The interest in studying Mandarin has increased significantly in the past years. Now Chinese is being frequently taught in schools and universities as a foreign language and more studying material is becoming available for learners who want to study it on their own. There are various different reasons why learning Chinese (Mandarin) is a great choice and you can find some of these reasons bellow.
1. Large Number of Speakers.
Based on statistics Chinese language has the largest number of speakers when compared with other languages. At the moment the total number of speakers is close to 1 billion. These numbers are even two times larger when compared with languages like English, Spanish or Hindi. Based on the numbers more than 15% of all worlds population speaks some form of Chinese as the first language.
Not only Mandarin is the most widely spoken language around the world, but its numbers are increasing rapidly too. This means that within years the importance of Mandarin will increase only further. Also China had an enormous economic growth throughout the last several decades (and it is still having) so it is becoming a very important language for conducting business. So large current number of speakers and future projections makes Chinese one of the best choices for learning a new language.
2. Old and Rich Chinese Culture.
It can be said that China has a very long history as a country (more than 5 thousand years), which also means that it has one of the richest cultures too. If you want to dive in into Chinese arts, literature, cuisine as well as traditions learning this foreign language is a must. Even though you can find most translations of Chinese literature into English, learning this foreign language will allow you to better understand Chinese mentality and their point of view.
3. Chinese Language is not that Difficult.
Many people hesitate to study Mandarin because it is considered as one of the hardest and difficult languages to learn for English speakers. For some learners this kind of statement can be a sufficient reason to choose another and easier language to study. While it is true that as a whole Chinese in not easy to learn there are easy parts about learning this foreign language too. When compared with most European languages, Mandarin has significantly easier and straightforward grammar. In Chinese you will not find any tenses, plurals, conjugations that makes studying a new language a difficult task.
Some of the most difficult parts about learning Chinese is of course its writing system and different tones. Even though writing system of Chinese has over 80 thousand of characters it is not necessary to learn them all. Native Chinese speakers usually only use around 3,5 thousand of characters themselves so for learners of this foreign language it is sufficient to learn only part of characters in order to write and read in Chinese.
4. Language of Business and Career Opportunities.
When most people choose to study one particular foreign language they usually take into account whether it will be beneficial for their career or business. After all if you are going to spend hours studying you want to get some financial benefits in return.
As it was mentioned earlier in this article China had a large economic growth in the last few decades. Based on future forecasts most likely it will not grow as fast as previously; however close to 5% GDP growth rate is expected in the following years. At this time it is the second largest economy in the world and its GDP accounts for 15% of total worlds GDP (11,4 billion USD). Not only is economy of China booming, but this country has opened up for international businesses. This means that companies are interested in more than just cheap labor in this country. More and more businesses are interested in selling their products in China since this country has a large population and demand. So if you want to expand or start a new business in China learning this foreign language can be very useful.
Due to increasing China’s role in the world, the demand for professionals speaking this language has also increased. China is one of the most important USA trading partners and many companies do business in this country. So employees who are able to speak and understand Chinese will become more and more needed for various companies. For people who are new in the job market, having Mandarin as a skill in their CV can give a great advantage too. Since not so many people in the USA have Chinese language skills, knowing this language can get you ahead of your competitors when seeking for a new job.
While at the moment English is considered to be the most common business language used for communication in Asia, this might change in the near future. Since China tends to trade more and more with countries like Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand it can happen that the main language for communication will become Mandarin. All this means that in the future it might be not sufficient to know only English if you are planning to do business in Southeast and East Asia region.
5. Tourists and Traveling.
Since China had one of the fastest growing economy in the world in the last two decades this had a positive impact on Chinese ability to travel and spend more money in foreign countries. Some of the most popular Chinese destinations for traveling are Japan, Australia, USA and Thailand. Based on future projections China’s economy and population is expected to grow even further. All this makes learning Mandarin very beneficial for people who are associated with tourism industry. Knowing a language of people who are visiting your country can be a great advantage and can help to accommodate Chinese speaking tourists better.
If you are learning a new language due to traveling reasons it is worthwhile to consider studying Chinese too. This foreign language is spoken not only in China, but it has official language status in countries like Singapore and Taiwan. Mandarin also has large communities of speakers in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Cantonese dialect of Chinese is the official spoken language in both Macau and Hong Kong. Learning Chinese characters can be also beneficial if you are planning to travel to Japan. Written Japanese contains quite a lot of Chinese characters so it would be significantly easier to read in Japanese for learners who already studied Chinese.
While in many cases knowing English can help you travel and communicate in most of these mentioned countries without too much trouble you will definitely encounter many people who only speak their native language or their English is very limited. So in order to experience China at it full extent, learning at least basics of Mandarin is a must.