Sunday, February 7, 2010

California Cities Teaching Their Officials Mandarin

[Lancaster, CA] is sending business delegations to China, partnering with a Chinese sister city, and using a language tutor to teach bureaucrats Mandarin.

It may seem odd that this frontier desert town, where many residents relish the separation and distance from downtown L.A., is actively courting the language and culture of a far-flung land. But city leaders say they're on a mission.

"We have to recognize it's a global economy," said Parris, who has been studying Mandarin using the language-learning software Rosetta Stone, and plans to send his two adult sons on a year-long language-study trip to China. "The Chinese have trillions of American dollars. We want them to reinvest those dollars back into America."

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