11 Reasons Why You Should Learn Chinese
When you think about the international language of business, chances are good that English comes to mind first. It’s the most widely used language in the world, and has been the lingua franca of the business world for a very long time. However, as they say, “things, they are a-changing”.
While English remains the language that most successful business people speak, that will not remain true for much longer. Chinese is the language of the future, and those who can master it now will have an advantage over those who fail to get on board in time.
Why should you learn Chinese, though? Let’s cover some of the most important reasons you need to start becoming fluent.
It’s Already the Language with Most Speakers
While English might be spoken in more countries at the moment (but not for long), there are more Chinese speakers on the planet than speakers of any other single language. There are 1.3 billion people in China alone, and it is the official language of more nations than just China alone. In fact, around 14-15% of the world’s population speaks some form of Chinese.
It Boosts Your Self-Confidence and Performance
Scientific studies show that learning another language can actually have powerful effects on your brain. In point of fact, learning another language makes you more self-confident, and can also lead to better productivity. This is definitely true of work positions in which you must communicate with native Chinese speakers and wait for translation to move forward with your project, but the skills learned while mastering another language can be applied in any environment at all.
It’s Spoken in Many Nations as the First Language
When you think of Chinese, chances are good that you envision it being spoken primarily in mainland China. That’s understandable, but not the case at all. There are many other nations on the planet where Chinese is spoken as the primary language. These nations include Brunei, Malaysia, Mongolia, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand to name a few. So, if you are considering doing business within any of these nations, it makes sense to master Chinese in order to put yourself on more even footing with others.
You Can Make Business Contacts More Easily
When it comes to making business contacts, chances are good that you personally gravitate toward those who can converse with you in a language in which you’re fluent. That is natural, and makes a great deal of sense. For instance, if your first language is English, you are more able to express yourself fully and be completely understood in English.
The same thing applies to others you’ll meet in the business world. They’re usually more confident speaking with someone about business matters in a language they have mastered, rather than one they stumble to speak and struggle to understand. Learning Chinese helps put you on more even footing with native Chinese-speaking business contacts, allowing you to earn their trust more easily and ensure accurate communication at all times. It’s all about avoiding misunderstandings and can even help successfully market your product to new areas.
It Is the Third Most Commonly Spoken Language in the US
Think that learning Chinese will only be of value if you travel overseas to a Chinese-speaking nation, or if you do business with Chinese nationals? Think again. Chinese is actually the third most commonly spoken language in the United States, coming in very close behind English and Spanish. And this trend is only going to continue as more and more Chinese nationals buy real estate in America.
As this continues, more and more people in the US, whether citizens or resident aliens, will speak Chinese. More people will need to speak Chinese, too. For instance, suppose you run a property management company and work with Chinese-speaking land owners. Perhaps you are a real estate agent, or maybe you are a contractor or construction specialist. The more Chinese-speaking individuals buy land and interact within the US, the more need there is for individuals who are fluent in Chinese.
It Gives You an Edge in the Job Market
In a competitive job market, you need every advantage you can get over other applicants. Chances are good that you invest in yourself in the form of education and training, even ongoing training or continuous learning, in order to ensure that you are the best possible candidate. However, did you know that more and more employers are seeking new hires who not just know a second or third language, but specifically who know Chinese?
This goes back to the fact that China is set to eclipse the US as the world’s single largest and most powerful economy in a very short time. More and more businesses are working with Chinese companies. More firms are opening headquarters in China. More companies are importing and exporting with Chinese partners. All of these companies need people working for them who know the language.
You Can Make Friends and Connections with Billions of People
One of the single most valuable assets you have is your connection to other people. Simply put, the more people you know, the richer your life is. The stronger your connection with others, the more opportunities you have. The world’s most successful people already know this, which is why people like Mark Zuckerberg are learning to speak Chinese, along with other languages. Learning to speak Chinese gives you access to billions of other people with whom to connect and establish relationships.
It’s the Growing Language of the Business World
We’ve touched on this several times already, but it bears further scrutiny. English remains king, but it’s a king who with a rapidly eroding throne. English-speaking countries, specifically the US, are trying to retain their lead over other nations, but it is declining despite, and in some cases because of, their best efforts.
There is no denying that the business realm of tomorrow is closely focused on China and other Asian nations. The Americas have had their day, and it the sun is setting on them. If you want to find success, whether as a business owner, entrepreneur, or employee, then you should be focusing on how China will be affecting your future. The first step here is to learn Chinese.
It Helps Improve Your Cognitive Abilities
We have already touched on the fact that learning another language can improve your self-confidence and even your productivity, but did you know that it can also improve your cognitive abilities? According to a Swedish study cited by The Guardian, “learning a foreign language has a visible effect on the brain.” The article goes on to report that “specific parts of the brains of the language students developed in size, whereas the brain structures in the control group remained unchanged.”
The study’s authors also noted that, “learners whose brains grew in the hippocampus and areas of the cerebral cortex related to language learning had better language skills than other learners for whom the motor region of the cerebral cortex developed more.”
It’s Actually a Lot of Fun
Want a non-business reason to consider learning Chinese? It’s actually a lot of fun. Chinese is so different from European languages, it is a complete departure. It offers a unique challenge, and delivers puzzle-solving-like benefits. It’s engaging, and enjoyable on a level that you don’t get when learning other languages, like Spanish, Italian, or even Russian. In addition to being able to speak with others, you can order off a menu and actually know what you’re about to eat. You can read news articles without the need for or inaccuracy of Google Translate. You can even have fun with words and create unique puns and jokes.
You Can Learn More about China’s Culture and History
Finally, you’ll find that learning Chinese actually helps you get a better grasp on culture and history. A lot of China’s immense history and rich culture are locked behind a language barrier. And because Chinese differs so markedly from European languages, there are shades of meaning that are completely lost through translation. In many cases, there simply is no way to translate from Chinese to English or another language. That means an incredible amount of knowledge and learning are lost just from the simple act of trying to understand Chinese history and culture from a non-Chinese speaking view point.
Learning Chinese is optional right now. However, it may be mandatory in the future, at least if you want to do business in the fastest-growing, most diverse economy on the planet. If you’re still holding out, consider the fact that learning Chinese will more than pay for itself, and will help you enjoy the income that you want and deserve.
If you’re ready to learn everything you need to know in order to achieve success, I invite you to sign up for my Six Figure Sunday course. I’ll cover essential skills to help you pull in a six-figure income with just one day of work each week. Simply click here and I'll talk to you there!