reflections on the technium

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay

Why Every Maker Should Learn Chinese

Over at Make Magazine’s blog is a call-to-action article that makes the case that we need to learn Chinese to fully participate in the world economy.

In this week’s article I’ll talk about why I think it’s a good idea for any maker to consider picking up some new language skills and specifically what I’m doing. A lot of my articles tend to be about the future (I can’t wait to look back on these 5 years from now). So, yes, I think a lot of us are going to find speaking, reading, and writing the language of the soon-to-be biggest economy in the world and, who makes almost everything, is a good idea. It’s something to consider learning, starting now, particularly for makers, especially the ones who run maker businesses.

Why? To begin, we’re not going to be “first” any more.

According to the International Monetary fund folks (IMF), by 2016 China’s economy will be the biggest in the world, surpassing the USA. We’re currently in the #1 spot, China is #2, and Japan just fell to 3rd place last year.

China’s economy is expected to grow from $11.2 trillion (2011) to $19 trillion in 2016, and the U.S. is expected to go from $15.2 trillion (2011) to $18.8 trillion in 2016, which would make China about 18% of the world economy.


Written by Chuck Petras

July 10, 2011 at 09:37

Posted in Uncategorized

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