Chinese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn and is spoken by over one billion people and is very complex. There is a difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, which a majority of the Chinese that is heard is most likely Mandarin. On the other hand, there is also the different local dialects in the cities.
One of the main reasons that people do not study Chinese is because they think that it’s too hard and not similar to Spanish. However, when first learning a language, it is usually difficult to learn in the beginning. I started learning Mandarin Chinese my sophomore year of high school, and I’ll admit that learning Chinese is hard, but it is a good challenge that I enjoy.
In my opinion, I believe that going into the workforce, with the knowledge of English, Spanish, and Chinese, helps me gain a competitive advantage. An employer could have a list of requirements that they need an employee to have, and if they need someone that can speak Spanish, usually that is fairly easy to find. However, if they are looking for someone that knows Chinese, it is a bit harder to find and there may be fewer applicants who are qualified. My Chinese language competency helps set me apart from the applicants that only know Spanish or aren’t bilingual at all.
Knowing more than one foreign language has helped me gain a broader perspective on the world. I’m not living in a metaphorical box because I am learning about other cultures of the world besides my own.
It also helps me enhance my cultural intelligence because since I want to go into the marketing field, I need to know who my target audience is. By understanding different cultures and their languages, it will help intercultural communication go smoother, so there is a minimized chance of error through the different cultures.
So, before there is an utterance of an automatic no to learning a new language, think of all of the opportunities that will be open. Competency in a different language other than your native language, and knowing a critical language, like Chinese, is in high demand. It’s a golden opportunity that you shouldn’t pass up!