Although English has long been the universal language of business, the Mandarin Chinese is gaining popularity quite steadily. For many countries trying to establish business overseas, English is ubiquitous. However, the tables have turned and business is booming in the orient. Chinese is growing in popularity among the common languages of trade. For those trying to understand and learn Mandarin Chinese, you need to know about the nitty-gritty of the language.
Of course, the Chinese language categories, tutors, and even PC programs can facilitate the introduction and learning process. However, I found the most effective method of learning the language to be the old school immersive learning that can only be achieved by either renting a loft in China Town or by actually sampling the Chinese culture by visiting China. Immersing yourself in a completely different culture triggers the exponential phase of your learning curve. I found that comparatively few people in China were ready to communicate in English and that left me with no other option than pick up their native language quickly. It was more of a question of survival rather than the knack for learning a new language that got me fluent in Mandarin.
One specific feature of the Chinese culture that I found extremely intriguing was the use of gestures and body language to communicate. When two people communicate, a slight nod of their head or a small hand gesture may signify more than words can convey. This is one lesson you can never learn from online classes or crash courses on Mandarin Chinese. In China, it is common for people to communicate without saying a word. And the portrayal of Chinese men and women as taciturn hermits may even be true to some extent when you consider their undeniable skills of non-verbal communication.
“When in Rome be a roman” and when in China, you better learn Mandarin! If you have any business interest in China. It may be export, import or setting up a place of business in the country, you should to learn the Chinese language to get that extra edge in your business opportunities. Learning the language is not so much for the love of the language. But it has to do more with sending a signal of growing cultural interest in the country and its people. The people of the country will consider it as a sign of getting closer. This can break the barriers of culture that can often inhibit business initiatives. Indeed, learning the Chinese language does not guarantee your success in business but it can show you the way to success.
Learn Chinese in America
As Westerners are eager to learn Mandarin Chinese, the government of China has also taken a keen interest in making the language easily accessible in the western countries especially in the U.S. Mandarin is being popularized in the U.S. through special initiatives of the Chinese government. The Government of China has offered subsidies to quite a few American Universities and high schools for teaching the language. This is a measure that the Chinese government has taken to strengthen its soft power in places that can influence the country’s economy. A basic knowledge of the language makes it easier and indeed more interesting for people to start their business in China.
It’s taught in Singapore too
There are quite a few other places where you get the opportunity of learning the Chinese language. Singapore has been a prime location for learning Chinese fast and effectively. There are institutes dedicated to teaching mandarin and you can even avail the facility of a home Chinese tutor Singapore. The home-tutoring option offers a more dedicated learning process for the non-Mandarin speakers who are looking for one-on-one, expert guidance. Since the population of Singapore is dominated by people of Chinese origin, almost 74% of the population is Chinese but only a slim fraction speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. It is no surprise that the demand for learning Chinese is quite high in this country. Chinese is one of the most spoken languages in Singapore. As a matter of fact, it is one of its national languages along with English, Malay and Tamil. As more and more westerners are moving to Singapore for lucrative job opportunities, the demand for in-home Chinese language tutors and grooming classes are also steadily increasing.
Business can spread far and wide
Learning Mandarin Chinese is a wonderful way to expand your business horizons. Mandarin Chinese is undoubtedly a difficult language to master. It might not be even possible for you to speak it fluently in the first couple of months. But with time, you will realize the immense advantages of knowing the language once you start making trips to the east for business purposes. This will contribute to the interactions with people on the ground and it can give your business the much needed boost on foreign soil. You will be able to penetrate deeper into the country and understand the nuances of the Chinese culture, instead of catering to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities where English is selectively accepted.
Tier 3 and tier 4 cities are gradually coming up with fresh business opportunities and virgin territories where western business can spread without bounds. But the only requirement for these tier 3 and tier 4 cities is fluency in the Chinese languages. English is rarely understood or appreciated in these cities.
Add an extra charm to public speaking
Believe it or not, most Fortune 500 company CEOs are running after Mandarin lessons after Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his expertise in the language. This is especially rewarding if you are looking forward to presenting a slideshow or speaking at a seminar in any city of China. Standing up in front of a crowd can be frightening, and it can be even more frightening if you don’t understand a word they are speaking. So learning Mandarin if you are looking for a speaker’s job in the orient is definitely a smart move if you want to woo the crowd and make sure they listen to what you have to say.
Business might appear to be restricted to formal meetings but its seeds are sown during informal interactions with your business partners. Cocktail dinners, pool-side extravaganzas, and golf games have seen more business contracts being sealed than corporate conference rooms with an artificial environment. Speaking in their language gives you the advantage of working your way into their hearts with ease. Better bonding results in better business, and there’s no better way to bond with a person than speaking with him/her in his/her mother tongue.
China is already the second-largest economy in the world and it’s no wonder, Mandarin has grown to be the second most popular language as well. All smart entrepreneurs of the day are taking special classes to learn Mandarin, and fast! Mandarin will soon become quite mandatory for all businessmen looking to get a foothold in China.