As China’s influence continues to grow, authorities around the world are pushing for people to learn Mandarin. While Chinese may never replace English as the most widely spoken language around the world, there’s no doubt studying Chinese as a second (or even third) language brings many advantages. Foreign language-learning specialists, the Oxford Language Academy, share five ways that taking Mandarin classes in Singapore can open up exciting new opportunities.
1. Boost your employment prospects
Speaking a second language is a highly sought after skill in the professional world, especially for international businesses. With China becoming a huge market, business leaders are looking for people who can speak Chinese and operate successfully in a Chinese cultural context.
2. Teach overseas
China has a population of over 1 billion people, many of whom want to learn English. Teaching English is a great way to travel and really immerse yourself in Chinese culture. Although learning Chinese is not strictly necessary for teaching English in China, it will help you get the most out of the experience (and probably get you hired quicker!). It’s much easier to build relationships with your students and colleagues if you can also converse in Mandarin!
3. Travel independently in China
Sure, you can get by with speaking English in major Chinese cities, but if you want an authentic experience of rural China, English-speakers are hard to come by. You’ll be amazed at how some knowledge of Mandarin heightens your travel encounters. Speaking the local lingo also makes navigating tourist destinations much easier and can even save you money. Learn to barter in Chinese and you’ll be surprised how far you can stretch you budget.
4. Discover (or avoid) unique Chinese cuisine
Each province in China has its own unique cuisine, with certain dishes unavailable elsewhere. While some restaurants do offer English menus, much of the meaning and subtlety is lost in clumsy translations. Being able to read a Chinese restaurant menu helps you order exciting local dishes with confidence. Knowledge of key food vocabulary is also important for anyone travelling with food allergies, that way you’ll know exactly what is on your plate.
5. Understand Chinese culture
All languages are a reflection of the deep history and culture of the people who speak them. China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Speaking Mandarin is one of the best ways to dig into its treasure trove of fascinating customs and understand the unique Chinese way of life.
Oxford Language Academy offers Chinese language courses for adults (beginner to advanced) and Chinese Mother Tongue tuition courses for children (Primary 5 & 6). If Chinese is not for you, they also offer classes in Japanese, Thai, Cantonese, Russian, English and more. From now to 31 January 2017, sign up with a friend for any language classes and get 10% off your course fees.
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