Why Mandarin Chinese? And Why in 2013?

Pimsleur Approach • ChineseComments (2)

Taking the plunge into learning a new language takes guts, determination and staying power, especially if it’s a language as tough as Mandarin Chinese. That’s why Pimsleur has decided to give you a friendly nudge, by suggesting exactly why you should hold off no longer. We’ve also given you tips on ways that you might want to get started. 2013 may be the Year of the Snake, but it could also be the Year You Speak Chinese! We hope you find some inspiration here.
Learn Chinese in 2013

Join the Club

China is not some far-flung, enigmatic country anymore. Well it is, but there is likely a sizable Chinese community not far from your own doorstep as well. Whether you’re a resident of the US, Europe, Australia, or virtually anywhere else in the world, you’re going to have Chinese neighbors. Now is a great time to reach out to them. In the States (famed for its Chinatowns in cities like New York and San Francisco) workpermit.com claims that 8.2% of all immigrants to the country were Chinese in 2011 (a 1.4% rise over the previous year). In Canada, the Chinese make up the third largest group of immigrants moving in, marginally trailing behind those from India and the Philippines. Behind these figures is a wealth of opportunity for you to get involved in the Chinese community, and from that, to begin or improve on your Mandarin Chinese. The Kansas City Chinese Association, for example, holds frequent events, such as photos exhibitions, talks and lunar calendar celebrations. Chinese clubs in Western universities are rife; MIT has a great one and so does the University of British Colombia, Canada. Many major cities have international “speak freely” groups that gather weekly to chat in Chinese or other languages. At any Chinese event in your own country, you’re going to get more out of it if you have an interest in speaking Mandarin. Or it may be that signing up to an event, and hearing it spoken by others, will give you that enthusiasm you’ve been pining for.

Learn Chinese in 2013Be Teacher’s Pet

No one likes a show-off, right? Actually that’s not entirely true. One person who certainly appreciates a bit of prowess-flaunting is your boss. If you have designs to make it to the top (and to pick up Mandarin on the way), offer to become your workplace’s official Mandarin speaker. Business, after all, is a game that the Chinese know how to play, and even if you’re employed by a fairly small setup, it could be that targeting a Chinese demographic will add to the business’s prominence, and given long enough, start to rake in extra finance. If you’re looking for ways to tempt your boss into letting you take up lessons on the company account, throw a few facts at him or her. Say that 800 million people worldwide already speak Mandarin; that Chinese GDP could overtake the USA’s in under ten years’ time; and that there is probably a host of affordable Chinese lessons to be snapped up in your area. If your boss does take the bait, you’ll probably run into other like-minded employees, and get to swap business tips, as well as language ones.

Glam Up Your Résumé

We know, we know. The next person who tells you we’re all “going through tough economic times” is going to get a punch on the nose. However, we are all going through tough economic times, and that means furious competition for jobs. Degrees and awards are still valuable, but employers are increasingly looking for a résumé that shows you have thrown yourself at the mercy of the wider world, and DONE things. An uplifting article appeared in the Guardian last year, written by UK student Natalie Clark. Watching slightly older friends flee the university nest into a world of joblessness, Clark decided she had to take action. Halfway through her education, she traveled to China through CRCC Asia’s China Internship Program, and claims that she was subsequently swapping business cards with partners, CEOs and entrepreneurs. Trips like this can teach you much about Chinese language and culture, but can also open your eyes to subtleties of Chinese business practice. As Clark says, “Having international work experience is an invaluable addition to your CV, something that could help give yours the edge over the stack of other applications on the desk of the person who is between you and your dream job.” If you’ve been learning Mandarin for the past six months or a year, such trips will prove even more fruitful, as you’ll be able to show off your speaking skills. The article additionally brings up another great reason to learn the lingo. It may be that having experienced the country first-hand, you want to stay there, especially if you are offered the right job.

Learn With Your Children

Chinese isn’t widely taught in native English schools yet, but it is beginning to emerge, and there’s no reason why your children shouldn’t get a head start. Companies such as Dragons in Europe specialize in Mandarin Chinese workshops in the UK, which can be taught at school or after school. For youngsters who are still developing skills with their native language, these courses provide “a fun-packed 1-hour session of sports, arts and crafts, and basic language teaching,” and are hosted by engaging teachers who bring the language and culture to life. If you’re unable to convince your local school to give this or a similar course a try, home schooling is also available, although naturally this will work out to be more expensive. So where exactly does your own learning come into the grand scheme of things?  Enterprises like Dragons in Europe also do language learning for adults, either based in the office, or at home. These are flexible to fit around your work schedule, and vary in content depending on whether your level is basic or intermediate, or if you specifically want to learn Mandarin for business. If both you and your children are learning Mandarin at the same time, it is much more conceivable you’ll enjoy it, and stick with it for longer. Plus you’ll be improving the prospects for both yourself and the little ones. Well done!

2 Responses to “ Why Mandarin Chinese? And Why in 2013? ”

  1. Tom Anderson says:

    I even didn’t notice earlier that mandarin can boost up our resume and help us in getting dream job. Please suggest me any good online tools which help me to learn mandarin? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  2. Tom Anderson says:

    Mandarin is so important language now a days.These contents shows the value of persons who knows Mandarin .Nice thought.

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