The Benefits Of Learning Mandarin/Chinese
If you are a business person, you are aware that China has become a dominant force in the world of business. A good reason to learn Chinese, therefore, is to gain an advantage when dealing with the Chinese market. So this is Why learn Chinese you must do?
Is It Hard To Learn Chinese?
You may think that it is "too hard" to learn Chinese. It is true that Mandarin Chinese is classified as one of the most difficult languages to learn, but that is mostly because of the writing system. The spoken language is actually a lot easier than many European languages.
When you start to learn Chinese, you will quickly notice that it has:
no subject/verb agreement
a simple numbering system which is applied to dates and time expressions
simple conditional sentences
So it is easy to learn Chinese grammar, but the tones can be more difficult. Mandarin Chinese has four tones, and the meaning of a word depends on its tone.
The four tones are:
high and level
falling and rising
When you learn Chinese vocabulary, it is very important to use the correct tone. Mandarin Chinese has many homonyms, so unless you use the correct tones, it will be very hard to understand your spoken Chinese.
To give you an example of the importance of tones, the syllable ma has four different meanings depending on the tone:
mā – mother
má – hemp
mǎ – horse
mà – scold
But don't let the tones discourage you. With persistent effort, they soon become second-nature.
Resources To Learn Chinese
With millions of people interested in learning Mandarin Chinese, there is a huge variety of learning material available. You can sign up for a course or use the free resources available on the Internet.
When you learn Chinese, you are learning the most widely-spoken language in the world. Learn to speak Mandarin Chinese and you will be able to speak with millions of people around the world.
Does that mean that Chinese is only for business? Not at all! There are many reasons to learn Chinese – for traveling, to learn about Chinese culture, for communicating with neighbors, or just for ordering Chinese food!