There are numerous compelling reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese, the most widely spoken language on earth. Thanks to China’s booming economy and its status as a rising global superpower, the future of Mandarin Chinese language in India is astonishing and give you an unparalleled advantage in your career and the global job market. There is a reason why External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj asked Indians and Chinese to learn each other’s language.
“千里之行﹐始于足下” (Qiānlǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zú xià)Chinese proverb
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Although there are several Foreign languages in India that are easier for Indians to learn than Chinese, but – (this might sound cliché) – ‘The easiest way is not always the best way’.
In the last few decades, the People’s Republic of China has transformed itself from a poor country to become what is arguably the largest global economy. Thanks to the country’s ever-expanding economy, the language’s popularity has boomed beyond expectation.
Chinese is particularly fascinating because of its rich heritage, beautiful handwriting, melodic spoken language, and poetic phrasing. Today, there is a huge demand for Chinese language experts who can bridge the gap between this new growing China and the wider world. The knowledge will boost your career prospects and job opportunities in India and abroad.
Chinese Languages – Overview, Speakers and Dialects
Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with over 1.4 billion speakers. It is also the second most used language on the internet. “Chinese language” is too broad and vague term; China is home to a variety of languages and dialects, many of which are mutually unintelligible.
There are two types of written form – Simplified and Traditional. Simplified Chinese was established in 1949 when the communist regime in mainland China took power. The Simplified form is officially used in the People’s Republic of China, Singapore and Malaysia. On the other hand, the Republic of China, i.e., Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, overseas Chinese communities tend to use traditional characters.
While the written language, i.e., Simplified one is understandable across all regions in the country, Spoken or vernacular Chinese is divided into a multitude of languages and dialects, including hundreds of less common variants.
Different region has its own spoken language, namely – Wu, Jin, Hunanese, Huizhou, Gan, Xiang, Min, Hakka, Yue (including Cantonese-Taishanese), Ping, Shaojiang, and many other languages or dialect. Even in one province, there can be different languages spoken.
The Cantonese is an essential and integral part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of southeastern China, Hong Kong, Macau, and overseas Chinese communities across the globe.
By Chinese, I mean Simplified Chinese (Written) and Standard Chinese or often called Mandarin or Putonghua (Spoken one) here, which is the official language of mainland China, Taiwan and one of the official languages of Singapore. Mandarin is considered a native language by about two-thirds of China’s inhabitants.
Mandarin Chinese is also spoken by the influential Chinese communities of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Mongolia. According to China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) – About 73 per cent of Chinese people can speak Mandarin Chinese. Therefore, Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken first or native language in the world.
Mandarin Chinese Language in India
Thanks to the emergence of Japan in the 1970s, South Korea in the 1980s and People’s Republic of China in the 1990s, East Asian economic powerhouses with their giant international companies expanding their business footprints in India, taking advantage of India’s new economic liberalisation business policy of the Government of India, has brought these countries and the need to learn these languages in preference to the famous European languages in India into sharp focus.
The 21st century belongs to China and Ability to Speak Mandarin will allow you to compete effectively in the global economy of the future. Among East Asian languages in India, Japanese is the most popular, followed by Mandarin Chinese and Korean.
Read — (i) Scope of Japanese in India (ii) Scope of Learning Korean (iii) Why Learn Korean? (iv) Benefits of Learning Japanese (v) Learn Japanese in Delhi (vi) Learn Korean in Delhi (vii) Japanese Institutes in Bangalore (ix) Korean Institutes in India (x) Career in Chinese
There was a time not long ago when very few Indians were interested in this language. The need for Indians to learn Chinese couldn’t have been higher than it is today and that is the reason there are several colleges, institutes and private centres offering Mandarin Chinese course in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore and in other cities.
Career options and opportunities
The study of the Chinese language opens the way to different important fields such as Chinese politics, economy, history or archaeology, culture etc. Today, the demand for experienced professionals with Chinese language skills has increased dramatically. It will give you an edge – a step ahead in the career and attract the attention of future employment.
Mandarin Chinese is one language that is assuming a globally dominant position. It is gradually becoming a cultural force of reference and objectivity for the 21st century. Learning the Chinese language is something that constitutes proper objectivity—a language that will resonate positively in your career as a business-minded personality and adds value to your intellectual experience.
It has the potential of becoming a force multiplier in every one of your individual and business transaction with the Chinese people and companies. The future of the Chinese (Mandarin) language in India is one of promise and notable acceptance and this why the HSK exam in India is gaining popularity.
Many Indians are now taking up Chinese as an elective when choosing from a list of foreign languages to study. The numbers of Indians studying Chinese is increasing day by day because so many have come to know that Chinese is the language of the future. For many, learning is their ticket to a lucrative career and global job market.
Changing Dynamics: India-China rising powers and economies!
China and India are the world’s two most populous nations, and both have been working towards increasing bilateral trades, and the one way we can build and establish our future leveraging on China’s manufacturing muscle and price competitiveness is to learn to communicate and translate in the Chinese language.
On the economy frontiers, trade between India and China has multiplied rapidly over the years — from $2.9 billion in 2000 to a staggering amount of $84.44 billion in 2017, and it has gone up even higher since then. Indian business and companies don’t want to lose out on this promising and budding prosperity, and the first step to ensure that is to learn Mandarin.
A new China – India commercial and trade collaboration is emerging, and the future of the Chinese language looks excellent in the India social-cultural and economic fronts. China has tactically and systematically engineered its economy to become the world’s factory.
Presently, there is no company — from Apple down to a kite-maker in Mumbai — capable of resisting the low sourcing and production cost in China, and that’s the primary reason why Mandarin classes in India are becoming so popular. All of these indicate that the future of the Mandarin language in India is one that offers a positive prospect for business and career-minded Indians.
Reasons why you should learn the Chinese language in India
1. Population advantage
China is the most populous nation on earth, boasting over 1.4 billion people. The Standard Mandarin or Putonghua is the world most widely spoken native language. One in every five people speaks Chinese.
If you want to do business in these countries, then it would be beneficial to converse in their language. While no official data seems to exist, it is generally assumed that a significant majority are monolingual. Very few people speak any other language including, English.
Knowledge of the Chinese language will enable people, especially Indians, to compete competitively and effectively and efficiently in the global economy of the future.
China has expanded its trade agreements to countries all over the world. With the Chinese market playing an influential part in every aspect of business and trade around the globe, learning Mandarin is an instant entry pass into one of the most prominent groups ever.
3. Partnership with India
China is, and remains one of India’s largest and most reliable partners. The trade and collaboration volume between the two countries are growing at a swift rate.
Over the past 15 years, more than 150 Chinese companies have invested more than $30 billion in India in sectors such as automotive parts and consumer electronics, according to CII. To enhance your CV, you should think about taking a Mandarin course.
4. Business Opportunity
There are more and more businesses, not only having their products made in Chinese factories but also marketing towards the Chinese market. Mandarin plays a vital role in the export and import business.
High ranking American, European and other Asian companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, Ford, Motorola, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, LG, etc. are doing business in China. Interacting and translating in the Chinese language will enable lots of Indians to get more of these jobs at a favourable salary.
Many small manufacturers are sourcing a wide range of products from China. You can transform yourself from a low-value employee into somebody critical to the success of a project in China.
5. Leveraging Advantage
Knowledge of the Chinese language will undoubtedly give you an advantage when competing for a job or business opportunity. Right now, the demand for business personnel versed in Chinese is skyrocketing.
Since there are very few people who know Mandarin in India, therefore having these skills can give you a great job and business opportunities both in India and in the worldwide community.
6. Global Dominion
China is actively involved in world affairs as an influential player and will continue to do so for many decades to come.
As China now has opened up to the West, there are opportunities for employment in all areas. Proficiency in Mandarin will ensure that you are a front runner in your profession and will also prove to be the key to endless opportunities in the professional field.
7. Chinese Culture and Heritage
The China culture is a unique, colourful and multi-layered that has evolved over the last 5,000 years. Not only is China one of the oldest and richest cultures on the planet – it’s also an exciting, vibrant modern country. It is worthwhile studying this intimately through the language.
Studying the Chinese language will enable Indian students to develop awareness and appreciation for Chinese culture and historical perspective such as the Great Walls of China, the emergence of China as a military power and economic superpower, foods, literature, customs, traditions, movies, TV Shows, and of course, the famous Chinese Kung Fu.
8. Individual & Mental Development
Several studies have shown that Mandarin speakers use both sides of their brains! When you learn Mandarin as a second language, you will be able to develop creative and critical thinking skills.
If you choose to learn Written Chinese, learning to write characters can help with motor skills and visual recognition will keep the mind sharp.
9. Job opportunities
In today’s competitive world, with the advantage of knowing the Chinese language, one gets an edge over others. It gives lucrative job opportunities in the wide range of fields. Proficiency can make you a language translator, interpreter, content writer, proofreader, guide, or an employee in the growing career in BPO and KPO, etc.
One can also find enough teaching openings at various government and private schools, institutes, colleges, etc. Thanks to the endless opportunities in the professional field, The career options and job opportunities in this field are plenty – across the country.
10. Travel in China
Ability to speak Chinese will make your travelling experience more enjoyable and exciting in China and other eastern countries.
If you are planning to visit beautiful China, the experience will only be intensified with knowledge of the Chinese language and total cultural immersion will prove to be enlightening, entertaining, enjoyable, exhilarating, and truly unforgettable. Since a large number of Chinese visit India every year. Thus, knowledge of Mandarin offers a variety of career option in the tourism sector.
What guarantees that the Chinese language will become a dominant force in the future?
China is currently the second-largest economy on earth and has been forecasted to take over from the United States in a short while from now. In fact, in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), the Chinese economy has already surpassed that of the United States. Thus, the growing interest in the study of Mandarin is as a result of China’s enormous economic growth, now and in the future.
China has become a colossal investor globally, with a substantial footprint in places like in Africa, South America and elsewhere in the world. There is a high level of enthusiasm to learn and master the Chinese language, and this is spreading to all of the corners of the globe.
Business, leaders, parents, and teachers represent some of the numerous groups recognizing the Chinese language as the emerging universal business language of the future. For instance, it was reported in 2010 that formal Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev labelled 2010 as the “year of the Chinese language.”
A lot of institutions across India and in many other countries of the world are now welcoming native speakers to teach the language in their local primary and secondary schools. Even the Chinese government is doing its parts to promote the Chinese language and culture overseas.
To ensure the success of this move, the government, in 2004, opened a network of non-profit Confucius institutes. Today, A total of 516 Confucius Institutes and 1,076 Confucius Classrooms have been established in 142 countries and regions, receiving more than 9 million students.
Right now in India, Chinese is being offered as a foreign language subject for students in 100s of Schools and Colleges in India. Also, the Central Board of Secondary Education has formulated a plan to promote, at a steady rate, the study of the Chinese language in middle schools across the nation of India. All of these entail a great future prospect for the Chinese language.
In all over the world, From Australia to the USA, from Europe to Africa have witnessed a steady increase in Chinese study. Today, the number has grown significantly, and several governments are promoting it as part of a broader national goal of increasing strategic engagements and interactions with the fast-rising economies in Asia.
These and many more shows that there is a bright future for the Chinese language in India, and for Indians who will be travelling abroad and doing business online. It is clear that as China continues to rise as an economic superpower; the fashion to study the Chinese language will also increase.
According to information made available by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, not less than 40 million people outside China are learning Chinese, and that number keeps growing annually.
Chinese is not that difficult
Chinese is considered one of the toughest languages in the world. But despite this widely-held belief, millions of people are studying Mandarin Chinese as a second language.
The Mandarin at first might looks very difficult and complicated, but that is not entirely true. Of course, like any other language, one has to put some determination and persistence into it, but if you are willing and ready to learn, then it can be almost a simple language to learn.
Once you put your mind to it, it’s really straightforward, and you can complete Level IV or V of the Chinese Language Proficiency Test in India (HSK) in 3 years. In all likelihood, Learning Mandarin Chinese language in India will pay a high dividend.