There are so many reasons why you should learn Chinese. Learning Chinese offers many benefits to personal and professional growth and it helps in gaining a better understanding of one of the richest cultures in the world. Do you love the language and wish to learn? But you are looking for strong reasons to convince yourself to take the step and learn, then in this article, you would see different reasons why you should learn to speak Chinese Mandarin.
Reasons to Learn Chinese Mandarin
1. Chinese is One of the Most Widely Spoken Languages in the World
Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with approximately 1,197,000,000 people speaking Chinese, of which 873,000 million speak Mandarin, therefore 14% of the global population speaks Chinese. This without a doubt puts the language as the most spoken language in the world. Learning Mandarin will enable you to speak with more than a billion people worldwide. And if you already speak English, you would almost be able to communicate to half the world’s population.
2. Make friends with different cultures
China has the biggest population in the world with approximately 1.28 billion people so learning the language gives you access to communicate with many people and connect on a deeper level. People rarely speak about the level of impact you can have on someone by speaking their language. This is especially true for Mandarin Chinese as so few people outside of the Sinosphere actually speak it.
3. Learn about the history and culture of China
Chinese history and culture are one of the richest and certainly the oldest in the world. China is renowned for producing beautiful novels, short stories, poetry, and more recently excellence in film. Reading great Chinese biographies and watching short films about the history of China provides a greater understanding of the language. English has been a compulsory subject in nearly all mainland Chinese schools since the late eighties/early nineties, and millions of Chinese students move overseas to study at foreign universities every year. Although the level of English is improving in China, it still isn’t widely spoken compared to a lot of other countries in the region.
4. For business purposes
As well as China, Mandarin is spoken in countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, the Philippines, and Mongolia so if you do business in these countries then it would be beneficial to converse in their language. Firstly, a lot of business in China comes down to relationships, otherwise known as ‘guanxi’ (关系), and one of the best ways to get close to someone is to speak their language.
But why put in thousands of hours of effort just to form a bond? After all, there are now literally hundreds of millions of English-speaking Chinese graduates out there. But you should know that if you speak their language, they would connect with you better and that is definitely good for business.
Even Mark Zuckerberg has taken Chinese speaking to the next level, In fact, there are many top CEOs that speak Chinese as a second language. So why would a man already highly successful learn to speak Mandarin and then deliver a 30-minute presentation in a language he is just getting to grips with?
Maybe he could just be learning the language to communicate with the in-laws as his wife is Chinese, or this is part of a business strategy to move Facebook into China then truly become Global. If it is a business strategy, then he is indeed brilliant.
5. Eating Good Food
Sizzling food markets across China offer some unique dishes not found anywhere else. Chinese cuisine is a joy to behold, so the language will acquaint you with the types of food not found in our local Chinese Take Away. If you are a lover of different foreign cuisines, then learning the language will help you distinguish their different delicacies.
6. Learning Mandarin is easier than you think
You do not have to worry about verbs. There are no verbs, no plurals, no tenses, no subject-verb agreement, and no conjugations. There are over 80,000 Chinese characters but generally, only 3,500 are used in conversation. In fact, it could be regarded as a more logical language.
7. China is a rising world economic power
According to an article published in the New York Times, China has surpassed Japan in the second quarter to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States. The rest of the world will have to reckon with a new economic superpower in the very near future. China has gotten to such heights, so it is not a bad idea to learn the language.
8. Learning Mandarin Helps the Better Interpretation of Symbols
Mandarin in the form of writing is made up of thousands of characters. Learners of Mandarin have to be able to read and interpret a vast number of visual symbols. In doing so, you are more likely to activate more regions of the brain than English, which relies on a phonetic alphabet.
9. Improve your artistic skills
Chinese symbols and characters require a steady hand. The written words are iconographic characters rather than letters. These symbols and characters are created using strokes rather than painting.
10. Stronger Math Skills are gained by learning Chinese Mandarin
Studies show that there is a scientific association between learning Mandarin and improved mathematical ability. Scientists have come to the conclusion based on their studies that those mathematical concepts are interconnected to language fluency, and not a separate subject activating a different part of the brain. In fact, speakers of Mandarin use more of their brains at any one time, unlike English speakers who are likely to alternate between left and right hemispheres. In theory, this causes a more balanced brain that could lead to greater overall creativity, enhanced problem-solving, and increased emotional intelligence.
11. Learn to bridge the gap
We’re living in frosty times. Many nations around the world are turning in on themselves, and it’s no secret that China’s level of nationalism and isolationism is the highest it’s been for a long time. Learn their language to be part of the solution. Educate yourself about the Chinese, their culture, and their language. It’s a challenge that’s worth it.
12. To have a better chance of getting admitted
It is no secret that getting into better schools has gotten harder than before. Most students are applying to multiple schools to ensure that they have a fallback option just in case their number one choice of school rejects their application. It is forecasted that these rates will continue to decline, so it is crucial that students start strategically planning out their education curriculum and how will they be different from the rest. Speaking Chinese will give you a better advantage for a good admission.
13. Mandarin Speakers Stand Out from The crowd
It is tough already to get into good schools, one of the biggest and most common challenges a student faces is standing apart from the thousands of other applicants. Most schools offer French or Spanish as an elective and most schools do not even have Mandarin classes offered. Being able to list a foreign language that is rarely seen on applications is a great way to distinguish oneself.
14. Improve your brain power
We know we need to keep our brains well oiled and studies have shown that Mandarin speakers use both sides of their brains. This will certainly keep the brain motoring. Several studies have proven greater creativity and problem-solving skills amongst bilinguals. Learning a foreign language enables you to see the world through different lenses. The ability to reflect on multiple viewpoints on a problem is the foundation of creative problem-solving.
15. Learning Chinese is Fun
There is an enjoyment that comes from being able to converse with others in their native language and the sense of achievement. It is also fun to discover words in a foreign language that don’t exist in your native tongue. So learn it and enjoy it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Reasons to Learn Chinese Mandarin
Is Mandarin worth learning?
It’s worth learning because knowing Mandarin will make your travel easier. Being able to speak and understand Chinese Mandarin will greatly benefit your trip to China. For most Chinese people, especially those not living in the tier top city, communicating in English will be impossible.
Can I teach myself Mandarin?
You can teach yourself Mandarin, but at the end of the day, language is a tool to communicate and communication is a two-way process. Start looking for opportunities to speak or write in Chinese. Basically, use it or lose it.