Why Learn Chinese of all the languages? There are numerous benefits of learning Chinese language in India. Don’t just take my word for it — Discover the great reasons why you should consider studying Mandarin.
In today’s ever-expanding world of business on an ever-shrinking planet, learning a foreign language in India makes perfect sense.
Studying a foreign language has many advantages across the spectrum, from gaining cultural insight to highest-paying foreign language jobs, from better travelling experience to confidence booster, from new career prospects in foreign languages to immigration. The benefits of learning a language are infinite!
Chinese Language Overview
Chinese is not a single language, but a group of various regional languages, dialects or varieties. Almost 1.4 billion people around the world speak some form of Chinese, making it the most spoken language in the world. Of all the Chinese languages, Mandarin (a language based on Beijing dialect) is the most spoken one.
There’s a lot more to Chinese than just Mandarin. There are several different languages, dialects and varieties spoken in China. Some of the popular one are Wu, Yue, Hakka, Xiang, Min, Gan, just to name a few.
The Cantonese is the most popular subdialect of Yue Chinese. It is an important language spoken across large swaths of southeastern China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Chinese diaspora across the planet. Both Mandarin and Cantonese, in spoken forms, are completely mutually unintelligible.
The Chinese language, spoken in the form of Standard Chinese or Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, one of the official lingua franca in Singapore, and an official idiom of the United Nations.
There are two types of written form – Simplified and Traditional. In the 1949, the PRC established Simplified Chinese by using characters with fewer strokes to make easier to write, read and learn. It is officially way of writing in China, Malaysia and Singapore. However, Taiwan, Macau, Hong kong, and overseas Chinese-speakers still use the traditional characters.
So, whenever you hear the word “Chinese Language”. Assume Simplified Chinese (Written form) and Mandarin (Spoken one). According to the MOE (China’s Ministry of Education), roughly 73 percent of Chinese population speaks Mandarin and more than 95 percent of the literate population can use standardized Chinese characters i.e. Simplified Chinese.
Why Study Chinese?
If you’re not sure which foreign language to learn, then you should consider Mandarin! Why Not?
While any language is worth learning, because it provides a window into that people’s perspective and career scope. The Chinese, however is unique. Because fluency in Mandarin can enable you to communicate with over 1 billion people of the world’s second largest economy.
Whether you like it or not, Chinese is all set to become the next “language of the world” in the nearest future. Already the world’s most widely spoken language with more than 1.4 billion native speakers, China’s economic ‘silk roads’ and massive industrialisation and exports is spreading like the ocean waves across the world.
China is emerging as one of the strong global economy since the last two decade and is the world’s biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves with 3 trillion US dollars few months back (Oct, 2018). Business, travel and trade are all increasing with China, so it will not hurt you to start learning Chinese language in India.
China’s rise as an economic and global superpower is a reality, and that is why the Indian Ministry of External Affairs is asking Indians to learn Chinese as a second language. Additionally, it can also be rewarding, and knowing it can have benefits for your career, and help to improve your travels to Chinese-speaking region in Asia.
10 Great Reasons why you should learn Mandarin in India
Realize that learning another language such as Mandarin Chinese can be fun and is definitely valuable for anyone. Here are some advantages and good reasons associated with learning Chinese language in India:
1) The most spoken language in the world
Roughly 1.4 billion people speak Chinese, making it one of the most widely spoken native language in the world. It means one in six people speaks Chinese. Mandarin is considered a native language by about two-thirds of China’s population and is spoken by almost 900 million people worldwide.
While Mandarin is the official language of China, Taiwan and Singapore, it is also spoken by a large number of Mandarin-speakers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Mongolia and Philippines.
Ability to speak Mandarin gives you access to communicate with others in their native language can help you personally and professionally on a deeper level, not just in China but across the globe! If you’re interested in doing business in any of these countries then it would be advantageous to talk in their native tongue.
If you speak English and Hindi, you are already speaking two of the four most spoken languages in the world; some of you might even speak Spanish too! In that case, learning Chinese will only mean speaking all the four most spoken languages in the world. Now, you can communicate with the majority of the world’s population. It’s cool, isn’t it?
2) India-China Relation
While India and China may have gotten some border skirmishes, it is a fact that the two countries are active partners on the economic frontline. China’s global economic rise needs India’s massive market as a favourite destination for Chinese goods and services. The two countries are actively collaborating on many international economic activities.
The India-China Economic and Commercial business relations are formed through multiple platforms like Joint Group on Economic Relations, Science and Technology (JEG), Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), Development Research Centre of China (DRC), India-China Financial Dialogue, and other Institutional Mechanisms.
They are active partners of the BRICS, and more than 150 Chinese companies are doing business in India, with as much as 70 billion in bilateral investment in 2017 in sectors like automobile, electronics, power, and consumer goods.
A large number of Chinese companies are involved in the field of machinery, infrastructure construction, IT and hardware manufacturing, Mobile handset, electronic, and also in EPC projects in the Power Sector. Today, Chinese mobile handset companies Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, etc occupies nearly 40% of Indian mobile handset market.
Being competency in Mandarin Chinese Language in India will open you up to job or business opportunities provided by this bilateral relationship.
3) Career Opportunities after Learning Chinese Language in India
Do you know Mark Zuckerberg is also learning Chinese? After all, Ability to speak this language will give you an unparalleled benefit in the competitive global marketplace. Learning how to speak, read, and write the Chinese language has many advantages. It gives you the potential to enhance your career scope by working and/or traveling abroad, or you would have opportunities to embark on new careers as a translator or a teacher.
There are plenty of Job opportunities after Learning Chinese. Some of the popular career options are:
(i) Chinese Language Teacher / Trainer
As more and more young Indian and Chinese citizens are taking up courses in learning the language of both nations, as envisaged by the India-China Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the demand for Chinese language teachers and trainers is skyrocketing.
Many Indian students are now taking up Chinese as an elective course or full-time degree programs, and as these numbers increase, the need for a Chinese lecturer and teachers will also increase. You can take advantage of this opportunity and become a Chinese language trainer in several companies, education institutions, Colleges and Universities and schools operating in India.
(ii) Career as an Chinese Interpreter
Do you know that Indians generally speaks better Chinese than their European and American counterparts? Yes, that is the case because Chinese is a tonal language and Indians are better in this area than anyone else. Therefore, an Indian who is proficient in Chinese is preferred for an interpreter role in any organisation.
You can also work as an interpreter in a number of Indian and Chinese companies or even helpful to find a foreign language job in the embassy if you have the primary language to wit. Interpreter as a career options can be very lucrative.
(iii) Chinese Translator
Apart from operating as an interpreter, you can also get paid for translating or transcribing documents written in Chinese into English (or other language known to you) and vice versa. Most of the industries generating employment in India relate with their vendors in China for raw materials, manufacturing or services.
Companies that operate in sectors like apparel production, FMCG products, Electronic, manufacturing, infrastructure construction, power and utility, electronics, etc., need someone who can help them translate the end-to-end communication and documents for effective interactions with their Chinese counterparts.
You can become one of these people, considering that Chinese experts are not that common in India. Additionally, you can also make your career in Translator as a freelancer.
(iv) Tour guide and employability in Tourism industry
Your proficiency in Chinese can make you a tour guide where you will help breach the gap between language and culture for visiting Chinese tourist to India. Working as a tour guide works both ways. You can help take a visiting Chinese group on tour around specific locations in India, or you can escort a group of Indian tourists on a visit to China.
A linguist guide who can speak the language of his or her client is always going to be the most sought-after. Career in tourism industry for language learner is an excellent career idea.
(v) Multimedia director/professional
Do you know a lot of Bollywood and Hollywood movies are recreated and sold in the Chinese language? Indian Bollywood movies are quite popular in the China market. That’s right!
The multimedia industry is a huge employer and is actively looking for people with Chinese language proficiency who can help in directing the dubbing process by proofreading and editing the content before their final outputs. You can even assist the translation department of such movie companies as well.
(vi) Content Writer in Mandarin
The vast numbers of Chinese natives using the internet to source for information buy and sell just about anything, is quite unbelievable. They are in the hundreds of millions, and with your proficiency in Chinese, you can become a content writer and write about plenty of things in Mandarin and start providing information about a specific topic, product or any field you think will interest the Company you’re working with or the average Chinese population.
With your language skills in Chinese, you can become the a successful content writer. Moreover, you can teach Mandarin Online to aspirants looking to learn through online mode.
Read — (i) French Language Scope in India (ii) Career Scope in Spanish Language (iii) Scope of German Language in India (iv) Career in Japanese Language (v) Scope of Korean Language in India (vi) Why Learn French? (vii) Why Study Spanish?
4) The Cultural Aspect of China
China has a rich and influential culture that has taking a toll on most parts of the world. Whether your interest lies in music, architecture, archeology, movies, or cuisine, knowing Chinese will enhance your knowledge of the Chinese culture, and to an extent, the cultures of other countries where the language is spoken in Asia.
There is hardly anyone in the world that doesn’t know about Chinese ‘karate’ movies (with actors like Jackie Chan and Jet Li being household names,) and the popular ‘dragon dance’ festival.
China has a unique culture that date all way back to 5000 years, and much of it has been recorded and recreated over the years. However, most of china’s historic culture is locked to non-Chinese speakers. But when you learn Chinese, you will be able to gain access to deeper aspects of the culture, other than the translated books about the Chinese heritage.
Again, the Chinese characters are another unique aspect of the Chinese culture. Learning the Chinese characters (Calligraphy) is an art in itself, and studying it is greatly appreciated as a kind of art.
5) Work in International Agencies and NGOs
Many international agencies like the World Bank, IMF, UNO, etc., require the services of professional Chinese speakers at various levels of operations. Also, some Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Indian companies with global footprints employ Chinese speakers to represent their interest in China and other Chinese-speaking region or when dealing with Chinese businesses and society.
6) Importance of China in world economy
The Chinese economy is central to global growth for obvious reasons. By nominal GDP, China has the second largest economy in the world, and is forecasted to take over from the US in the foreseeable future. By Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), the Chinese economy is the largest in the world. No other economy beat China in terms of manufacturing and export of goods.
The Chinese economy represent one-fifth of the global economy, which means for every five products you buy, one is likely to be from China, and the prices of most foreign goods are affected by the price at which Chinese products are fixed.
This is one area in which China influences the global economy, and considering it is also the second largest importer of services and commodities like raw materials, which has fueled mining and industrial productivity in many countries, it becomes more beneficial for people (Indians in particular) to learn Mandarin.
China’s introduction of its One Belt, One Road initiative, the largest global infrastructure, is changing the economy frontiers of the world, and you can become part of this experience by learning Chinese to get a better understanding of how the global economic work through the influential drive of China’s economic rise and impact on the entire globe.
7) Employment and job opportunity
In almost every nation of the world you go, there is a ‘Chinatown’, meaning more Chinese own businesses and services. Majority of them don’t speak English and will be looking for someone who can speak both English and Chinese. Your ability to speak Chinese language in India will put you ahead of many candidates during recruitments into Chinese companies in India or another country.
There are lucrative job opportunities in the BPO and KPO sectors where a lot of Chinese presence is helping to turn the Indian economy around. Since most Chinese don’t speak English, and majority of Indians don’t speak Chinese, you will find it much easier to get employed into any Chinese MNCs or local Indian companies dealing directly with their Chinese counterparts.
Many Indian companies and other MNCs operating in India are outsourcing huge level of contractual works to many Chinese companies due to the low-cost of production attainable in China. These companies will require the services of Chinese experts who will act as forward clearing agents, sales representatives, liaison officers, IT personnel, and more. Your proficiency in Chinese is sure a fire addition to your primary qualification in your resume.
8) Cross-border business and trade
Almost every home in the world has a Chinese product. China is one of the largest export economies in the world, with billions of goods exchanging hands on a daily basis. With your expertise in Chinese, you can easily buy Chinese goods and sell them in India or elsewhere in the world, even without leaving your home. Your Chinese ability will help you to operate on a level of trust with your Chinese business counterparts in the payment and shipping of goods and this offering a lucrative career options in export-import industry.
9) Competitive Advantage
Considering that very few people in India knows or can communicate in Chinese, means you will have the edge when competing for a job. In India the demand for business people who are proficient in Chinese is skyrocketing. This is because of the huge trade relationship between the two countries, which is growing a minimal rate of 40% every year.
You will not be at advantage of getting job or winning business deals between Indian MNCs seeking to do business with Chinese MNCs, but also find yourself in a better position with companies from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia. Singapore, etc places where the Chinese language is also spoken.
10) Travel in Chinese-speaking Asia
China and other countries in Asia such as Taiwan, Honk Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore, where Mandarin is spoken, offers excellent travel destinations. You can visit China to see for yourself the beautiful landscape, mega cities, vibrant culture, vast history and delicious food. It will be a new experience on a more personal level. The incredibly beautiful country will be your unforgettable voyage.
The breathtaking Merlion Park in Singapore, the famous casino in Macau and the Great Walls of China are just some of the famous destinations you can visit during the holidays. Your knowledge of Chinese will help you get along easily during your visitation.
Mandarin is not as difficult as you think
The Mandarin presumed to be difficult to learn, owing to its complex writing system. Most people i interacted don’t want to learn this mellifluous beautiful language because they believe that it is too complicated and tough to master. It also has different tones and meaning for the same word.
Despite its difficulty, learning Mandarin will give you a lifetime of intellectual stimulation. It may even be good for your brain, given all the memorization. The Mandarin grammar is not complicated. Once you cross the initial hurdle, it will be quite easy and can be very interesting, and why not have a fun and interesting career?
How long it takes to learn Chinese Language? According to the study of FSI, it will take roughly 4400 hours, or say 4-5 years if you devout 15-20 hours per week. This may look a lot but then Good things always take time. No? Once you’ve decided to pursue Chinese language course. You should aim to complete at least Level V of Mandarin Language proficiency Test i.e. HSK exam in India.
China is the second largest and increasingly wealthiest economy in the world. In the not too distant future, the country is forecasted to take over from the United States as the world number one economy. So, Indians shouldn’t be left out of this foreseeable future, and the time to start getting onboard is now; by learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese language in India.
Through learning Chinese, you can transform yourself into somebody unique, highly valuable, intelligent, and eventually you will also set yourself apart from the rest. If you haven’t already started to learn Chinese, you are missing out on a lot.