by: John Davison
Chinese is a language, or a group of languages, spoken by 1.3 billion people worldwide. If you believe Chinese to be one language, rather than a grouping, it is the single most commonly spoken language on the planet. It is spoken in countries like China, Taiwan Singapore, and Malaysia. If you are interested in learning Chinese, it can be intimidating and challenging. But learning Chinese can also be rewarding, and knowing it can have benefits for your career, and help to improve your travels to Asia.
If you decide to learn the Chinese language, there a number of ways you can go about doing so. As a college student, you can study Mandarin Chinese and earn a degree in it. Earning a college degree in Chinese will provide you with a solid knowledge of formal, or Mandarin, Chinese. You will also be proficient in reading and writing the alphabet, which is a standard alphabet throughout the Chinese-speaking world. If you are established in your career, and find it necessary to learn Chinese for business dealings and /or business-associated travel, you can enroll in an accelerated Chinese language course online, or by purchasing audiotapes that teach quick techniques, which will help you to rapidly learn how to speak basic Mandarin Chinese. Learning to speak Chinese this way is convenient if you need to learn it before an important business trip. There are several learning centers that provide accelerated online programs in Chinese, and many lesson on tape available for purchase.
If you are a student majoring of minoring in Chinese, or if you are a tourist with a desire to travel to Asia, an ideal way to learn the Chinese language is through participation in an immersion program. By doing this, you will not only learn how to speak Chinese, but you will learn about and experience Chinese culture. By studying Chinese in a city like Beijing, where the language is natively spoken, you will become part of the life and culture, and you will find learning to speak the Chinese language is much easier than you thought. Since it is a total immersion into the Chinese world, you will learn all conversational and idiomatic styles of the language. You will interact everyday with people who are native speakers of Chinese, and who can’t or won’t speak English with you. You will be taken on guided tours of the famous landmarks, as well as the everyday places. You will grow to understand and recognize the value of the ancient Chinese culture: the history, the art, the architecture, the food, and the people. You will attend courses in which you will learn the complex Chinese alphabet, how to read it, and how to write it as well. Learning the Chinese language by attending an immersion program is an ideal way to go.
If you are fluent in the Chinese language, not only could it help you if are established in a career, but it could also open doors to new careers for you. For example, you could take a job as a foreign language translator, where you would be responsible for translating websites, training documents, and other important business documents, while helping to bridge the communication gap between two very different cultures. You might also consider a career as a teacher if English as a second language. You have the opportunity to relocate to a Chinese-speaking nation, and teach the English language to Chinese students. Being fluent in Chinese will definitely make your relocation less stressful.
Learning how to speak, read, and write the Chinese language has many advantages. It gives you the potential to enhance you career by working and/or traveling abroad, or you would have opportunities to embark on new careers as a translator or a teacher. If you plan to travel to Asia, learning Chinese will make your journeys less stressful and more enjoyable. Taking the time to learning the Chinese language will open your eyes to a new and often misunderstood culture, and is an achievement that can be personally and professionally fulfilling.