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Importance of the Chinese Language

Importance of Chinese Language

Why it’s Important to Learn Chinese?

The importance of Chinese stands out as the most spoken language in the world with over an estimated billion people in China and various other parts of the world speaking it. One can easily assume this makes Chinese one of the most important languages on the planet. China as a country is growing by leaps and bounds as a world power and shows to sign of slowing down.

Recent studies have shown that Chinese has become a popular choice for a second language among college students. Surpassing the previous favourite that includes Spanish, French, and German languages. This increasing popularity isn’t surprising since the growing appeal of Chinese culture in the west and worldwide.

Governments in the US and the UK are increasingly recognizing the importance of offering Chinese language classes in the school systems. One 2008 poll of employers in the UK, done by the Confederation of British Industry, discovered that 38% of employers answering the poll wanted to hire people who spoke either Mandarin or Cantonese. (The two were lumped together in the survey.) French speakers and German speakers ranked higher, at 52% and 43% respectively. Spanish was desired by 28% of employers.

The UK Schools Secretary said, in part as a result of this survey, that he would like every teenager to have a chance to learn Mandarin. He would also like to see Japanese, Arabic, Portuguese, and Indonesian offered more widely than they are at present. One secondary school in seven in the UK is already teaching Mandarin.

“In this new decade our ties with emerging economies like China will become even more important and it’s vital that young people are equipped with the skills which they need, and British businesses need too, in order to succeed in a rapidly-changing world,” Mr. Balls said.

Mandarin is the prominent version of Chinese, spoken by something like 885 million people out of the 1.3 billion who speak some form of Chinese.

In the United States, interest in learning Chinese used to come from Asian parents who wanted their children to keep up with the cultures they came from.

Now, more and more non-Asian parents see learning Chinese as a useful tool for their children, one that will help them compete for top jobs. The US government also sees the benefits of a good pool of Chinese speakers. Some of the school districts in the internationally-minded suburbs of Washington, DC, have offered Mandarin for decades.


Chinese Speaking Countries

Chinese Speaking Map
Chinese Speaking Map

List of countries with a Chinese (Mandarin) speaking population or Chinese is a widely spoken language.

  • Chinese Speaking Countries in Asia
  • China Hong Kong Macau
  • Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region within PR China)
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan (Republic of China)

Countries with a significant number of Chinese speaking population (more than 5 million)

  • Indonesia (Java and Bali)
  • Malaysia (Peninsular)
  • Thailand

Mandarin is an official spoken language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Cantonese is an official spoken language in Hong Kong and Macau.


Chinese Language Dialects

Chinese Dialects Map
Chinese Dialects Map

Like many other languages around the world, Chinese has many dialects, the most common Chinese dialect is Mandarin Chinese.

Even though English happens to be popular throughout China, most Chinese people tend not to understand English very well, so learning some Chinese is important knowledge to have. The Mandarin Dialect is very universal throughout China overall, although a number of dialects could possibly be more common in other locations.


Chinese Language History

Since the invention of the Chinese Pinyin tonal system has made learning Chinese a lot easier then it was previously. The importance of Chinese Pinyin is a crucial method when it comes to writing Chinese in a romanized alphabet. Hanyu pinyin spells the sound and includes tone marks to help give you the proper pronunciation. Knowledge of the written language opens up the culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.

Before China’s reform in the 1970s, China was an isolated country that didn’t accept any tourism. After 1970, China has become one of the leading tourist destinations. The Great Wall of China might be one of the most traveled to places on Earth but other wonders of China include the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Terracotta Army in the Qin Empire Emperor’s Mausoleum, the Yangtze River, and the Potala Palace. Even if you’re just a casual traveler, learning some Chinese to understand street signs, order food, or just communicating with people you meet on the street, a most pleasant and enjoyable experience.


Chinese Language Today

Chinese Language Today
Chinese Language Today

Chinese is becoming one of the most important languages when it comes to operating an international business.

The Chinese market is the biggest growing market even in this economic downturn. Expertise in Chinese has grown increasingly important to the overall global economy and many business owners are looking to break into this international market. Any business in the twenty-first century will be trying to do business in China and in doing so will be required Chinese speakers to negotiate agreements and develop these trade deals. Economist predicts by 2020, China will without a doubt surpass the United States as the biggest international superpower.

The importance of Chinese is beneficial regardless if you do it for fun or for your career or even just for personal travel. When trying to uncover the importance of Chinese. One cannot discover a more fascinating and challenging language to learn.

All languages evolve with time and Chinese is no exception. To indisputably understand the importance of Chinese language you have to learn the actual language yourself to help you receive the full benefit of this amazing language later. In fact, the latest research has shown that learning a second language helps fight against Alzheimer’s disease and slows down the aging effects of the brain.

Talk about the Importance of language in action!


Why Learn Chinese – Ten Reasons to Learn Chinese

You probably already have your own reasons to learn Chinese but in case you don’t have one already or still looking for more reasons to get motivated to learn Chinese.

This article should help you answer the question “why learn Chinese?

1 – Mandarin Chinese is the Most Spoken Language in the World

One of the biggest reasons to learn Chinese should because Mandarin Chinese is spoken by roughly a quarter of the world’s population which is estimated to be around two billion Chinese-speakers. Not all of them live in mainland China, but in parts of Taiwan, Singapore, and throughout southeast Asia.


2 – Chinese Influence on International Cultures

Second, traditional Chinese culture, from Confucianism and Chan Buddhism to martial arts and Chinese cuisine, has an enormous influence on East and Southeast Asian nations. Chinese culture has also greatly inspired the western world through Marco Polo, G. W. Leibniz, Max Weber, Franz Kafka, Andre Malraux, Bertolt Brecht, Ezra Pound, and Luis Borges, among others.


3 – Traveling to China is Increasingly Foreigner Friendly

With the Chinese Language you can Travel to China

In the past, China wasn’t very accessible from outside visitors wanted to travel there. But travel to China recently as become a lot easier back and forth from.


4 – With Chinese Pinyin Learning Chinese is Easier

Chinese Pinyin Tonal Marks
Chinese Pinyin Tonal Marks

You don’t have to learn Chinese characters to learn how to speak Mandarin Chinese. Pinyin is a method of writing Chinese in the romanized alphabet. Hanyu pinyin spells the sound and includes tone marks to help give you the proper pronunciation.


5 – Fastest Growing Economy in the World

Improve Business Opportunities by Learning New Languages
Improve Business Opportunities by Learning New Languages

China is currently the fastest growing economy in the world and is already the biggest global market to break into. Any business in the twenty-first century will be trying to do business in China and in doing so will require Chinese speakers to negotiate agreements and trade deals.


6 – Reading Chinese Literature

The dialects are not mutually intelligible but the written language is shared between them all. Although you do not need to learn to read Chinese characters to speak the language, by doing so you open the door to an enormously diverse and rich literature. In fact, the earliest record of writing was in Chinese characters although very different in form from modern characters (of which there are many thousand).


7 – Growing Presence of Chinese Speakers all around the world

Communities of Chinese Speakers have been popping up outside Chinese in parts of the United States and Europe.


8 – Learn Chinese as a Hobby/Love of Learning Languages

Love of Language Learning
Love of Language Learning

Maybe you are just one of those people that just enjoy learning languages for the fun of it! Once you’ve mastered the urge to learn more becomes pretty strong. Contrary to popular opinion, not much confusion happens between languages.


9 – Rich Cultural History of Chinese on the World

Learn Cultural History With Languages
Learn Cultural History With Languages

Learning Chinese is immediately linked to learning Chinese culture. Learning becomes a more extraordinary and enjoyable experience. Chinese has a unique ideographic writing system, which provides visual comprehensibility.

The grammatical structure of Chinese is not only logical but also pragmatic, related to the particular way of Chinese thinking. Knowledge of the written language opens up the culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.


10 – There are Scholarship Opportunities for Chinese Studies

Scholarship Opportunities with a New Language

Because of the higher demand for people speaking Chinese, many of the world’s governments and agencies have been offering scholarships and other opportunities for individuals who are interested in Chinese studies and learning Chinese.

Mandarin Chinese is truly an amazing language to learn. I hope you find this article helpful in narrowing and strengthening your reasons to learn Chinese.


Chinese Language Tools

best online language tools
best online language tools
About Sally Morgan

My name is Sally Morgan, I'm American and currently a Language Teacher in New York State Schools for French and Spanish. I have studied Foreign Languages, translation and teaching at the Columbia University in New York. I lived for 3 years in Europe including France, UK and Italy.

I am a passionate linguist and love how speaking another language opens the doors of communication and therefore a whole world.

Please ask me any questions below

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