Mandarin is one of the major dialects in China with over seventy percent of the population speaking the tongue. Across the globe, Mandarin is the most spoken language, with over one billion people communicating using this language. Apart from China, some of the countries where a considerable part of the population knows how to speak the language include Taiwan, Singapore, Mongolia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and South Africa. Indeed Mandarin is becoming one of the most influential and important international languages.
If this is not enough of a reason to convince you to learn Mandarin, then the following might change your mind.
· Commerce and business
The Chinese economy is growing steadily at a relatively rapid pace. There are plenty of businesses and job opportunities in China. Likewise, many nations throughout the world have established good trading and working relations with China. For instance the U.S. has, for some time now, been importing Chinese goods which are much more affordable. It has also been outsourcing services from China and establishing businesses in China. In other words, the Chinese economy is becoming a woken giant.
If you want to succeed in dealing with Chinese business counterparts or work for an international company with offices in Asia, knowing Mandarin is one of the best steps you can take. Mandarin is the business language, hence, knowing how to communicate in Mandarin will not only let you convey your ideas properly, but also help you get the confidence of your Mandarin-speaking colleagues. Learning how to speak Mandarin gives you the edge to take on numerous commercial and financial opportunities.
· Sharpens the mind
It has been proven in many scientific studies that knowing more than one language is beneficial to the intelligence as it stimulates the brain and improves comprehension and learning skills. It has been demonstrated time and again that people who are bilingual do better in standardized tests than individuals who only speak a single language. Furthermore, the development of dementia, like Alzheimer's disease, is slow or not present at all in persons who study different languages; more so when learning Mandarin. Some say that Mandarin is a difficult and complex language with its thousands of characters, tones that give different meanings to the same words and different rules in grammar. However, this complexity may just be the reason why the brain is honed to its optimum capability.
· Beneficial to future generations
If you do not want to do it for yourself, then do it for your children or grandchildren. With the population of Mandarin-speaking people continuously ballooning and the Chinese economy and power constantly growing in strength, knowing Mandarin is more important now more than ever. You would want to prepare your children for the future. When you know Mandarin, you can teach them the language, hence, giving them the advantage of knowing a language that might just be the next most language of the world.
There are many more benefits from learning Mandarin. These should be enough reasons to overcome any reluctance in tackling the language. You may find it hard at first, but that is only in the initial stages. Besides, Mandarin is not really difficult, it is just different.
Daniel C Howard is a language teacher living in Asia. He has over a decade of experience teaching all ages a variety of subjects. For free info and lessons on Mandarin Chinese, please visit his blog here.
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