The Chinese Language is becoming more important world-wide as Mainland China continues to open up politically, culturally, and economically. More than 40 million people are now studying Chinese every year, and numbers continue to grow at an astounding speed. American students learning Chinese in colleges and universities nearly tripled from 1986 to 2006. The history and makeup of China’s language is fascinating and at many times confusing.
The Chinese writing system is one of the oldest in the world, and all Chinese can read and write the same sets of these amazing characters, but spoken Chinese dialects are extraordinarily diverse in tonal sounds and pronunciation. China has over a 100 languages that can be considered dialects, or just separate languages altogether. All of these distinct languages and dialects are the descendant languages of hundreds of ancient Han Chinese Tribes. While all of these spoken dialects are considered to be”Chinese”, many of them contrast so much that communication between many people is impossible without using a uniform spoken dialect, or a”national language”.
The Chinese Government sought to mend these communication divides and made Mandarin Chinese (pu tong hua) the national language in 1924. Mandarin Chinese (pu tong hua) is spoken by all 1.3 billion Chinese citizens today and is the native language of approximately 850 million Chinese citizens. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language with four different tones and has 20,000 characters, of which only 10,000 are in use today. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing Dialect of Mandarin Chinese; therefore Beijing is the most opportunistic location to study Mandarin in China. Acquiring Mandarin Chinese as a second language presents many career advantages in multiple industries, and is a fun way to expand knowledge of East Asian languages.
Top 5 Reasons to Learn Chinese!
1. China currently has the second largest economy in the world. Take advantage of this huge economic shift and opportunity,learn to speak Chinese and give yourself an advantage in the increasingly competitive business world.
2. China has become the factory of the world and is moving up the technology food chain. Most products are built, as well as designed in China.
3. China is a huge export market. 1/5th of the world’s population lives in China. Overseas Chinese dominate the economies of many countries in Asia, and speaking Mandarin gives you an edge in doing business with them. Countries with large overseas Chinese populations include Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.
4. Learning another language gives you another viewpoint of the world. Chinese culture is over 5000 years old. By learning the Chinese Language, Chinese you will learn another culture.
5. Learning Chinese will give a student a competitive advantage. Chinese is the fastest growing economy today. Chicago’s Former Mayor, Richard Daly’s was quoted as saying: “We want to give our young people opportunities to advance … and [Chinese] is a great opportunity to survive in today’s economy.” Mandarin Chinese is being taught worldwide more than ever before. Mandarin Chinese is the most used language on the Internet.
Whether for business or to establish personal ties, knowing the language is not only useful, but endears you to people you want to connect to.
China has been offering education to foreign students for more than fifty years and today it ranks one among the top countries of the world that are most-sought-after by international students for quality education. With the availability of large number of Universities and Colleges, China accommodates abundant number of students from more than hundred different countries across the world these days. Universities in China make regular efforts to enhance distinctive teaching and training methods to complement the different academic settings of the foreign students. Foreign students are encouraged to work towards postgraduate and doctoral degrees in Chinese universities and those who have graduated in China are welcome to return for further education with many special considerations. Courses conducted directly in foreign languages are available for these students in several universities of China.
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