Washington, DC    Mandarin Speakers Society 

Introduction To Our Club 

Washington, DC Mandarin Speakers Society (华府汉语会)

  • Current Chair: Carlos Da Rosa  (2010 --)
  • Former Chair: Richard Seldin  (2004-2009) 


The Washington Mandarin Speakers Society was established in the fall of 2004.  Its primary purposes are to provide speakers of Mandarin an opportunity to speak Mandarin, to socialize with native and non-native speakers of Mandarin, and to attend talks in Mandarin given by experts in matters relating to United States-China relations, China and Chinese culture.

 The Club meets roughly  bi-monthly at a local Chinese restaurant, usually the China Garden Restaurant (汉宫,in Rosslyn, Virginia.  Although the Club usually has speakers, at times when speakers are not scheduled Club members meet for dinner during which conversation is expected to be in Mandarin.

Over the years, talks have covered a wide spectrum of topics, among others:  the development of Chinese NGOs and philanthropy; Chinese relations with the Middle East, Mongolia and Southeast Asia; rule of law development; Tibetan exile poetry; press freedom; Chinese medicine; and psychoanalysis in China. (More recent programs have featured the outlook on U.S.-China relations in a Trump Presidency, China-Latin America relations, prospects for economic reforms and impact on U.S.-China relations, Mandarin instruction in Washington, D.C. public high schools, and the role of women in early Chinese Buddhism. We also have had events involving artistic demonstrations, such as the art of paper-cutting and a Pipa concert. Our policy is to treat speakers’ and participants’ comments as “off the record” unless other arrangements are made with the speaker) to encourage openness of viewpoints.

Attendance at Washington Mandarin Speakers Society events is open only to members and their invited guests. Criteria for membership are competency in Mandarin and professional work or established interest in East Asian affairs and culture. The Club’s membership is quite varied in terms of professions, interests and ages.  Its members include current and retired Federal Government officials, teachers, translators, business people, NGO workers, artists and students.  Currently we have approximately 80 members of which about half are native speakers and half non-native.  The Club assesses an annual membership fee of $15 to cover small honoraria (currently $100) that we provide to speakers.  Nevertheless, the Club invites potential members to attend a meeting or two before paying the annual dues to gain an idea of what the Club is all about.

Should you be interested in joining the Club, please contact Carlos Da Rosa, Club Chair, at (202) 415-2720 or  cardarosa@yahoo.com


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