Ell
“only 10% are capable of communicating fluently”

I stumbled upon a weird article about Mandarin and Chinese citizens. At one point they say that 90% of the 70% of the population of China are not fluent in Mandarin.

This got me really confused. Is that possible? How can only 10% be fluent -- do the rest don't know how to speak? It seems really, really silly.

I want and need some opinions on this from you guys!

 

Below is a link to the article:

http://qz.com/269243/people-in-the-west-need-to-stop-obsessing-over-learning-chinese/

 

Man, I had to add both English and Mandarin to my language list just to put this in the proper section. -.-'

Feb 22, 2015 5:53 PM
Comments · 7

Mandarin is the official language, but not all Chinese are native mandarin speakers. They speak in their own dialect.

 

Anyway, 10% of such a large population is quite a big number.

 

We spend years studying subjects and professions that are useful to some thousand people only. Why wouldn't we want to learn mandarin chinese, that are used by so many?

February 22, 2015

You were right to feel confused. The article's suggestion that only 10% of China's population speaks Mandarin fluently is way off. There are a lot of people in China who can't speak Mandarin fluently, but they're in the minority.

What the announcement really means is "only 10% are capable of speaking without an accent." That would be a more accurate translation. 

February 23, 2015

My understanding of Chinese... I don't even know anymore.

February 24, 2015

Well, that's true. I think it's not silly, though we speak different dialect, but we could almost understand each other. We may have some accent, but it's ok for conmunication.:)

February 24, 2015

Bwahah so? Probably 400,000 Latvian citizens cannot speak Latvian. You know, Russians.

February 23, 2015
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Ell
Language Skills
English, French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian
Learning Language
English, French, Lithuanian, Russian