Should I learn Mandarin or French?
5 good reasons why you should learn Chinese
When I personally think of the Chinese language, I immediately feel overwhelmed. I can't pronounce the different “mǎ, má, mǎ and mà” tones with the necessary clear distinction, and then there are those many characters that you have to remember.
But what if I tell you that Chinese is actually a lot easier than I always thought and that many others fear too? And that this language is so widespread and growing so quickly that it could open many doors to new opportunities, career paths and a promising future for you? Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Here are five main reasons why you should learn Chinese.
1. 1.2 billion native speakers
According to World o’ Meters, there are currently more than 7.6 billion people in the world. Of these, 1.2 billion speak Chinese as their mother tongue. So that means that every sixth person in the world speaks Chinese. And let's be honest: the ability to communicate with others in their mother tongue can help you privately and professionally and open up a whole new world full of new perspectives and ideas.
2. It's not as hard as you think
While “mastering” Chinese can take a while, it is not all that difficult to get to an intermediate level at which you can have a conversation. As mentioned above, Chinese is a very “tonal” language, but it is also a contextual language.
If you don't hit the right tone perfectly for some words, it doesn't matter that much, as the context of the sentence still allows the other person to understand you.
You don't necessarily have to be able to speak the characters either, because thanks to today's technology, you can speak Chinese via email and text message with the help of Pinyin speak - a standardized system of spelling in Latin letters for transliterating Chinese.
This is becoming increasingly important as it takes too long to write Chinese characters and so many native speakers also choose the Pinyin script.
Memorizing all of the characters may seem like a task for Sisyphus, but you only need to know 2,000 to 3,000 of them to read a newspaper ... two to three thousand ?!
Okay, I know what you're thinking: the thought of having to memorize thousands of characters can be intimidating at first, but it's the same as any other language that also requires learning vocabulary and rules, and when If you start with ten characters a day, you can do it in no time.
3. It can boost your career in business or tourism
Chinese tourism is a huge, steadily growing field of business. From Vancouver to Egypt, tour operators are hiring and training their employees to prepare for the growing number of Chinese tourists.
In business life, with the growing Chinese middle class, a huge number of new consumers and an expanding retail market are developing. Are you ready to get involved and do you have the appropriate language skills?
4. Experience the culture
Chinese culture is over 5,000 years old and Chinese is one of the oldest languages still in use today. In addition, this civilization had a great influence on the arts and sciences, and the Chinese architectural tradition was also respected around the world. Even today, the Chinese language, literature, philosophy and politics play an important role in the development of global trends.
5. Open the doors to the future
That brings me to the last point - China is currently the most powerful player in the world economy. While many skeptics long believed that the Chinese authoritarian capitalist model was not competitive, the country has proven the opposite to the whole world.
According to the Center for Economics and Business Research, China will outperform the US in GDP by 2029 - that's not that long. The Chinese youth, very much like the Indian by the way, are very positive and optimistic that the world will be a better place for them.
Part of the reason for this is because their economies are booming, but they also have faith in the power of technology to do good - which is vital for China as it shapes the future of global technology. China is clearly the future.
So there is no better time to learn Chinese!
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