You’ve probably seen posts before about how English is the language of business, but there’s another language that you need to look out for, too: Chinese. Specifically, Mandarin.
As far as the globe itself, Chinese is the most widely spoken language and you’ll find it in countries other than China, including Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, just to name a few. As the economy grows in China, more and more world leaders are working with China.
With this, learning Chinese becomes very important. And there are tonnes more reasons where those came from.
The importance of Learning Chinese in Our Modern World
Maybe you already learned Spanish and French so you don’t want to learn Mandarin Chinese on top of it, right?
The good news, it’s not as hard as you’d think and there are a lot of valid and real-world reasons why you should. In fact, you’ll find that, after reading this list, you’ll be heading to your nearest local hub to start lessons yourself!
Here are some of the main reasons to consider.
1. Chinese Students and Professionals are Everywhere:
China’s population is much, much bigger than that of the Western world. So, while foreign students may seem few and far between, the reality is very different. More and more Chinese students and professionals, both, are coming overseas into the Western world to start their lives and gain experience. Quite a few settle down and start families, spending their entire lives outside of China.
This means that, as more Chinese start to do this, there will be more of a Chinese-speaking population in the Western world. Knowing how to communicate in even basic Mandarin can be really heartwarming and exciting on both sides of the conversation.
2. China is a Great Place for Employment:
Since China has so many people and it, too, focuses on being ope to foreign workers and students, there are many opportunities for job seekers who live to travel. Some of those jobs include teaching ESL in schools or even to adult learners.
Other ones are more industry-specific and can be great for those who are highly educated and looked for a change. Examples include marketing experts and lawyers who can work and live in China but can speak English. Since the Chinese are looking to expand their horizons, being able to “straddle” both worlds can be a great idea.
3. The Language of Chinese is in High Demand:
Another fact is that people who speak Chinese are in high demand in the Western world, too. Since China is working more and more with Western corporations, those who can help with details such as international trade, tourism and even retail positions are considered very beneficial.
Quite often, these positions (Even “lowly” retail ones) will even pay a premium to anyone with working knowledge in Chinese, too. Both small businesses and large businesses are on the hunt for these people, so you may even have some leverage to use to help you get the details you’re looking for as far as job security.
4. You’ll be Able to Work Easier with Chinese People:
Wherever you’re living or working, you’ll find that it’s going to be much more enjoyable to work with Chinese people. Even if your knowledge of Chinese isn’t the best, even knowing a few words or phrases can be really relaxing to your co-worker as well as yourself. It can also form a comfortable friendship, too, more-so with someone who doesn’t speak a word of Chinese.
Then there’s the fact that learning Chinese is often paired hand in hand with basic understanding of, and appreciation for, Chinese customs and traditions. Knowing what to do or, more importantly, what not to do can help you feel more comfortable around Chinese people than someone who has no understanding of Chinese way of life.
In a China setting, if you get a job there, it also helps you live more comfortably because you’ll learn the key phrases or customs as you go. It can make the transition to Chinese way of life a lot easier and stress-free compared to someone who knows absolutely nothing. This is especially so with ordering food or even asking for help.
5. It’s Easy to Learn and Many People Speak it:
A common myth is that the process to learn Chinese, even to work in China, is hard. The good news is that this is a myth. Unlike Spanish of French or English (which is notoriously hard), Chinese is easy! There are no conjugations or even plurals and singulars to understand. The hard part of Chinese for Western language learners is the different alphabet. If you want to teach English in China or work in China in a general setting, you can get by on just spoken Chinese, using pinyin (phonetic words for the characters) to give you support. This is used in a lot of places in China because many foreigners are familiar with pinyin rather than the character-based alphabet that throws people off.
Remember that you don’t need to be fluent in Chinese, just like you don’t need to be fluent in French or Spanish. The whole point of learning Chinese is just to help you get a working knowledge of the language and then you can up your language skills as you want or need to later! A basic working knowledge is easy to get and it can make all of the difference.
Regardless of what your goals are (studying, travelling the world, operating in business, or just enjoying some time in Chinese-speaking locations), you’ll want to take a bit of time to learn Chinese in a way that works for you.
It’s not going to be nearly as hard as Spanish or French and you may even find that it’s a lot more comfortable to learn, encouraging you to learn more of the language as you get more comfortable with it. Everyone’s goals are different, but the end result is the same: Chinese is a language worth learning in our modern world.