Some surprising facts

Chinese has a relatively uncomplicated grammar. Unlike French, German or English, Chinese has no verb conjugation (no need to memorize verb tenses!) and no noun declension (e.g., gender and number distinctions). For example, while someone learning English has to learn different verb forms like “see/saw/seen,” all you need to do in Chinese is just to remember one word: kan. While in English you have to distinguish between “cat” and “cats,” in Chinese there is only one form: mao. (Chinese conveys these distinctions of tense and number in other ways, of course.)

The basic word order of Chinese is subject — verb — object, exactly as in English. A large number of the key terms of Mandarin Chinese (such as the terms for state, health, science, party, inflation, and even literature) have been formed as translations of English concepts. You are entering a different culture, but the content of many of the modern key concepts is familiar.

Remember these two facts

Currently Mandarin Chinese is spoken by over 1 billion people around the world, about one fifth of the global population;

Each year more and more students around the world whose mother tongue is not Mandarin are studying it with enthusiasm and success. If they all can learn it, so can you!

The study of Chinese literature and culture will help you bridge the cultural gap, better understand your Chinese counterparts, and create a platform of knowledge and understanding with them that is crucial for effective communication.