Academics

The value of knowing Mandarin Chinese

  1. Knowing a Second Language is Beneficial to More than Just Your Future Paycheck
    • Learning a second language builds better brains and can improve your ability to multitask and prioritize.1
    • Knowing a second language builds healthier brains and can protect you from dementia and Alzheimer's.
    • Knowing a second language is a direct avenue for you to understand other societies and reflect your own.2
  2. Knowing Mandarin Opens Doors to 1 Billion People
    • Mandarin has the most first-language speakers in the world. (Among them only a third are learning English.)3
    • Mandarin is the official language of Mainland China, Taiwan, and one of the official languages of Singapore.
    • Knowing Mandarin significantly aids the learning of a Chinese dialect (ex. Cantonese, Hakka) and other East Asian languages (ex. Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese.)
  3. The Need for China Specialists is Urgent
    • Mandarin is a Critical Language, meaning that from business to government to education, the need is great for Mandarin specialists who have strong language abilities and a deep understanding of Chinese heritage, history, culture, and current society.
  4. Knowing Mandarin Gives You the Edge in Business
    • "China's GDP tripled between 2001 and 2011, while U.S. exports to China rose 542 percent."4
    • China has the world's second-largest economy, the largest export nation in the world, and is the largest trading country.
    • China is set to surpass Mexico and Canada as the largest importer of American goods.5
    • China is home to 73 of the Global 500 companies, second only to the US.6
  5. Speaking Mandarin is Easier than You Think
    • Mandarin has no verb conjugation and no noun declension.
    • Like English, basic word order is Subject + Verb + Object.
    • Mandarin only has just over 400 set syllables.
    • The US and China governments have created numerous scholarships for students to go abroad and study of Mandarin.
    • In 2013, 235,000 Chinese students came to the US to study, meaning there are more opportunities than ever to practice your Mandarin.
  6. China has a Rich Culture
    • China's history stretches back 5000 years.
    • The Chinese civilization significantly influenced nearby civilizations such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
    • Chinese civilization has and continues to make major contributions to Art, Education, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Science and countless other areas.

Sources:

1See http://news.psu.edu/story/160653/2011/02/18/juggling-languages-can-build-better-brains 

2Bryam, Michael. Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. 1997: Multilingual Matters Ltd. Bristol, PA. pg.2

3See http://100kstrong.org/study-in-china/ 

4See http://export.gov/china/build/groups/public/@eg_cn/documents/webcontent/eg_cn_055956.pdf 

5See http://cusef.org.hk/media/us-china-2022-u-s-china-economic-relations-in-the-next-ten-years/ 

6See http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2012/global-company-growth/?iid=smlrr