Globalization is one aspect which affects every thing starting from economic aspects, political and even language aspects. Before the aspect of globalization came up, there was only use of one language which was termed as monolingualism. English was the only language which was widely used. However globalization came up with multilingualism. There were some languages which were considered as a minority in which Chinese language was among them. Therefore when multilingualism came about, it was allowed that Chinese language be taught in schools. Chinese community has organizations which are meant to educate children at complementary schools on Chinese language. They have the desire to teach all children born in Britain Chinese language since it helps in maintaining their culture. Globalization brought about the opportunity of Chinese language to be taught in schools which enhanced the ability of most children t grow with it as their first language. In addition to teaching in schools, there was the aspect of having to include Chinese language in information technology. There are computer programs which have been designed using Chinese language. This makes communication and keeping in touch with home country easy. It does not matter how far one is from home. Therefore, it is clear that globalization gave a chance for the Chinese language to be explored and taught in schools. This facilitated the fact that today it is the most widely spoken language in the world. In addition to this, globalization is believed that it leads to erosion of culture but with the enhancement of the usage of Chinese language, the Chinese culture is preserved. Though Chinese people are considered to be a minority, research has showed that it is not. This is due to the fact that one out of every five people is Chinese and speaks Chinese.
Globalization has had effects on many aspects including the language of the world. It has made the world as one. It has also encouraged the use of a common language since people needed a language which they can use to communicate without any barriers all over the world. When we consider Chinese, it is one of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is considered to be mostly spoken language in the world since it is used by over one billion people in the world. However, Chinese is divided in to different dialects which are used by different numbers of people in the world (Overholt, 2005). In the order of the mostly spoken to the least spoken, the Chinese dialects include but not limited to Mandarin, Wu (Shanghainese), Yue (Cantonese), Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka among others. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the whole world out of all other Chinese dialects. Most people do not like the word globalization as it comes with the notion that it will destroy the status quo. People believe that globalization destroys people’s culture.
Chinese has been found to have the highest number of native speakers all over the world followed by English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese, Russia, Japanese, and then German. Unlike English which is spoken as a second language, Chinese is spoken as a first language (Overholt, 2005). Though Chinese is the widely spoken and has a high number of native speakers, it is found to have weak economic strength. Predictions have shown that Chinese will continue to be the highly used language in the world in 2050 (Overholt, 2005). Despite the occurrence of globalization, China stressed on raising awareness on the education of the Chinese language. They had a positive attitude towards their mother tongue Chinese language. The teaching and education related to learning the neglected mother tongue out weighed the teaching and education related to foreign languages (Overholt, 2005).
China was considered as one of the major opponents of globalization trying its level best to maintain its culture. It was opposed to global economic order, global political order and institutions which were concerned with globalization including World Bank and IMF (Overholt, 2005). All throughout the world it campaigned against globalization. In their opposition against globalization, they were attacked in which their cultural heritage was destroyed and other properties belonging to the country was also destroyed. After all these struggles, China was able to welcome globalization and all these problems ceased.
As china was opposed to all these forms of globalization, it was the same way it was opposed to drop its language. When it tried to influence other nations to oppose globalization, they were able to learn some of the Chinese language. They continually used Chinese language as their first language and were not ready to change to any other language (Overholt, 2005). It was after they welcomed globalization when they decided to use English as their first language. Chinese is one of the oldest languages and as the China people go all over the world to do business and as other people visit China, they are likely to learn the Chinese language.
When China accepted globalization it invited some impacts which made it to be the first spoken language in the world. Globalization came with a lot of improvements in the technology. Initially, information technology and technology in general used only English (Vaish, 2010). However, Chinese language was adopted to be used in the information technology. There many computers using Chinese language. There are things like Chinese internet, Chinese search engines like Chinese yahoo, Google, Yam, SOHU and Baidu among others (Vaish, 2010). All these have contributed to the continued use of Chinese language all over the world as it does not limit them to the use of essential tools (Vaish, 2010). There are also Chinese version of programs like the windows operating system and Microsoft word processor. Therefore, for those individuals who were using Chinese language as their first language, they do not have to struggle learning other languages like English and if they learn them, they only need to use it as their second language. Learning of Chinese language mother tongue was encouraged during the times of opposition towards globalization (Vaish, 2010). This made many people acquire it as their first languages. The inclusion of Chinese language in information technology has promoted continued as the first languages by a large population in the world.
As stated earlier, Mandarin is the mostly/widely used Chinese dialect in the world. Globalization has had a positive impact on this since it is not only used as a means of communication but it is also used as a market and a profit making community and has a very great value all over the world (Vaish, 2010). Inclusion of the Chinese language in the information has made it available all over the globe. Globalization has also contributed to the Chinese language as the first spoken language in the world by the fact that, there is a tremendous growth of overseas Chinese diasporic communities, improvements made in the technology enhances the ability for those staying far from home keep in touch, by the use of the Chinese language technology (Vaish, 2010). This has enhanced the use of Chinese language all over the world. Globalization has also led to changes in the World Wide Web which was originally accessed by use of English language only (Vaish, 2010). It is now available in Chinese language hence; people can communicate directly using Chinese language especially as a first language since English has always been used as a second language.
There was a point in time around the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century when Chinese were prohibited from growing in numbers and their language was not supposed to be taught any where (Vaish, 2010). Globalization came with abolition of those kinds of laws. It improved the rights of the linguistic minorities in which Chinese language was one of them. Therefore, it was due to globalization that Chinese language could be taught and used as first language. Before globalization, there was only the ideology of monolingualism (Vaish, 2010). There ideology of multilingualism came about after the onset of globalization. The signing of Bilingual Education Act in 1968 which was part of globalization gave all other languages including Chinese language to be taught equally in education centers (Vaish, 2010). This made people explore Chinese language and made it the first spoken language in the world.
Globalization has made people move from one place to another and therefore Chinese language is being used in and outside china. It is considered to be the world’s largest language. Most of these people who speak Chinese language are multilingual and are from different cultures. Chinese language has a high level of internal diversity. Globalization is a very positive aspect since it protects people from use of languages which they do not know in their conversations. There has been language standardization of the Chinese language in which national language creation has been done. Language standardization made both communication and teaching of children an easy job (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). There are British Chinese people and those living in the United Kingdom among other areas. All these Chinese people living in different other countries are spreading the Chinese language there. Most of Chinese people wherever they live have been found to speak Chinese language as their first language (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). However, if there is a number which either speaks English or another language as their first language, it is not clearly known. There are Chinese community organizations which have come with globalization whose main objective is to ensure that Chinese language is passed over to any child who is born in Britain or any other place (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). Some of these Chinese community organizations include; townsmen associations, community organizations assigned to schools and town centers, and voluntary organizations (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011).
These organizations have been born by globalization. Before globalization, people did not have that wisdom of forming community organizations to help in educating the young ones. These organizations ensured that children learn the Chinese language as early as possible in their growth (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). Due to this reason, they learn Chinese language as their first language. This is because the language one learns at their childhood is likely to become their first language. The reason why it has become the first spoken language in the world is because, as the Chinese community organizations taught their children either at schools or at any other place, other children who were not Chinese nationalities were also able to learn it. It is due to the sacrifice of the Chinese community organizations that the Chinese language was widely spread all over the world (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). Especially in the United Kingdom, these community organizations organized for weekend sessions where they could tutor the language especially those from disadvantaged communities. The reason as to why these organizations were very concerned about teaching the children the Chinese language was because they believed that if children learn the Chinese language, they will be able to understand the Chinese culture hence it will not be swept away completely by globalization (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011).
In other words, globalization created an opportunity for the Chinese language to be taught. Those teaching in the complementary schools took that advantage to teach the language to the fullest to ensure that the children could understand it clearly and use as their first language without any problems. Most of the time at the complementary schools was spend trying to teach and learn Chinese language and characters (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). Although Chinese people were traditionally seen as minorities, globalization has made people show that they are not minorities. This can be clearly demonstrated by the fact that one in every five people in the world is a Chinese and speaks Chinese language. Chinese language is one different and interesting language which every one needs to learn. Therefore, even children are proud to know it and speak it. This makes it easy for those teaching the language at the complementary schools. Chinese language is used as an identity (Cruickshank & Tsung, 2011). Due to the desire to acquire identity people are proud to speak the Chinese language. They value their culture so much and it is mostly portrayed by the Chinese language. Therefore to avoid total erosion of their culture, they put a lot of emphasis on the language.
From the discussion above it can be concluded that, although Chinese language was one which was considered as a minority with time it has become one of the widely spoken language in the world. This is confirmed by a research which showed that one out of every five people is a Chinese. Therefore, one may ask themselves a question like what really made it to be widely used. The one first reason one can give is that globalization has contributed to all these. Globalization has had a positive impact and contribution towards the wide use of Chinese language all over the world. One of the clear impacts of globalization on the Chinese language being the widely spoken language all over the world is that it led to introduction of multilingualism. Before globalization occurred, individuals only used English but with globalization, there was liberty to teach any other language and hence Chinese language started being taught in schools. This was due to the fact that people were moving all over the world and therefore needed to know many languages so that they understand each other. Another impact was the use of Chinese language in computers. As information technology advanced, it was found as a necessary issue to have Chinese include in computer systems. This enable people get in touch with those in the mother country. The reason as to why most children grew up speaking Chinese language as their first language was that they were taught Chinese language as from their childhood. Most of people speak Chinese as their first language, an estimation of over one billion. However, it also important to note that there are many dialects of Chinese language including Mandarin, Wu (Shanghainese), Yue (Cantonese), Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka among others. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the whole world out of all other Chinese dialects. Globalization is though most of the times considered coming with bad things but it has given Chinese language freedom of being used widely.
Cruickshank, K & Tsung, L. (2011). Teaching and Learning Chinese in Global Contexts. London, Continuum International Publishing Group.
Overholt, W. (2005). China and Globalization. Retrieved on May 30, 2011 from http://www.rand.org/pubs/testimonies/2005/RAND_CT244.pdf
Vaish, V. (2010).Globalization of Language and Culture in Asia: The Impact of Globalization Processes on Language. London, Continuum International Publishing Group.