Roden has left a new comment on your post "Problem With Today's Young Graduates":
I believe a lot of Chinese face the dilemma to choose what language you want to master, mandarin or English? Especially in Malaysia and Singapore, English is so important in commercial world, it is a tool, a key to access various source of knowledge.
However, language is our soul, it has reflected our culture inherent from thousands years, it shape our mind and thinking. Some people see the Malaysia Chinese fighting to against using English to teach math and science in primary school, I think they would doubt it is necessary. Chinese school boy from Chinese speaking community should be having their "inner-conversation" with their mother tongue, which is easy for them to think and to learn in their mother tongue.
Using other language to learn, it could be a mental process obstacle. One thing for sure, whatever language we learn, we must masters it before we could use that language to express in deep and profound idea. It is extremely difficult to master Chinese and English at the same time, even Singapore MML in his book has admitted, which he wrote his experienced to learn Mandarin. It is naïve to think you would be smooth in China business world or comunity if you can speak mandarin, your mandarin should reach to certain level to understand their metaphor which related to china ancient history.
However, it is matter of choice, if you choose to master your Chinese, then say bye bye to MNC companies, u unlikely reach the top or high ranking in MNC Companies, you unlikely to be some one like Dali, able to access various kind of knowledge in financial industry for the first hand information, and write such a great blog. However, the door is open for you to understand the masterpieces of china ancient knowledge and philosophy, some Chinese ancient book lost most of the meaning when translate into English. How wonderful and complicated that every Chinese character actually is a picture. You master Chinese; you should be able to swim like a fish in China man Company, where the rule is “no rule but hidden rule”.
Personal opinion, Malaysian Chinese should fight on using their mother tongue to learn math and science. Whereas, the other group of Chinese forgoes the mandarin and master in English, heading to specific industry that could not do without English. After all, although using different language, other race still calls us Chinese.
p/s photos: Zhou Wei Tong