Now could be a good time to learn Chinese in preparation for the on-going shift of the world’s language.

Chinese flag, support for China, Chinese people protest, Chinese pride, people of China, red China, Chinese characters banner, red flag and four stars, most recognized flag in Asia and world

Photo from Philip Jägenstedt’s flickr

The ability to speak, read and understand English is vital to communicate to a diversified range of people. It is the language of the world’s scientific academe and political reference. It is even predicted during the 19th century that English will be the world’s language.

But English is declining. Chinese is rising. And the world’s tongue is adjusting.

Chinese is now the most widely spoken language in the world. This is mainly due to the multitude of Chinese population. In China alone, there are more than 1.3 billion Chinese and those who are scattered around the world speak their own language as well.

In the business world, Chinese is sitting comfortably along English as the most useful language. Transacting business matters using a common language is essential for rapport building but also for the “speed and effectiveness of your negotiations”, says Leigh Hafrey, a senior lecturer in communications and ethics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

The Chinese people better use their voice because it takes years to fully master the language. Learners should find the best memorization technique that works since Zhongwen Da Cidian (Great Dictionary of the Chinese Language) lists 50,000 Chinese characters, whereas English only has 26 alphabets. Being a tonal language, different tones of the same word have different meanings. And there are variations in form of dialects – Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Min, and more.  Each has internal diversity.

Despite the barrier of difficulty, westerners demand to learn it. Michael Roemer, an attorney who lives in California, brought his family to live in China. His purpose was to teach his two children the Chinese language because according to his own words, “speaking Mandarin is important”.

While Europe and USA remain the key players in the world’s economy, they recognize the gaining power of Asia, especially of the Chinese economy. Companies worldwide manufacture in China. The Chinese people are the biggest consumers of goods. Learning the world’s newest language would maintain the west’s competitiveness.

Language is power. Those who don’t speak it will be secluded. But China seemed to pass on this opportunity. It showed no interest to influence the world to make their language native. China casted English classes throughout the colossal country so the population could speak English when they hosted the 2008 Olympics.

Even without the slightest of effort from China, Chinese is still emerging. Right now, 9% of the population spoke English at birth. By 2050, it’ll be down to 5%. This gives room of expansion for the next major language.

Are you ready to learn the Chinese language?

Sources:
English in Decline as a First Language, Study Says; National Geographic
Mandarin Chinese Most Useful Business Language After English; Bloomberg
Can Chinese Replace English as the Global Language?; Chilli breeze
Chinese learn English for Olympics; Chine Daily
Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard; pinyin.info

Men who wear pink shirts earn £1,000 more, a new study finds.

men in pink, pink tie, pink shirt long sleeves for men, pink fashion, great pink clothes look for men, manly suit with pink, grey suit

Photo from photoXpress

Pink is unusual for men, isn’t it? It is a question of a man’s masculinity. The color is too pretty for a gallant character he portrays.

But it takes confidence to wear light colors. Men in pink don’t have insecurities having a pink bearing above his skin.

A new study reveals that men who wore pink earns £1,000 more yearly. Compared to those who wear the traditional colors, these men are better qualified yet half of them take the public transportation to work, leaving a lower carbon footprint.

The same study reveals that men in pink are twice as likely to hold a Master’s degree. 10% of pink wearers have a PhD extension on their name.

And the ladies love the pink color. Men in pink get more compliments and romances from female colleagues.

Pink is historically a man’s color. Men, for centuries, dress more elaborately than women.  The noble knights and celebrated kings wore exaggerated clothes. In the late 18th century, pink was common shade for a man, says Bronwyn Cosgrave, author of Costume & Fashion: A Complete History.

Today, men are coming back to a freer fashion.  One in four men feels more attractive when in pink. “Pink is a colour more men have been embracing recently and it’s encouraging that they are not afraid to experiment with brighter colours”, added Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe, International Marketing Manager for Cotton USA.

Another color deemed feminine before was purple. But in today’s society, men in purple shirts get the most pay raise, and are more likely to drive a car worth £20,000 or more.

The generalization that “pink is for women and blue is for men” is diffusing. Pink, blue and any other color is now for men and women.

What color of clothes you look best with?

Sources:
Men in the pink; BBC News
The power of pink: Men who wear shirts of that colour earn £1,000 a year more than those who don’t; Daily Mail UK
Men in pink shirts are “better qualified and have more office romances”, says study; London loves Business

People think an item is way cheaper when priced at $9.99 rather than $10.

Psychology of retail pricing, 9.99, 99 cents, $10, buying, shopping studies, 9.99 pricetag, sale and discount signs

Photo from Photoxpress

Price tags ending with .99 rule the stores. They are prevalent wherever you shift your view. Ever wonder why retailers do that? And you can expect certain category of products and services with price ending in 0, like $10 or $400. Even the emission of the comma in 1200 is a result of pricing studies.

9.99s

9 has a pricing power. Any item that ends with .99 speaks out “great value”, “sale” and “discount”. Buyers think that it’s the lowest price it could ever have.

People round $9.99 as $9 instead of $10. Researchers call this the left-digit effect. Everybody that has a brain is susceptible to think that way because that’s just how human minds work. And we are more led to round prices on the left digit because we see .99 innumerable times.

William Poundstone on his book Priceless analyzed eight different studies on .99 prices and found that sales increase by 24% on .99 prices compared to the 10s. Kenneth J. Wisniewski from the University of Chicago conducted another study at a local grocery chain:  sales of margarine increased by 65% when price was dropped from 89 cents to 71 cents; but it increased by 222% when dropped to 69 cents!

People buy more when the price ends with 9. That’s why we see a lot of .99s.

10s

A tipped polo from Neiman Marcus is priced at $150, while a Dolce & Gabbana leopard print bag is priced at 3,425.00. Both prices are ending with 0, and both products are high end. An item whose price ends with 0 communicates premium quality.

People get satisfaction on owning an expensive product. People are convinced that prices ending with 0s are upscaled; and prestige brands love it that way. Companies wanted to keep the reputation on their products so not all can buy it and those who can buy it will love buying it.

1200s

How they write it affects how you buy it. The longer the price appears, the more expensive we perceive. This is the reason why restaurants minimize the price on their menu with 29 rather than $29.99.

Commas and cents make the price longer; hence, increasing the magnitude of the price (at least according to our brain). 1200 seemed to appear cheaper than 1,200.00. There are less words in “twelve hundred” than in “one thousand two hundred”, so we think of 1200 as less.

Did .99s lured you?

Sources:
The Psychology Behind The Sweet Spots Of Pricing; Fast Company
Pricing Psychology: 7 Sneaky Retail Tricks; CBSNews
5 Psychological Studies on Pricing That You Absolutely MUST Read; Kiss Metrics
Party Like It’s 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing; Wise Bread
An Easy Way to Make Your Prices Seem Lower; Neuromarketing

We no longer have to wait for the morning; society is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

24 hours society, 24 hours lifestyle of people, restaurant and cafe open for 24 hours, sleepless nights, spending the night outside, 24 hours sign with lights, new street lights

Photo from Marcin Wichary’s flickr

Since people now don’t want to wait, businesses are offering around the clock activities. While there were still some of us who prefer to sleep tight at night, companies want you to know that they’re open whenever you needed them. With that option, they’re keeping their profits in the run every minute.

24 hours fitness is aptly named since they are open 24 hours every day. No matter what your shift schedule was, the gym can accommodate you. Working parents can leave their child in child care like Penny & Peggy Nairn where services are for 24 hours. And for us who likes to dine out, we don’t have to chase the closing times of restaurants because they’ll be serving us anytime.

Security should be firm for 24 hours businesses. Crimes are easier to perpetrate and evade at night. This is why stores have a one button that will alarm the policemen. But the increasing demand of security means society needs more policemen awake, in shift, at night.

There will be more jobs for graveyard schedule. Since people need jobs for survival, many would force their body to work at down time. But workers often won’t adjust to the nocturnal schedule, according to Paul MacLennan, PhD, of the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Even holidays need workers; like the upcoming thanksgiving where some families prefer to dedicate the family day in restaurants than in their own houses.

We don’t have real 24 hours banking yet where banks are open all the time; but I think this will happen. What businesses do you think will open for 24 hours?

Sources:
Society changing to 24/7 lifestyle; News 8
A 24/7 Society; UAB

Audience screams, cheers, and reacts to athletes’ performance; and athletes make mistakes when they think about it.

Athletes' performance, making mistake on sporting events, psychological new study said squeezing a ball or clenching left hand can improve athletes' performance, trick and techniques to work under pressure, soccer ball in hand, small soccer ball for kids

Photo from Photoxpress

Several athletes in the Olympics perfect their moves over years but they make mistakes on the day of show. It happens to the most of us. We prepare for a long time but on the exact time we should perform, we gag and choke. We make mistakes we have never committed when we are practicing. This is a familiar feeling to athletes because eyes are on them in every sporting event.

The source of the blunder is when athletes started thinking of their own movements instead of relying on their body’s motor capabilities. Overthinking can intervene with concentration and performance of motor tasks.

For the athletes who aren’t used to the pressure of an audience yet, squeezing a ball or clenching a hand may help. According to the new research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, doing so before the competition will activate certain parts of the brain.

But it has to be the left hand. In the study, right handed athletes who squeezed a ball using the left hand have lower chances of choking than right handed athletes who squeezed a ball using the right hand. This may be due to the system of our brain’s supervision, where the right brain controls the left part of our body – the side of the brain that directs automated and instinctive behaviors.

The idea is to distract athletes from thinking. “Athletes usually perform better when they trust their bodies rather than thinking too much about their own actions or what their coaches told them during practice”, said Juergen Beckmann, PhD, chair of sport psychology at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

This technique may also be applied outside athletics, especially in pressing situations.

Do you think this will work for you?

Sources:
Squeezing a ball before competition may improve performance, study finds; American Psychological Association
Do You Choke Under Pressure? A Routine That May Help; PsychCentral
Sporting skill improved by just a simple squeeze; drbriffa
 
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