Learning Chinese for Kids Blog
10% Off - Join our E-Mail List!
Subscribe so you get a weekly, fun to read Learning Chinese E-Mail newsletter including sales, tips, events, and new product announcements. Unsubscribe at any time safely! A 10% off one time coupon ($25 minimum purchase) will be sent to you with your E-Mail subscription.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Benefits of Learning Chinese or Why Learn Chinese?

Chinese Language Association of Elementary-Secondary Schools 全美中小學中文教師協會 (CLASS), has the best list I have found yet on other sites of the benefits of studying Chinese! My comments are in bold.

Why study Chinese?

1. China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.4 billion people. Mandarin is spoken by almost one billion people. It is the #1 spoken language in the world. One out of five people in the world is Chinese.

Good point, but not a major selling point as a reason to learn a language.

2. Mandarin is spoken in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia,Brunei, Singapore, The Philippines, and Mongolia.

This is actually a much better reason than the first, but there is a huge network of overseas Chinese the have a great deal of economic power in the countries listed above. Actually many of them speak Fujian Dialect or Cantonese, but because of the growth of Mandarin they are now Learning Mandarin because of the rise in China's economic power and how Mandarin has become the Chinese dialect used in business. Which goes with the entire growth of Mandarin in China over the past 80 years that has been pushed by all the Chinese governments as a way to unify the country. So the other dialects are becoming languages spoken at home. I believe this is also happening with Cantonese with the Hong Kong becoming part of China.

3. China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, over 5000 years old.

Interesting reason and there is a lot of Chinese Scientific Advances that the Europeans adopted that started in China. The question with how advanced China was for many years over Europe, was why did China stop advancing scientifically and Europe got it's act together with the Renaissances and age of the enlightenment. The example of Zheng He who had a huge fleet and my have discovered America before Columbus, but the fleet was destroyed due to the government wanting to focus internally for a couple of hundred years (which China continued to do until relatively recently).

4. China has the second largest economy in the world. Knowing Chinese will allow students to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.

Many articles on parents having their kids learning Chinese have mentioned how this will help their kids compete in the future, many executives are having their children learn Chinese because of their frequent travel to China.

5.China is one of America's largest trading partners.

And the US also exports a huge amount to China, as well as importing even more.

6.Many American companies do business in China, including Motorola, Coca Cola, and Ford.

We live in a global economy and the world is becoming flatter everyday.

7.Knowing Chinese may be an edge when competing for a job. The demand for business people who know Chinese is skyrocketing.

Makes sense for the right type job. Can't hurt.

8. China is playing a major role in world affairs and will continue to do so.
Very true.

9. A May 2006 Newsweek article stated that "In U.S. homes, Chinese has eclipsed French, German, and Italian and become the third most commonly spoken language after English and Spanish."

My thought is this is due to immigration from China and Taiwan. Ethnic Chinese that speak other dialects are having their children learning Mandarin Chinese

10. By studying Chinese, students will develop an appreciation for Chinese culture and history.

Learning a language gives you a better understanding through the grammar and even how the words are derived of the culture behind them. There is a lot of Chinese Poetry that lose some meaning when translated.

11. Leaning a second language develops critical and creative thinking skills.

It does seem to help mentally as you develop new areas of your brain. It also helps as people age. I once had a fun talk with a programmer explaining how learning a new computer language helped keep his mind fresh.

Class also has a list of why Chinese is also easy to learn on the same page is also a good read.

I definitely need to update my page on the Benefits of Learning Chinese, or as I titled it, Why Learn Chinese and incorporate my previous blog post on Why Learn Chinese into it. Basically re-write the entire page, which I just did. The history of this page is interesting. First it was focused on why Ethnic Chinese in the US should have their kids learn Chinese, and then re-writing it a bit for a more general audience. Anyway, time to revise!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The spread of a language—and the reason to want to learn it—is almost never because of the merits of the language itself. Languages traditionally have been imposed on the conquered, or picked up because the learner perceives superiority in the speaker, as Latin and French used to be, and English is now. Well, it is almost a certainty that China will be a formidable world power once more, and for just an incentive to engage (do business with) her it behooves one to learn it (or suffer missing out).
Incidentally, Zheng He did not “may have” discovered America. Go check out a documentary DVD called “Pre-Columbian Chinese Exploration of the World.”

December 17, 2007 at 10:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Company Info
Account Info
Customer Service
News & Info