As many people know, I have been learning Chinese for twelve years now. It is a very interesting language to learn, and in a county like Suffolk -hosting the port of Felixstowe and Huawei at BT -ever more essential!
This year I was invited by the ACCE, the Anglo Chinese Cultural Exchange to open the Chinese New Year Variety show by singing the Teresa Teng classic “Yueliang daibiao wode xin” onstage at the Ipswich Corn Exchange. Your county councillor is multi-talented!
I was joined by three fellow students who have all been learning 普通话 – that’s putonghua or standard Chinese for years, from local teacher Di Suling. When we tell people that we learn Mandarin, we are all used to people saying things like “Of course, you must be ‘good’ at languages..” and “It must be very difficult..”
My view is that if everyone else in the world can learn to speak other languages, why shouldn’t we in Britain finally start joining in? And actually Chinese is no more difficult than any other language – it just look like it ought to be.
Suffolk schools, now is the time to start having Chinese on the GCSE syllabus! We will all need it in years to come..