Although Spaniards consider English to be by far the most essential to have on their CV, many language learners are looking to learn Mandarin Chinese as a way of improving their professional prospects, especially in times of crisis.
Galician entrepreneur Anxo Pérez is now looking to cater to these linguistic ambitions by introducing an online tool which he claims can make users fluent in this notoriously difficult language in just eight months.
His programme, 8Belts, is geared towards people who have little time to study but are looking to make the most out of what they’ve learnt.
“It’s not a miracle method,” Pérez told Galician daily La Voz de Galicia. “You need to make an effort and be perseverant, but you end up reaping the rewards.
Pérez’s language learning application is based on the 80-20 rule — 20 percent of a language is used 80 percent of the time.
Instead of teaching entire word groups for say fruit, colours or transport, 8Belts selects the most useful words in every field.
Pérez has come up with a software programme that only allows access to new content once the previous lesson has been learnt — by giving you a red or a green traffic light.
8Belts also offers oral lessons with native Chinese speakers who decide whether you can advance a level in your language acquisition.
Pérez came up with the 8belts method while learning the language in China five years ago.
He came back to Spain and with the help of linguists, mathematicians, IT specialists and philologists he was able to patent the concept and launch the programme a year ago.
High-end executives at some of Spain’s main multinationals are already using his services and even China’s ambassador in Spain has praised Perez’s method for its efficiency.