There's no doubt about it, Chinese is the biggest "fad" language around. Everyone wants to learn it(or should!), and for good reason. In today's article, I'm going to break it down for you and give you my top seven reasons to start learning Chinese today!
1. More people speak it than any other language:
China is the most densely populated country in the world. Seriously, there's over a billion people in China. That's around a fifth of the world's population. Granted, not all of them speak Mandarin(there are soon many dialects of Chinese, almost as many as there are people!) but more and more do, and eventually they all will. Take Hong Kong for example. In the past, people from, say Taiwan, would be unable to communicate with Hong Kongers. Now, more and more of them are learning Mandarin(since being reunited with China), enough so that when my wife and I run-into them here in Texas, we can communicate with them. Mandarin is growing like crazy, and there's never been a better time to learn it.
2. Those billion people make up a huge market for any corporation:
Chinese people love everything and anything having to do with the West. Just take a look at how many Taiwanese kids spend their life savings on a pair of Timberlands and you'll start to see, that these people want what you have to sell. Really, anything with ties to America, be it McDonald's, KFC, PizzaHut, Levi's, Nike, Apple is extremely desirable to the Chinese youth, and the list just goes on and on and on.
3. Business opportunities abound:
I mentioned previously that the Chinese present a huge market for international sales. China/Taiwan also presents a lot of opportunities to the business-savy entrepreneur looking to make some money. There are so many Chinese companies that would love to have a presence in the American market, or to otherwise cooperate with American businesses in joint-ventures. Many of the CEOs of these companies will be versed in at least rudimentary English, but learning Chinese will deepen your relationship with them, and enable you to get the most out of your investment.
4. Learning Chinese will make you smarter:
Without a doubt, learning Chinese, especially to read and write it, will make you smarter. Written Chinese consists of characters, each of which can have many different meanings and, more often than not, alternate pronunciations. While this makes learning Chinese difficult for foreigners, it also forges a powerful mind capable of processing logic/puzzle based information much more efficiently than the average mind. Ever hear the stereotype that Chinese people are good at math? Well, not all are, but there is some truth to this statement. Studies have been done linking the ability of Chinese speakers to process mathematical problems, and they have been shown to have an aptitude for it. Learning Chinese also gives you a sharp memory, as you need it to correctly recall all of the characters when reading/writing. Of course, that is assuming that you went about learning it the right way.
5. Two is better than one:
Being able to speak two languages is becoming more and more essential in today's world. Consider the following scenario: Two otherwise equally qualified applicants applied for a job, one was bilingual, the other only spoke their mother tongue. Who do you think got the job?
6. Your own secret language:
No doubt about it, being able to speak Chinese with my wife in "public-privacy" has been extremely useful since we moved back to America. We call Chinese our 秘密語，or "secret language". It allows us to discus things that we'd rather not have other people overhear, whether unintentionally or otherwise. It allows us to say things to eachother that would otherwise be embarrassing in public, such a "your fly is own" etc.
7. It's just plain fun!:
Chinese is a beautiful language, with an unbelievable amount of depth; I myself am "fluent", but I'm still constantly learning(hey, I don't even know every word in English, my native tongue!). Furthermore, learning Chinese will help you to understand Chinese culture, something that is completely impossible to learn otherwise, and will allow you to befriend Chinese people, and really get to know them. I could go on, but I think you get the point!
There you have it, my top 7 reasons for you to start learning Chinese today, NO, immediately! It doesn't matter which reason on this list got you to commit to learning, it just matters that you get to it!
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