Three reasons why you should study Chinese
There are many reasons why you should start studying Chinese. Some people enjoy learning a new language while some people are just fascinated with the beautiful Chinese handwriting, poetic phrasing, and melodic spoken language. But aside from all this, there are a lot of very pragmatic reasons why you should learn Chinese, especially because it has become a language more relevant in the world of commerce. Nowadays China became a political, economic and social power. And even though people complain about how hard Chinese is, truth be told, Mandarin Chinese is a language you can learn in your spare time. Also learning Mandarin Chinese is the absolute best investment you could make. And here is why.
1. Chinese is not that hard as you may think
Most people, when they hear Chinese, start complaining about how difficult it sounds. It is true that languages easier than Chinese do exist, but it is not that difficult to learn. People think that Chinese is hard especially because of the writing system. Unlike other languages, Chinese is composed of semi-phonetic ideograms and pictograms. And because they look so sophisticated, people assume that all other elements of the Chinese language as just as hard. But this is not true. For example, if you compare it with the Finnish language which does not appear as intimidating, you will see that it will be almost impossible to learn because it is one of the most grammatically complex languages in the world.
Chinese has no genders, no cases, no tenses and a very simple grammar. This makes it one of the easiest language to learn in the world in terms of grammar. Unlike European languages, Chinese has no complicated constructs like genders and cases and also treats tenses in a simplistic way. Even if you compare it with other East Asian languages, like Japanese and Korean, Chinese has no complicated honorific grammar.
Chinese is a phonetic language. And because of this people think that it will be hard to understand it. But in reality, most people in the world speak their language phonetically to express their emotions. It is very easy to learn Chinese if you assimilate it with how you say some words in your own language.
2. Today it is easier to learn Chinese than it was 10 years ago
Chinese learning has become easier than it was a decade ago. You won’t have to deal with huge dictionaries, recorded tapes, and endless character lists. Today everything is digitized and is available for you with just one click.
You have the opportunity of using digitally assisted learning techniques that are becoming more and more popular: great dictionaries like KTdict, Pleco and character learning programs such as Anki and Memrise.
In addition to all this, there are Media-assisted learning methods that can help you master Chinese, such as FluentU. This is an online immersion platform that turns videos (movie trailers, music videos or news) into personalized learning lessons. Furthermore, digital communication is making handwriting less and less relevant.
3. Learning Mandarin opens a whole new world of opportunities to you
And yes, nobody learns a new language because it is accessible and easy to learn. You should learn Chinese because of the benefits it will bring you. China’s economy is booming, and it has become a global superpower. In the last 35 years, the transformation China has suffered made it the largest global economy it is today. China has also opened up to other parts of the world, and now it is encouraging foreign investments and cooperation.
Because of all this, having Chinese skills can make you an attractive hire. People that possess Chinese skills are still rare, and finding a Fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker is next to impossible outside of China. Western businesses are now searching for individuals who speak English and Chinese. By learning Chinese, you will transform from a regular employee to a “must hire” person for a company or a project in China.
The world is being shaped more and more by the Chinese people. Because of this, it is useful to know how to communicate with Chinese people and understand the way they think and their culture. Don’t hesitate anymore and start learning Chinese!
Photo credit: 讀書在森林
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