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China Daily Website

Time to speak up for language

Updated: 2013-07-11 22:07

China is making economic progress, but its language is losing influence among overseas Chinese, said a comment in People's Daily (excerpts below).

A recent survey shows that 70 percent of ethnic Chinese born overseas do not speak Chinese, while the percentage for their children can be as high as 90.

Why is the Chinese language increasingly a stranger to its own people? One important reason is that most of the children born overseas attend local schools where teachers teach in their own language.

They have to master the language to better communicate with their peers.

They are inevitably influenced by Chinese culture, but being unable to speak Chinese blocks their access to their own traditions.

In a supreme irony, more foreigners are starting to learn Chinese.

Language skills must not be lost.

It is time to boost language education.