What Language to Learn: South-East Asia

The boys at ComingAnarchy might enjoy this one…

I am close to wrapping up my tour of South East Asia, having visited Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. In all three countries Chinese strikes me as more useful than England. This was especially surprising in Thailand and Malaysia, which are noted tourist areas… I can get almost nowhere in English, but I find a large fraction of the folks I meet can communicate with me in Chinese. I find that conversations stress my Chinese vocabulary much less often than while actually in China, though, so it seems that most people who speak it have picked it up as a second language.

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