New Delhi, July 18 : With sports lovers thronging China for next month's Beijing Olympics, the Chinese are gearing up to welcome them in English.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise to any of the visitors, if some local greets him or her with "Hello" instead of saying "Ne Hao". The next word would be "Welcome to China".
Many children, somehow, are learning commonly used English words from their class teachers or from those visiting their native place.
The Chinese Government is encouraging schoolchildren to learn English. It has made English language a compulsory subject along with Mathematics and Chinese.
"Though not many Chinese parents are familiar with even basic words of English, now they want their wards to learn English and develop conversational skills in the same language," said Lup Sang Dawa , an English teacher.
Lup informed how the youth, who are interested to go to Australia, the United Kingdom, USA or many other Westerns countries for higher studies, are learning English. The others, even if they are not planning for abroad, are learning this language for being at least able to talk a little to the visiting people from other countries.
"Tibet is the hub of Chinese tourism as over five million visit the area every year. There is always a chance for locals to converse and establish conversation with those tourists," Lup added.
Zhaxi, a young boy, is delighted to be able to give direction to the visitors for various places using English.
He said that he had learnt the language from his elder brother, a university student in Beijing. He believes that having learnt the English language a bit, he can easily make many international friends.
One can find many youngsters buying compact discs (CDs) of popular English songs and of commonly used words.
Qinghai, Gunzhou, Beijing are emergins as the main business centers in China. English newspapers in China like the "China Daily, the Beijing Review and Beijing Today" are being read regularly.
According to an estimate, people in media hope the readership of English dailies would increase in the coming days.
For young businessmen like Lev Ya Jin, it is a good opportunity to explore the world during the upcoming Olympics. He has taken a few classes in his town from an English teacher.
"Without knowing the international language, it is difficult to explore the world market," Jin said.
Teenager Lin Zahi has got the job of a receptionist at a local hotel, and said now times was changing and everyone needs to learn an international language to be able to tell the world about them.
"There is no harm in knowing the other language other than one's mother tongue," she said.
Zhu Hao said that he always keeps a notebook in his pocket and writes down every new word he come across, and tries to use it during a conversation.
Even the people living in the remote provinces of China like Gansu and Xinzhou want their children to learn English and to go out to earn more and uplift their standard of living. By Ravinder Singh Robin