Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world with nearly 1.2 billion speakers. Of those, nearly 875 million speak Mandarin. That’s 14 percent of the world’s population. And yet, so many people are hesitant to learn this language because it seems so different. (Even though much of its difficulty is often exaggerated). There are incredible payoffs to learning Chinese, making it well worth the time you put in to reach fluency.
Experience New Cultures
Learning to speak Chinese can open the doors to new experiences. China has an incredible, vibrant culture with a rich history. And with an understanding of Chinese, you can gain a unique insight into that culture.
Native speakers also tend to be more open with people who speak their language. It’s a sign of respect that goes a long way. That means you’ll have more authentic interactions with native speakers as they’re more likely to give honest answers and share stories they wouldn’t tell non-native speakers.
Many other countries speak Chinese as well. So, you’ll be able to easily visit more of the world, experiencing other beautiful places and their cultures.
Better Career Aspects
Employers increasingly seek out bIlingual employees. They’re also, on average, paid more than monolingual ones. This is because there’s a clear financial incentive for businesses to hire bilingual over monolingual employees. In an international market, companies tend to do business more with organizations that speak their native language. In fact, a lack of language skills in the UK costs their economy £48 billion ($80 billion) per year, according to one study.
Businesses can save money in other ways as well with bilingual employees. There’s no need to hire an additional translator, for instance. And they can cut down on costly mistakes due to miscommunication with Chinese businesses. This added bonus partially explains why bilingual employees earn more than monolingual employees.
More Job Security
Being able to speak Chinese means that you’ll be one of the few people in your organization that can provide insight and value to international relationships with companies. You can help with translations, support negotiations, and communicate with your company’s new business partners. As you bond with them over interactions, you’ll become an integral part of your organization. They’ll grow to rely on you to help with accounts, allowing you more job security.
Develop a Stronger, Healthier Mind
There are several brain training benefits of learning another language. Learning a new language alters the neuroplasticity of your brain, helping you think better. You’ll be more mentally flexible, meaning you’ll be able to process tasks faster. And you can improve your memory to help fight off degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer's.
Experience a New Kind of Success
Chinese is very different from English, and that difference makes a lot of people hesitant about learning the language. However, if you put in the time and reach fluency in Chinese, you’ll accomplish something few do. Success feeds success. And as a result, you’ll be more likely to attempt other apparently difficult tasks. This adventurous, growth mindset can drive you to live a very successful life.
See the World Differently
Chinese is very different than English. English focuses on structure with long, complicated sentences. However, Chinese focuses on meaning instead, using short sentences. Chinese doesn’t use an alphabet, is a tonal language, and uses very different grammar. So, you’ll have to learn to think differently on your road to becoming fluent in Chinese.
This different thought process will alter your perception of the world. You’ll see things differently. And as a result, you’ll have a deeper understanding of existence. You’ll also gain a better appreciation of different cultures, leading to more open-mindedness.
Knowing Chinese can help make you a better communicator, and that can improve your overall life. Misunderstandings are a constant source of frustration for people. Whether in your personal or professional life, being able to communicate clearly is an asset. And to reach fluency in Chinese, you need to be able to speak effectively.
As you work toward fluency, you’ll have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and talk to other Chinese speakers. You’ll also need to focus harder on listening and comprehending too. Communication is a skill, and like any skill, it gets better with practice, but it’s one that’s not limited to Chinese. In the end, you’ll be able to communicate better in all avenues of your life.
Chinese: The Road to a Better Future
Chinese unlocks new opportunities for you. Your journey to fluency will change you by giving you a better perspective of the world, an appreciation for different cultures, and a unique understanding of the world. More so, with better career aspects, more pay, and increased job security, it’s easy to see how learning Chinese can set you on the path to a brighter future.
Entrepreneur and Linguist, Jonty Yamisha created OptiLingo after his efforts to protect his native language, Circassian, from extinction. Using scientifically proven strategies such as Spaced Repetition and Guided Immersion, OptilLingo has helped thousands finally achieve fluency.