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8 Reasons Why You Should Learn Chinese Now

Updated on June 3, 2013

Project Mandarin

Did you know that in the Peopleâs Republic of China over 200 different languages are spoken? Donât worry! If you are thinking about learning to speak Chinese you donât have to learn two-hundred different languages.

Mandarin is the official language and is spoken by the vast majority of Chinese people. There are an array of courses available and also excellent methods to learn at home. A few of the best are Chinese (Mandarin), Conversational: Learn to Speak and Understand Mandarin Chinese with Pimsleur Language Programs (Simon & Schuster's) and Get Talking Chinese

Learning a new language is a lot of work, so even if you may be genuinely interested in learning it, you may also be reluctant to start. Hereâs ten reasons to get motivated to learn Chinese right now.

1. Chinese Clients at Work

If you work for a company that caters to a lot of Chinese clients. Sure, they probably speak English quite fluently, but if you are in competition with other co-workers for these client accounts being able to make your presentation in their native tongue may very well give you the edge you need to earn that promotion, company car, expense account and the office with a real door that opens and shuts. Or as long as you aren’t fluent yet, you might benefit from being able to understand what concerns your clients express between themselves about your products or presentations.

2. Being able to Work in China

Maybe you already did a fantastic job of wowing your boss and clients without learning any Chinese at all, and now you have been given a promotion that requires you to actually go and live in China. You’re excited at this amazing new opportunity, and yes, you may get along just fine only speaking in English while you are there, but you don’t want to just go and work and be a tourist, do you?

Of Course you don’t! You want to truly take in the culture, use your days off to explore the country, learn to fit in and be able to make genuine Chinese friends. In order to do that you need to learn to speak Chinese. Your new friends will appreciate the respect you show them by attempting to learn, and they probably won’t laugh at you too much when you make mistakes because they know you are trying. Plus you will get so much more out of your experience living in this new country, whether it is a temporary assignment or a more permanent one.

3. It might get you a Date

Maybe you don’t have a job yet, you’re still attending High School or University. You wouldn’t normally have any inclination to learn Chinese but then you meet this really cute girl or guy and you just have to ask them out, but they barely speak any English or they speak perfect English but there is a long line of other students begging this girl or guy to go out with them. Asking him out in halfway intelligible Mandarin may just win you a date, relationship or could even be the first step that leads to marriage. One day in the future you may be telling your children how you met their mother and you will explain to them that if you had not learned to speak Chinese they would have never been born.

4. Order Chinese Food in Mandarin

Do you love Chinese Food? Have you always wanted to take a large group of family or friends to an authentic Chinese restaurant and then watch their mouths drop open with amazement when you order for everyone entirely in Mandarin. If you learn the language, you could make this fantasy come true! Just be sure to check ahead of time so you know what everyone in the group wants to eat because after they’re done being amazed at your skills they will want to know what you ordered, and if they all start complaining that they wanted something else the memory of your special moment will be ruined.

6. Reconnect with your Chinese Heritage

Just because you’re of Chinese descent doesn’t necessarily mean you speak it. Maybe you were born in the United States or Canada; maybe you were even adopted when you were a baby, or you are part of a multi-cultural family where one side is from China and the other from Korea, Japan, or Nicaragua. Your parents always spoke to you in English and you grew up in English speaking schools ,but now you are older and you would like to reconnect with your Chinese heritage. Learning a new language does take some effort but it will all be worth it once you meet your long lost relatives, speak to them, hear their stories, and finally fill in those vital missing pieces of your life.

A visit to China will surely be more enjoyable if you are of Chinese heritage and speak some Chinese. A Chinese-American friend of mine who visited Beijing without speaking a word of Chinese had a very bad experience because everyone who found out he was Chinese but couldn’t speak a word of Chinese called all their friends around to see this amazing thing!

5. Watch Chinese Movies Without Subtitles

Perhaps you have a favorite movie or TV Series that is in Chinese. You can always watch with subtitles, but subtitles can be distracting especially if it’s an action movie. If you learned the language you wouldn’t need to pay attention to those terribly distracting subtitles anymore.

7. Talk to Chinese Elders

Alternatively you could have an elder relative or two who speak only Chinese. You don’t know them very well since you can’t converse and this makes you a bit sad. I’m sure your life is very busy and you may not see these relatives very often. Whenever you do see them there is that thought at the back of your mind – I wish I could talk to them. Stop wishing, my friend, and learn Chinese.

8. Become an English Teacher in China

Have you always wanted to see the Great Wall. Unfortunately China is far away and the trip can be quite expensive. The Plane fare, hotel expenses, and necessary extra spending money will add up fast; you work hard every day, but no matter how hard you work it just seems the bills keep piling up and you may despair of ever being able to save enough money to make your dream come true, but if you learned Chinese you could apply for a job in China as an English teacher, which would enable you to visit the Great Wall whenever you wanted!

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