Why Chinese? 中文怎么?

Revised July 15, 2009!


Chinese section, including an explanation of "why Chinese", translations, etc:

 

我的中国朋友常常说,“你为什么学中文?”

Are you wondering why an American would prepare a website with Chinese characters? Here's the answer. In the early 2000s I tired of Americans who say "everyone should learn English" when they were unwilling to learn another's language themselves. In reality, I think the real reason is prejudice under the disguise of nationalism. Many people argue that we should not let people from foreign countries into the United States, especially illegal aliens. I would contend that anyone on the planet is not an alien. People are people.

Sure, if you want the US to be something it is not, such as a Christian nation, then you need to wall it off and not let anyone in. I gag when I hear Americans say "Everyone should learn English."  I'm so tired of hearing it.  They can claim to be both Christians and not prejudiced, but I can't imagine the Jesus of the Bible sanctioning the oppression of non-Americans simply because they don't live in the US of A.  Would he favor a wall along the Mexican border?  I think not. 

I would say that the same principal (the idea some espouse that everyone here needs to speak English) applies to non-Americans that once applied to some races of Americans. I think people need to realize that my Native American blood can accept my English and German blood, and that I can also accept people of other countries. Some day perhaps we will realize we live on a planet and not in a fishbowl. If we import cheap stuff from elsewhere, then we are supporting the forms of slavery that occur elsewhere.

"Protecting" our lifestyle from foreigners is not different in my mind than the "protection" some Americans once felt they needed from African Americans and other people of color. In the early 2000s, I wanted to get to know people in China and let them get to know me. In this way, we will all realize we all have the same struggles, goals, and desires. We're all human and until we acknowledge that others are also just as human as us, we will keep a level of prejudice.

With that in mind, prior to 2010 I established the person goal for reading and writing Chinese. That is, I wanted to be able to leave notes on my desk which none of my coworkers able to read. After all, most soon-to-be minority white Americans cannot read Chinese. I have no friends or co-workers here in this county who read Chinese, even though Orientals are our largest minority. Agreed, my home town (Mountain Home) is whiter than a winter snow. So I started learning Chinese in Feb. 2004. Progress is slow, but I'm determined to re-write my own biography into Mandarin.