The 2008 Beijing Olympics and what it means for China

Jul 19 10:18 2008 alexi Print This Article

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Perhaps no other sporting event in the world has such a rich history as the Summer Olympic Games. From its origins in ancient Greece,Guest Posting the games have travelled the world for centuries. And this summer, they come to another ancient land, China.

Beijing will play host to the 2008 Summer Olympics, the 29th Olympiad in modern times. This is the first time China has ever hosted the Olympics. Billions of dollars have been invested in building stunning new sports venues; including the 80,000 seat National Stadium, a wonder of architectural design and beauty.

In preparation for the games, the Chinese people have become “Olympics crazed,” filled with a tremendous sense of pride in their country, which has always been considered something of a closed society by Westerners. Even those of Chinese ancestry overseas have shown their support by attending the torch relays as they pass through their home countries.

Perhaps that’s why the Chinese have selected such an appropriate theme for their first Olympics:

ý*L , ý*¦ó. In Chinese, this means “One World One Dream.”

For the Chinese, it’s certainly a dream come true. The new sporting facilities were built almost entirely with corporate funding. The government only paid 15% of the total cost, a remarkable feat in itself. When the Games end, the venues will be used to train China’s national teams as well as to host world-class sporting events.

Chinese hope that the Games will not only improve the reputation of their country in the arena of world opinion, but also improve living and working conditions at the same time. While China is fast becoming a world economic powerhouse, it is still has a ways to go in many respects. The Summer Olympics will certainly help move things forward in the country.

Though it lags behind Western cultures on some fronts, China is one of the leaders in using the cutting edge technologies and techniques to teach its residents how to speak Chinese. Of course, students have always been taught how to speak Chinese in schools. But the use of technology to teach Chinese allows others, particularly those in Western countries, to learn how to speak Chinese from those who are fluent in the language.

As tens of thousands of journalists, sports fans and world leaders come to Beijing this summer; there’s never been a better time for Westerners to learn to speak Chinese. Not only will it make the Games more enjoyable, but you can dazzle your friends by not only being able to read ý*L ý*¦ó, but pronounce it as well.

Once thing’s for certain. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing promise to put China in the winner’s circle as it takes the world stage in August. Only time will tell if it’s a Gold Medal performance. But you can go for the Gold yourself by learning to speak Chinese in the months leading up to the Games. A great place to start is Mando Mandarin (http://www.mandomandarin), which provides students with easy to learn lessons, taught by native speakers. You can even learn how to speak Chinese in your spare time with their innovative language system.

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