squeezing between their fingers.

    Lately the members have also begun to make cross-border friends and contacts. The ECpal function works much the same way sites like and work - members can invite each other to view their clips and make friends. And it has its fair share of juvenile humor as well. “Farting Competition” features two teenagers and graphic sound effects. Within several days, the clip was one of the most popular videos that week, likely due to mass-forwarding by the participants’ schoolmates.

    For other members keen to learn more than the fact juvenile humor is similar everywhere, there are many home videos featuring unlikely little nuggets of wisdom. “The last thing I learned from the site is why you never find green caps for sale in China”, says Adam Schiedler one of the English language contributors to the site. Green caps signify cuckolded husbands, particularly shameful in China as they are a huge loss of face. Adam vows not to buy any green headgear for his newfound friends.

    The subject matter of the videos often speaks volumes about its contributors. Members choose their own content and film the clip wherever they please, some of their efforts drawing attention to rural surroundings and the quaint insides of little homes otherwise not seen unless you backpack your way thru the tiny dirt roads and villages along the Chinese countryside.

    Idyllic countrysides and cooking lessons aside however, ECpod marries the latest video sharing technology with the old school way of teaching a language - from the native speakers on the street. It's a modern, more convenient alternative to spending 6 months in China. And why not let the Chinese teach you?


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