With phonetics and characters that appear far different from Western languages, the Chinese language is most commonly assumed to possess an alien nature that is difficult to grasp. Truth be told, linguists have analysed that the Chinese language only appears more difficult than it really is. The Chinese language actually has an extremely simple grammatical structure. There are no verb conjugations or differentiation based on gender; compared to French, German or even English, tenses are used in an extremely simplistic way.
Is it important?
1. China has the second largest economy in the world.
Whilst most leading economies are stagnating, China continues to surpass growth forecasts as reported by CNBC. China is one of the largest trading partners of the United States, and has recently become Germany’s largest trading partner overtaking the USA.
2. Do you know that the Chinese language is the largest speaking language in the world?
With 873 million proficient speakers, that’s double the amount of English language speakers in the world (340 million). It is further expected to be Asia’s future ‘lingua franca’, now being as important as English and becoming increasingly so. As China is replacing the USA as the main trading partner of Eastern and Southeast Asian countries, it is significantly used in business communications. Learning Chinese will also promote your ability to work with other countries and communities, whether it is Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Korea or Japan.
3. The Chinese language also brings a different lens.
The Chinese language is a window to the oldest written language in the world, with at least six thousand years of history. While its characters hint an captivating stories behind each word, its language opens your understanding to Chinese politics, economy as well as its social and cultural history. To study the language will mean to understand the people and their way of understanding. In picking up Chinese idioms or wisdom from the likes of Confucius and Lao Tzu, it reflects the values, strength and sensibility of the Chinese civilization. Just understanding the techniques of the language is one-half of the equation, understanding the culture is incredibly enriching.
This is why AIESEC UK has been partnering to bring you opportunities for voluntary internships and teaching internships in China. This summer, we encourage you to experience the language in real life. Explore: http://springintosummer.aiesec.co.uk