Blogs // Rob Williams

Conference: Sprachen und Beruf

Blog language

Last week I attended the Sprachen und Beruf conference - an annual get together in Berlin dedicated to the use of languages in business. There were the usual things you find at conferences – a panel discussion, plenary speakers and a range of smaller group discussions. I was there to present Chinese 4 Europeans, which as it turned out was a timely intervention.

How far back do you go?

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I went to a presentation from one of my students not too long ago. It was about the perceptions. Where does the western mythology about China come from and is it justified? Clearly not. But what was interesting was the view put forward that all many people really know about China dates from the Cultural Revolution. We know Mao, Tiananmen Square 1989 and the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. We lap up the notion that China has become the factory of the world, that China’s growth is to be both admired and mistrusted.

Chinese for EU

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I was walking down the main road near where I live in London and, in common with most main roads in London, buses whizz up and down it. Normally I don’t give the adverts on the buses a second glance, but one advert caught my eye recently. It was completely in Chinese.

Rob Williams

Rob is a principal lecturer in the Department of Modern and Applied Languages at the University of Westminster in London, where he runs an MA in International Liaison and Communication. He has visited China on a number of occasions and has worked with students from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs among others on the MA. He is also President of the ICC International Language Association, an NGO dedicated to enhancing the teaching and learning of languages to adults and in professional environments. His passions are travel, talking to people from everywhere in the world and making music.