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The Importance of Learning the Chinese Language

Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, by number of native speakers. Although it is a complex language that differs greatly from English in written and oral forms, Chinese is becoming increasingly popular for English speakers to learn as a second language. The ability to speak Chinese can positively benefit your professional and personal life, which makes it an appealing investment of your time.

China is becoming more technologically advanced and more relevant as a trading partner for many nations. It also has the largest population on the planet. Being able to communicate effectively with Chinese people to expand and create global relations can be important in today's world.

Seeing its growing importance, more American schools and universities have started to offer Chinese as one of their options alongside Spanish and French. See the resources section for a Seattle Times article about the increase of Chinese in schools.

Career Advancement
The ability to fluently speak Chinese--especially the common dialect of Mandarin--makes you a desirable candidate for a variety of different jobs. China is a major trading partner with the United States, so there are many opportunities in the business world for Chinese speakers. Fields such as international affairs and diplomacy also have a high demand for Chinese-speaking personnel, as China is become increasingly influential in world affairs. The tourism industry also needs Chinese speakers to facilitate Chinese guests in foreign countries.

New Opportunities
The ability to speak Chinese and the desire to learn more about the culture and the language make you an ideal candidate to work or study abroad in China. There is a high demand for English speakers in China to teach ESL (English as a Second Language). You could teach young students in a classroom or tutor older individuals seeking to learn English to advance their own career opportunities. Although speaking Chinese is not necessary for an ESL teacher, it would give you a distinct advantage and make your travels within the country easier.

Cultural Understanding
Learning to speak the Chinese language is one of the best ways to become connected to the past and present culture of China. The Chinese culture has a rich tradition that we are able to see in many parts of the United States, with prominent Chinatowns in metropolises such as New York and San Francisco. China is far away, but as the country continues to evolve, grow, and impact the United States, it is important to understand and be educated about Chinese culture.

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