Mandarin Chinese is considered to be a language that is impossible to learn to non-native speakers… and well that’s a misconception.
True, that it is difficult when compared to other languages that are more similar with English but it’s not unmanageable when learned the right way.
Here’s a breakdown of why I think Mandarin is important to learn:
- China has the largest population in the world, which everyone should know by now. If not, here you go: According to the World Bank, in 2012 China had a population of 1.351 billion people. That’s a large pool of potential consumers that you can speak with…
- GDP. Period. China’s $8.227 trillion USD ranked 2nd in the world in 2012, behind US’s $15.684 trillion USD (World Bank, 2012). Want to have something manufactured? Want to have a joint venture?
- Opportunities abound for those who speak this tonal language. If you are from outside of China or other Mandarin speaking countries and speak Mandarin, doors will open for you. I know people who have jobs based on their ability to speak English and Mandarin fluently!
- Okay, okay. So you want to know why to learn Mandarin aside from monetary incentives. Well Chinese civilization has been around for about 5,000 years. It’s one of the oldest continuous cultures in the world. By learning a language, you gain insight into a culture.
- If you ever plan to travel to the PRC or Taiwan, Mandarin Chinese would be a huge helping hand to your experience. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and other South Asian countries also have very large Chinese populations, typically successful and powerful within their countries. This can make a trip to the Great Wall or the Taipei Night Market a whole lot easier and worthwhile!
So to summarize, why do you want to learn Chinese?
Globalization, trade partners, outsourcing, global markets, etc. Other people learn because by learning about Chinese culture, it allows you to have a deeper understanding of history. These are all large factors that inspire people to learn Mandarin!