With the steady growth of the Chinese economy, Mandarin is becoming a more important language in the world, and is arguably already the most widely spoken. As everyday China becomes more integrated into the wider world through business, travel and media involvement this will be even more so in the future.
Learning Mandarin provides you with better opportunities to work in a big Chinese company like Huawei, or companies that cooperate with Chinese companies as many western businesses are doing right now. So in many western companies, being able to speak Chinese in addition to your professional abilities is an important skill for employees and make you potentially more valuable to your employer. Therefore, learning Mandarin is one of the best investments you can make not only for yourself but also for your career.
Let’s have a closer look at why this is the case. here are top 8 benefits of learning Chinese for business:
• More job opportunities in the global market
• “Know yourself and know your opponent/partner
• Better relationship and connection with Chinese people
• Broaden your horizon to understand oriental people and culture better
• Help you to understand both modern Chinese culture and traditional values and wisdom
• Help students of any level to progress in both Chinese and Chinese business culture
• Learning professional Chinese business language
• Follow in the footsteps of celebrities
More job opportunities in the global market for employees who speak Chinese
It is well known that China has the world’s biggest population, more than 1.4 billion people and so Mandarin is arguably the most spoken native language in the world. Actually not only in China but also in Southeast Asia - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines - there are also big groups of Mandarin speakers. If you speak Chinese, you will have many more opportunities than others. Because of the rapid growth of the Chinese and Southeast Asian economy, more and more Western companies are trading with China and the Southeast Asian region or want to expand into these markets. So, in addition to professional skills, speaking Mandarin is one of the skills your company might want in their employees. Moreover, if you speak Chinese, your job position will not be limited to English-speaking countries but include Mandarin-speaking regions where the economy is developing rapidly and companies eagerly ask for Chinese-English bilingual talents. Learning Chinese can open new doors for you on your career path.
“Know yourself and know your opponent/partner” Sun Tzu
This idea was first mentioned by Sun Tzu, (Sūnzǐ (孫子)), a famous ancient Chinese general who wrote the masterpiece The Art of War Illustrated. This is such a classic work that it’s on the required reading list of many of the leading university’s MBA courses, as part of marketing and business strategy course units. He wrote ‘only when you know yourself and know your opponent very well, can you win every battle’. This is as true in business as it is in war. Studying your rival companies or even a partner company and knowing your own company thoroughly helps business development.
One of the benefits of learning Business Chinese is not only knowing how to use Mandarin on business occasions but also learning the way Chinese do business, as the ideas of Sun Tzu are widely understood and often followed in the Chinese business community. After knowing and adapting to Chinese business customs, the relationship between your company and Chinese companies or between you and Chinese clients will definitely get better, which can be greatly beneficial to the development of your company or your own career. Learning Mandarin for business purposes is an important first step.
Better relationship and connection with Chinese people
Seeing this subheading, you may wonder: why do I need to have a better relationship with Chinese people? This does no good for my business or my career! If you are thinking in this way, then you are totally wrong! In the Chinese cultural background, the relationship “关系 (guānxi)” is extremely important.
If you have a good relationship and have many connections with important clients and business partners then you will have a much bigger chance to “win” in business! Therefore, how to “win” your Chinese clients and business partners’ hearts? Of course by learning Mandarin Chinese! Like the French, Chinese people highly respect and are obsessed with their own culture and language. You may have observed the fact that Chinese people love to work and live within “a Chinese group”.
It does not mean that they do not respect other cultures, like most of us they feel safer and more comfortable when they are surrounded by Chinese culture. Therefore, as an “outsider” of Chinese culture, if you are willing to learn Business Chinese and Chinese culture, Chinese people will be very impressed and interested in you, trusting you more easily. By learning business Mandarin, you can quickly shorten the the gap with Chinese clients or colleagues which will greatly help your career.
Check this videos below to see how important is learning Chinese to have better connections (guānxi) with Chinese people!
A white guy who surprises people in NYC Chinatown with perfect Chinese:
Broaden your horizon to understand oriental people and culture better
Every day you hear so much news about the East, and it seems that there are many oriental people living in your city... However, do you really know and understand the oriental culture and have you ever made any oriental friends? Or in your mind, are they just a bunch of weird people living in their own ways that you do not quite understand?
If you have such thoughts, then you need to explore the real orient - a very fascinating place that is totally different from the West! As an ancient civilisation and centre of the East, China is definitely the country that is worth you studying! By taking a business Chinese course, you will not only know more about business rules and values in China, but also it will broaden your horizon to help you understand the whole orient better! The East will no longer only be a place on the map or place mentioned in the news for you. By studying the Chinese language, a stronger bond will be created between you and oriental people and culture.
Help you to understand both modern Chinese culture and traditional values and wisdom
Another important benefit of learning Chinese for business is helping you to understand both modern Chinese culture and traditional values and wisdom. We all know that learning a language is actually learning a culture. Therefore, learning Chinese is a fantastic way to understand Chinese culture better. Compared to normal Chinese, learning Chinese for business is more beneficial - it combines the modern Chinese business language which reflects the business culture in China nowadays, the everyday Chinese language and teaches traditional Chinese values. Learning Chinese for business broadens your horizon to understand Chinese culture in two parts - what do modern Chinese do and say, and what are the traditional values and wisdom behind these actions.
Help students of any level to progress in both Chinese and Chinese business culture
You may wonder, if I am studying business Chinese from a beginners’ level, will it be too hard for me to understand? Actually, it won’t. Even for business Chinese, there are three levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. In basic business Mandarin lessons, we will still start by introducing Pinyin, commonly used words and sentences in life. However, more work-related conversations like office situations, bargains involved in transactions will be learned.
At the intermediate level, you will learn more about Chinese business culture like appropriate etiquette and daily conversations between colleagues. In the advanced course, more professional reading and writing skills will be introduced to you, for example, the format of writing a business document or email.
You can see from the course content that business Mandarin does not require learners to start from a high level. It helps students of any level to progress in Chinese and Chinese business culture at the same time.
Learning professional Chinese business language
It is the same in every culture that business language is different from daily conversations. If you are studying daily Chinese, then you may not learn some important business Chinese language.
How to behave correctly and politely to your Chinese partner, and prevent making misunderstandings or be laughed at? These are all topics covered in business Chinese that you will not learn in everyday Chinese. Therefore, learning business Chinese will definitely provide you with more job opportunities than everyday Chinese, if you will be involved in doing business with China.
Follow in the footsteps of celebrities who learnt to speak Chinese
Do you know that there are lots of celebrities who are into the idea of learning Chinese? For example, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is learning Mandarin daily! In 2014, he expressed himself confidently in Mandarin in front of professors and students at Tsinghua University. He mentioned three reasons why he studies Chinese. Firstly, his wife is Chinese. Secondly, he thinks China is a great country and he wants to learn Chinese culture by learning Mandarin. Thirdly, Chinese is very hard and he likes challenges. However, one point he did not mention here is as the CEO of Facebook, learning Chinese will greatly help him in business as well - the Chinese market is massive and every smart businessman will regard it as a place full of potential. Not only Mark Zuckerberg, but many other well known business people and celebrities study and speak Mandarin Chinese. For them, it's important for their development. If they are that successful and still keep learning Chinese, why don’t you? Follow in their footsteps and start to learning business Chinese or everyday Chinese!
How can learning Chinese improve business?
As we mentioned before, since China is becoming more economically powerful, more companies are trying to cooperate with Chinese business partners or enter the Chinese market. Learning Chinese definitely can help you to have a closer relationship and a better connection (关系 (guānxi)) with Chinese partners, so your business will develop better with the help of Chinese friends.
Another benefit of learning Mandarin is to understand the culture behind it. Inside the Chinese business culture, there are many fascinating ideas that are different from the western way of thinking. Therefore, learning business Chinese opens another door for you to think from different perspectives - apply some oriental business ideas in your daily business to win more respect and better success in your career.
How many hours a day should I study Chinese?
This is totally up to you since everyone has their own timetable for working and living. However, we all know that learning a language is always a long process. Only when you keep yourself in the language environment and use the words you learned as much as you can, can you speak a language well. Therefore, our suggestion for you is to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour every day learning Mandarin. 30 minutes to 1 hour is not a big deal, you just regard Mandarin as your hobby and practice writing some characters for 30 minutes or read a Mandarin article for 30 minutes every day after work. However, keep in mind that PERSISTENCE is the thing really matters. It is better for you to do it every day so create a rich language environment for yourself. This is the reason why teachers or language tutors are so important - good teachers encourage you to keep learning and through the process, you will even find Chinese more fascinating.
Will learning Chinese help me to get a job?
Yes, learning Chinese will definitely provide you with more job opportunities. Chinese is an important language skill. With this skill, and your professional qualifications, you will become a talent that company’s want to acquire more than other ordinary employees. Especially for companies who hope to open the Chinese market or work cooperatively with Chinese partners, you will be the ideal talent they want. Since China is becoming more influential and economically powerful, more companies are looking for Mandarin speaker employees. Therefore, learning Mandarin is a good investment for yourself!