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Why Study Chinese?
There are many compelling reasons to study Chinese. Many people simply enjoy studying foreign languages. Chinese is partcularly facinating because of its beautiful handwriting, melodic spoken language, and poetic phrasing. There are also very practical reasons to acquire another language and Chinese is increasingly important to our current and future dialogue with China. According to the Asia Society, “The rise of China presents new economic, political and social realities that demand greater U.S. engagement at every level. As the foundation of that engagement, we urgently need to raise the number of Americans who can demonstrate a functional proficiency in Chinese.”
China’s long history—more than 5,000 years—and its splendid traditions in literature, the arts, and cuisine make learning to speak Chinese an exploration and adventure. It is the most widely spoken first language in the world!
Here are few more reasons to study Chinese compiled by Professor Liang Tao of Ohio University:
Chinese Is Easy, Fun, and Interesting!
- Chinese is mentally stimulating, interesting, and fun
- Chinese words are artistically formed
- Chinese culture is one of the oldest in the world
- If you know 1000 commonly used characters, you will recognize 90% of the characters in Chinese newspapers
Chinese Is Important For Your Career!
- Chinese language skills are a resume-builder—knowing Chinese may give you an edge when competing for employment
- International businesses prefer to hire people who speak more than one language
- China is and will be an important business and economic partner of the U.S. and the world
- China is a wonderful country to teach English in
- China will play a major role in world affairs in the future.
Chinese Is Useful!
- It is a great experience to talk to others in their own language and it can be helpful when you travel in China
- Taking Chinese can actually improve your mental power by learning how to arrange your thoughts into an alternative pattern or organization
- Taking Chinese helps you to understand Chinese culture, literature and history
Chinese Is Most Spoken Language In The World!
- There are more people speaking Chinese than English. It’s the number one spoken language in the world
- One out of five people is Chinese. If I can speak Chinese, I can communicate with more people different from myself, and learn things about different cultures.