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Setting up a Chinese Language School in Poland - good business idea?


D_anderson 3 | 12  
12 Jan 2009 /  #1
Hi all,

I am planning to set up a Chinese Language School in Wroclaw, I dont know if this is a good business idea and if Polish will enrol and study Chinese. Poles think Chinese is a difficult language. Would appreciate if you could provide some information as follows:

1. Are there any chinese langauge school in wroclaw or Poland?
2. Besides Chinese, which asian languages are popular in Poland?
3. I notice some universities do offer asian languages, is that for their own student or public? I am wondering if my private school will be competing with the universities.

4. Do you think many poles will learn Chinese?

There are too many English Language Schools around, i hope the Chinese School will be a success in Poland.

Thanks.

D_Anderson
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254  
12 Jan 2009 /  #2
4. Do you think many poles will learn Chinese?

Highly unlikely. It's not practical in the way that English is, nor is it useful like German is for many Poles working in German-owned businesses.

Even in the UK, a country which is service-orientated, it's not like it's easy to find a private Chinese school. If someone really wants to study it, they'll do it at university - just like in the UK.

Out of curiosity, how are you going to find bilingual Polish/Chinese speakers? It seems to be my observation that Chinese speakers in Poland generally have very weak Polish. For instance, go to the 'Chinski Market' near Poznan PKS and speak Polish to them. They won't reply in Polish, they'll either show you or use English, bizzarely.
OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
12 Jan 2009 /  #3
hi delphiandomine,

We are targeting managers or directors who can speak English. Our teachers are native qualified teachers from china, they speak English and chinese, not Polish. Our market will be very limited because our teachers do not speak Polish as we will teach in English.

I thought many upper management executives would be interested as they might deal with China when it comes to work/business??

Thanks.

D_Anderson
Rocjovi - | 10  
12 Jan 2009 /  #4
Hi D_Anderson,

I know language schools in Tricity offering Chinese courses, but they also offer other language courses. Never heard of a single language school only offering Chinese language courses.

My boss in my previous job has been learning Chinese for 2 years due to the reason that he's doing business with China. He speaks English perfectly and all the Chinese courses he's been taking are taught in Chinese and English.

Besides Chinese, Japanese is pretty popular outside of Asia.

I'd have to say that you've spotted a niche market, but we still don't know how big the market is.

P: I'm a Chinese working in Poland.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254  
12 Jan 2009 /  #5
We are targeting managers or directors who can speak English. Our teachers are native qualified teachers from china, they speak English and chinese, not Polish. Our market will be very limited because our teachers do not speak Polish as we will teach in English.

The last part should tell you what you need to know - that the market will be very limited. Wrocław isn't really a big enough city to have much demand - and as I understand it, the city is more orientated towards manufacturing than services anyway.

Even if the Chinese speakers speak English, you still have the problem of accent - it's not difficult for me as a native English speaker to instantly work out linguistical quirks/etc - but it may be a struggle for Polish people. Remeber, English fluency isn't that high in Poland - younger people will understand, but people of management/director age may not have had the opportunity to learn it in a formal context and instead rely upon their conversational skills. This represents a barrier for education in this respect.

I thought many upper management executives would be interested as they might deal with China when it comes to work/business??

From the people I teach, I can tell you that the language of communication is English - in fact, one company is making all the workers learn English in order to communicate effectively with their suppliers in Asia.

Now, if you were based in Wrocław and could supply Chinese teachers who were fluent in Polish to companies throughout Poland, you may be on to an absolute winner.
OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
12 Jan 2009 /  #6
Rocjovi - yes, it is a niche market. And we dont know how big the market is, thats why i am posting it in here. Thanks for your reply. Maybe you are right, we can't teach one language in our centre. Can your boss speak Chinese now.

delphiandomine - I am in Wroclaw now. Good points! Absolutely agree. My business partner is Polish ( I am Asian) and he is so confident about this chinese school, insists that those Managers will learn English and Chinese at the SAME TIME as the lesson will be conducted in English. I have different opinion and agree on what you have just pointed out, thats why i need second opinion. I went around the language schools in Wroclaw and being told that nobody is interested in Chinese, just wondering if those language schools have not done a good job in marketing, etc. I can't really find a chinese teacher who can speak Polish in Poland. I have given out 100 copies of questionnaire, lets see if the result is positive.

I was just wondering why some polish prefer to have polish teacher to teach them English rather than a native speaker who doesnt speak a word of Polish?

What do you think if we have our materials in English and Polish ( will get someone to translate) and the teacher will use English to teach. Just a thought really.

Thanks.

D_anderson
Davey 13 | 388  
12 Jan 2009 /  #7
This is a ridiculous idea, the majority of Poles who speak English are youth who have no interest in learning Chinese
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254  
13 Jan 2009 /  #8
delphiandomine - I am in Wroclaw now. Good points! Absolutely agree. My business partner is Polish ( I am Asian) and he is so confident about this chinese school, insists that those Managers will learn English and Chinese at the SAME TIME as the lesson will be conducted in English.

I think this is a dangerous assumption to make, because the languages are so incredibly different. I know there's good arguments for/against using the native tounge in the classroom - but I fear without rigid lesson plans, it could easily end up being disjointed.

It's an interesting concept, and thinking about this further, if you had a Polish teacher alongside the Chinese teacher, then it very well may work - I think it's probably too complicated for a Chinese/English speaker to be able to deal with effectively, but add in a Polish/English teacher with strict lesson plans and it might, just might work wonderfully.

I went around the language schools in Wroclaw and being told that nobody is interested in Chinese, just wondering if those language schools have not done a good job in marketing, etc. I can't really find a chinese teacher who can speak Polish in Poland. I have given out 100 copies of questionnaire, lets see if the result is positive.

You're definitely doing your homework here :)

The problem, as I can see, would be the costs. You would almost certainly have to write your own 'method' for the school to begin with, in order to make sure that the lessons were structured enough to work under the English/Polish banner. On top, as you've already seen, there's not much demand for Chinese being taught - and I'm certain that if there was a demand, schools like Profi-Lingua would advertise some dreadful course in it.

I would steer clear of the school idea for now, personally - it's just too risky to focus on a language like Chinese when many people in Poland don't have another language - English and German is unfortunately dominant. It's the kind of idea that might work in Warsaw - but Wrocław is likely to just be too small for it. To give some comparison, Poznan isn't much smaller and is regarded as being the business capital of Poland, yet there's nothing here in the way of Chinese language provision.

What I would do is look at the languages of communication between Europe and Asia - what's being used, why is it being used, etc. That might tell you all you need to know.
OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
13 Jan 2009 /  #9
What I would do is look at the languages of communication between Europe and Asia - what's being used, why is it being used, etc. That might tell you all you need to know.

delphiandomine - I still think is English.....
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254  
13 Jan 2009 /  #10
Yeah, this is the thing...will people want to go to the hassle of learning Chinese when they could simply do business with English speakers?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
13 Jan 2009 /  #12
Very interesting idea. I wanted to learn Chinese but there's no courses where I live... But I agree that right now the market is too small for a language school teaching only Chinese, maybe in Warsaw but not elsewhere. 3 or 4 Universities offer Chinese studies for small numbers of students but that's BA/MA programs teaching literature, culture etc. I don't know If they run only language courses. Other Asian languages ? Maybe Japanese and Korean but here the market would be even smaller.

Looks like in Wrocław there's some Instytut Konfucjusza (Confucius' Institute) created last year by Wrocław University and some Chinese University...

dlastudenta.pl/studia/artykul/Ucz_sie_chinskiego_we_Wroclawiu,29179.html
OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
14 Jan 2009 /  #13
Thanks Grzegorz.

I was being told that Japanese is more popular than Chinese in Poland. I dont know if this is right.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254  
14 Jan 2009 /  #14
I would say it is - Japanese culture in Europe is much more fashionable than Chinese culture, for whatever reason. Many young Europeans will also be ideologically opposed to learning Chinese, particularly the ones from the former East.
halfzero - | 4  
17 Jan 2009 /  #15
Chinese is not difficult.
OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
19 Jan 2009 /  #16
Thanks all for the comments......
halfzero - | 4  
19 Jan 2009 /  #17
Can u speak Chinese? I am curious
OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
20 Jan 2009 /  #18
yes..i speak and teach chinese :)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
22 Jan 2009 /  #19
I was being told that Japanese is more popular than Chinese in Poland. I dont know if this is right.

I would say no but I'm not really sure. Both are still very unpopular, that's for sure.

I would say it is - Japanese culture in Europe is much more fashionable than Chinese culture

That's true but kids, who like manga or samurais are not going to learn Japanease... and within the next years the number of people seriously interested in learning Chinese will most probably be much bigger than in case of Japanese.
halfzero - | 4  
23 Jan 2009 /  #20
and within the next years the number of people seriously interested in learning Chinese will most probably be much bigger than in case of Japanese

Exactly
Wahldo  
23 Jan 2009 /  #21
Learning Chinese could create some opportunities. However, right now the Chinese manufacture the Japanese invent. That's not going to change anytime soon.
Prince 15 | 590  
23 Jan 2009 /  #22
China is ancient country. Many times in history was the most advanced country on the world.

After 17th century europe became more technologicaly advanced than China.

At the begining of the 20th century Japanise historician copared Poland to China ... Country which once lost independence ... and it was not so easy to regain the power.

imperilaism

French political cartoon from the late 1890s. A pie represents "Chine" (French for China) and is being divided between UK, Germany, Russia, France and Japan.

In middle ages it was close to Chinese colonisation of the world but their empiror changed policy and they have choosen izolationism instead of expansionism.

compare the size of ships used by Zheng He and by Christopher Columbus.

Ottoman empire was interesting example.

After when Poles beaten them in battle of Viena... they had enormous debt ... and started to sell their assets to pay their current debts ... it was the begining of the end.

Lets have a look on current world. Who has debt and who buys assets
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
24 Jan 2009 /  #23
True...

BTW

monstersandcritics.com/news/business/news/article_1427468.php/Report_Jiangling_Motors_plans_car_factory_in_Poland
Prince 15 | 590  
24 Jan 2009 /  #24
It will be interesting if Chinese will folow Japanise example.

From Peasant Economy to Urban Agglomeration
: The Transformation of ‘Labour-intensive Industrialization’ in
Modern Japan


e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/cirje/research/dp/2007/2007cf516.pdf
integrale  
25 Jan 2009 /  #25
I'm an English speaker planning to move to Warsaw for several months in the spring and would be very interested in taking an intensive Chinese language course. Do schools like this exist in Warsaw?

My hope is that there are English-based programs targeted at business people which will teach a foreign language. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks for your help!
halfzero - | 4  
26 Jan 2009 /  #26
However, right now the Chinese manufacture the Japanese invent. That's not going to change anytime soon.

U r totally wrong, 21th century is belonging to China.
Prince 15 | 590  
26 Jan 2009 /  #27
Chinese have useful tradition.

jing jang

When they have good times they work hard to be prepared for bad times and when they have bad times they work because they know that good times will come.
amjup - | 1  
27 Jan 2009 /  #28
Great idea!Please keep me updated on the project at amjup2000@yahoo
Some time ago I read about a preschool with chinese and I found this idea wonderful.If I find it I'll get back to you.

Good luck
amjup
Prince 15 | 590  
30 Jan 2009 /  #29
China, EU to confront economic crisis together
eubusiness.com/news-eu/1233307022.13

China is ready to work together with the European Union to confront the global economic crisis, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Friday.

"The fact that he came to Brussels is a very good sign... for deepening the relationship betwwen EU and China," the bloc's top diplomat said.

This is China



Beautiful.

Chinese cities 2009


OP D_anderson 3 | 12  
1 Feb 2009 /  #30
Hi guys, thanks for the comments, yes, there is confucions institute in Wroclaw but they are tartgeting stundets.

Learning Chinese can be easier than learning English. Chinese has no irregular verbs or noun plurals to be learned. Words have only a single form, with no suffixes for number, tense, number and case. Chinese is a tonal language with different pitch patterns which do not just add emotional colour as in English. With the right learning methodology, as well as your commitment and interest, learning Chinese is just as easy as learning other languages.

what would be the best marketing strategy to attract more polish to learn Chinese?

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