Tag Archives: learn CHinese

Why is the West so keen on learning Chinese?

Why learning Chinese is so important?

learning chinese
“Chinese seems to be the trending language, from Europe to America. So it’s time to look beyond the traditional focus on French and German and get many more children learning Mandarin” said David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, back in 2013.

More than 2 years later, things evolved a lot and the same trend can be observed in most of the western countries: from primary schools to multinationals, more and more people learn Chinese. Even US’s President Barack Obama claimed his daughter Sacha was learning Chinese, while Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, and gave a Q&A in Mandarin Chinese to his college student’s audience during his last trip to Beijing.

So, why Chinese? Or let’s put it the other way in fact, why not Chinese?

Chinese, the language of business

 People traditionally choose to learn a second language in order to be able to communicate with people in the next country. From a more practical point of view, we could say in order to have more opportunities. Despite China economy growth decline, the growth is still there, and China is since last year the second largest economy on earth. China exports a lot and will keep doing so for many years, although it might be less than before, and it imports more foreign products every year. With this in mind, choosing to learn Chinese when considering to learn a second language instead of French or German seems to make sense.

business

Moreover, Chinese is the world’s largest spoken language, for the reason that it is not only spoken domestically but even in others Asian countries, such as Singapore (known to be a Global Business Country) or Taiwan.

You can read an interesting article about 5 interesting tips on Chinese economy

A huge number of Chinese native speakers?

In spite of Mandarin, which is the official language, only 10% of Chinese native speaker can talk fluently this language. How can we explain it? There are several dialects with huge linguistics differences depending on your locations in China. There is only the same writing system sharing.

Whereas Beijing dialect is the current standard form, it is Nanjing dialect which is considered more universal.

You can learn more about 6 tips to succeed with your marketing in China.
However we can notice that the number of fluent Chinese speakers in the world seems to be counted more around 120 million, and not more than 1.3 million as many people could expect. Spanish speakers around the world are counted by 400 million speakers worldwide.
Mandarin seems to keep its leadership role in the mind of all. Don’t wait anymore, get the opportunity to learn Chinese in Beijing!

Recently, there was a regular survey from the Modern Language Association of America dealing with language enrolment in American colleges. According to the data coming from these surveys, Mandarin learning seems to be growing even more than years ago, in the US and also in the United Kingdom. Mandarin is becoming number 2 on the list of languages schools possibilities. So what is the best program for learning Chinese in Beijing?

Chinese economy situation: an opportunity to learn Chinese

learn chinese on board

If Chinese economy’s situation is a great opportunity to learn Mandarin, it’s not easy to learn Chinese and a lot of people are facing some difficulties and obvious barriers such as learning Chinese characters. That is the reason why the fastest way to learn Chinese is to first practice your oral conversation.

Remember that most of the Chinese people don’t know how to speak English, even if English is one of the most common Business languages in the world. Adding to this, the Chinese market is growing faster than ever and it’s just the beginning!

What kind of businessman would ignore this huge opportunity just because he doesn’t want to learn Chinese?
You can read China has more billionaire than the United States

 

melanielimchenArticle was written by Melanie

Studying Chinese economy in Jiao Tong university. A mix of Chinese and Cambodian, she’s a fan of Chinese culture  and trying to learn more about the social aspect in China.

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    8 tips for perfect adaptation to Chinese Life

    8 Tips for a Better Life in China

    8 tips for a better life in china

    With shrinking growth and opportunities in the West, many are those who think about or already decided to have a try and relocate to China for professional reasons.

    Some just go on their own and finally want to stay there for a while, but most are sent by their company for 1 or few years’ missions, after having become a trusted element in the management team back home.  No matter the context, of course, you may feel lost once arrived, and yes, there is a real cultural shock.

    No matter the context, of course, you may feel lost once arrived, and yes, there is a real cultural shock.

    But don’t stop there, take it as a new challenge, a way to leave your comfort zone and learn more about yourself, acquire new competencies and reach more maturity. You will feel scared at some point, exasperated many times, but you will have rewarding experiences and you are going to have loads of things to share when you will go back at home… Then when this time comes, you will maybe realize that in fact you need more and want to go back living in China!

    You will feel scared at some point, exasperated many times, but you will have rewarding experiences and you are going to have loads of things to share when you will go back at home… Then when this time comes, you will maybe realize that in fact you need more and want to go back living in China!

    Here are 8 tips to better prepare for your new challenge in China. Don’t judge too fast, live your experience at full capacity and only after that, you will be able to love or not your Chinese life.

    Read more about: Moving to China

    1. Ask questions to the right persons: your future colleagues or boss

    Chinese manager

     Accept you are in a very different country and try to adapt to Chinese. If you have questions to prepare your trip, ask people who already went to China or are currently living there, rather than reading too many things about what to wear and how to behave.

    Your future colleagues or boss in China, as well as those who’ve been there and already came back, are the best positioned to give you relevant answers. Besides it shows your interest in the mission and your trust in both your company and colleagues, a very good point!

    Once in China, spend your days out, avoid locking yourself at the hotel or in your new flat. At the beginning, the more you will go out, meet people and see things around, the quicker you will get used to it and integrate yourself, get independent and finally enjoy your experience in China. The first place to visit is of course where you live. In Shanghai or Beijing, public transports are usually cheaper than in the West, and it is even truer for other places. So take advantage of it to explore the whole city, starting in your area. And then of course, if you want to see the best places in China you will have to leave big cities and head to Xinjiang province in the northwest, Yunnan province in the southwest or even further to Tibet.

    1. Learn Chinese, at least, some!

    girl and book

    No need to become fluent if you are in China for the short term, but you should definitely learn Chinese for a while, at least, all the basic stuff that will make you much more independent and quicker on a daily basis. You will also certainly save money. So even in a situation where your colleagues are all supposed to be able to speak English, and you are on a 6 months’ mission, it is still worth trying to learn Chinese in Shanghai, and it is almost mandatory in all other Chinese cities. You will not need more than 30 to 60 hours of 1 on 1 classes to learn all the basic stuff.

    Now, if you consider staying for a long time in China, or develop yourself there, then there is no doubt that you should start investing on your Chinese, in order to progressively be able to smoothly interact with your environment and make the most out of your experiences.

    1. Be patient with new language

    zen

    You are trying to speak Chinese in the street and be patient. Obviously, you meet some of them who don’t want to understand you, because they are stubborn and you have to respect them even if you are upset. Others, make some efforts. This kind of situation helps you to forget your shyness. Then, you are taking the habits for speaking Chinese language and be more and more comfortable when you will practicing.

    1. Create an Ali-pay account and Wechat account

    Wechat new way to connect

    Today, Chinese get a Wechat account. Indeed, they are connected and the famous platform help them for everything. So you have to get this app first to discuss with people, find a flat, have a social life. In addition, you can browser on brands’ page and find good activity such as go to the restaurant, visit museums, shops, go to the party. Then, Wechat or Alipay enables you to become a loyal customer and benefit of some promotions or offers, scan QR code to be aware of your favorite place’s news. You can also pay thanks to your account directly with your smartphone. Congratulation! You are becoming a real Chinese consumer!

    1. Accept their self-centered attitude

    Wine in desert

    As everyone who comes from Western countries, you think many negative things about Chinese’s skills and habits. But don’t! Indeed, like you and me, they have their own culture and customs. However, trust me, they have changed since few years and they look like more and more to you! But there exist some points which can’t criticize them just because they are different. Of course, you are angry because you are sometimes invisible, they look impolite, self-centered. Actually, they don’t, and you should find the exception in order to show you are wrong. You are the attraction and they love your culture. They are only shy so try to be comprehensive. You and Chinese have many things to learn each other. So don’t give up!

    Did you know that China has more billionaires than the United States ?

    1. Pay attention to what you eat

    chinese food

    In China, you can eat very good specialties, especially if you have the chance to try Cantonese or Xinjiang food, as well as some dishes from the northeast.  But in some situations, you can be quite surprised and taste what you could fairly call super spicy or disgusting food. Consequently, learn basic Chinese to be able to ask for non-spicy food, and how to both smile and keep quiet when you are not totally sure about what you are chewing on. Another important aspect of this is hygiene. Most of the foreigners will experience at a point or another some diarrheas. To avoid it as much as possible, never eat a fruit without carefully washing it, same goes with salad and raw vegetables, and avoid street food unless it is well grilled (it would be a pity to totally avoid it, so just make sure you choose the right spots). Finally, the water. Tap water is clean in all big cities in China, but most of the people do not drink it unless it was boiled before. This old reflex is often useless since the water is totally free of virus or bacteria almost everywhere except in some remote areas. One major concern however for many cities is heavy metal pollutions, mainly due to the old lead-pipe networks that are progressively being replaced.

    1. Seize any opportunity to discover the culture, no matter it looks good or bad

    chinois famille

    Some people are used to traveling all around the world and well aware of big cultural gaps that can exist between different societies. These travelers usually better accept both good and bad aspects of their experiences. However, for many of those who’ve stayed in their home country for most of the time, China will be the first big adventure in their life. Big hopes with no preparation can lead to some sort of deception in the first days, as life can seem hard at the beginning. But don’t lose faith, open yourself and get used to it. You will quickly start enjoying all the new things that China can offer!

    Few words about Chinese manners now. To make it short, don’t be shocked or feel offended if you see people spitting or slurping in front of you. Both are minor features of the culture, and probably not the most relevant aspects to consider when judging someone. Besides, well-educated folks or those with more international backgrounds will often pay more attention to avoid it, as they are well aware that Westerners are quite sensitive on the topic.

    Another interesting aspect to keep in mind does not hesitate to bargain. At least in “rather informal” shops or malls dedicated to foreign tourists in biggest Chinese cities, and selling everything from fake products to DVDs or tailored suits to traditional items. Don’t be too candid, Chinese are very gifted sellers, and they might propose different prices once they noticed that you were an expat. So do not hesitate to play the game from time to time, propose much lower prices and check people’s reactions, they won’t consider you impolite (some will in fact, but it can be part of the game as well). And if you want to make sure to get the right prices and avoid getting scammed, the best way is clearly to learn Chinese in Beijing or Shanghai for example. When you can speak Chinese, most of the hunters will immediately stop seeing you as a potential prey J

    1. Avoid Chinese holidays

    china crowd

    Be careful, you think New year time or others Chinese events are wonderful and you want to be in. Unfortunately, that is not a reality and as a foreigner, it would be very difficult to have fun among million of them. You have to adapt to this situation and let them celebrate their vacations. Meanwhile, you should take away from famous areas to find another activity with your expat friends. Or go to work! You can ask your boss to have some rest another day.

    Even if you stay in China for short time and make all the possible efforts to live with Chinese, sometimes you will need to have fun with people of similar background and culture. Hanging out with foreigners who have been on site for a while can be helpful to share good addresses and tips. Freshly arrived ones will be undergoing the same process as you, so it is also nice to spend some time with them and talk about things. To find them, just take part of some sport team or join local community events. Last chance, try few of the most famous bars you can find online and avoid to be shy. After all that, if you did not meet any foreigner it means there are none in your town.

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      Top 10 reasons why to visit China

      Why you should visit China

      The Great Wall of China

      great wall of china

      One of the first things that come to mind when people speak about china is: The Great Wall of China. The man-made building is not only famous to the world, but also very symbolic to the Chinese nation.

      The wall lengths 5000km from the East Coast to the West. However, time has taken its toll on various parts of the wall, therefore it is often advised to best visit the wall section in Beijing.

      Beijing and The Forbidden City

      beijing forbidden city

      In present day, visitors are able to take a look inside the Imperial Palace, walk through 8000 rooms, and take inspiration from this ancient yet extravagant piece of Chinese architecture. A little bit more than a century, no one was among the general public was allowed entry into the ‘Forbidden City’; once the home of 24 emperors, the palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties, 560 years ago.

      The palace is a historical wonder of the world, detailed with ancient and centennial relics, and one of five most significant constructions in the world.

      Watery Wonder in Guilin: famous Li River

      guilin

      Guilin is located in the south of china, with the famous River Li, portraying a real dream-like landscape to the viewer’s eye.

      The River Li connects Yangshuo to Guilin along an 83km breath-taking scenic tour. The River Li is so renowned for its beauty and nature, it has been deemed one the “World’s Top Ten Watery Wonders” on the National Geographic list.

       A 2000-year-old Terracotta Chinese army: Welcome to Xi’an

      xi an

      The Terracotta Army has been positioned underground for more than 2 thousand years, being discovered in 1974 and becoming a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1987.

      What is amazing about this historical treasure is that each Terracotta soldier is different from one another, with very detailed facial features. According to experts, this army represents the soldiers who fought and won in the Warring State Period which took place in 475-221 BC.

      The Yellow Mountains from China’s National Park

      yellow mountain

      The Yellow Mountains located near Shanghai, has been renowned for its impeccable landscape. The beauty of the mountains, combined with the natural hot springs, seas of clouds has produced a scene so picture-perfect, there is none other alike.

      The proximity of the location being so close to Shanghai and Hangzhou, has seen crowded numbers of local tourists each national holiday. It is best to check the dates before planning a visit!

      Kung Fu Panda is from Chengdu

      Panda chengdu

      What is cute, black and white coloured, and loves eating bamboo? The Panda of course! China has protected their Panda species for decades and are open to viewing at Chinese zoos especially in Chengdu, as it has been considered their hometown.

      Lhasa and The Potala Palace, Tibetan symbol

      Lhasa

      Lhasa is located in the West of China, and has been a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites since 1994. More than just a Tibetan symbol, it is a known for its Tibetan historical contents. The palace is famous for its relics, Buddhist statues, religious artifacts, and artistic sculptures and scriptures.

      Hangzhou and its West Lake

      Hangzhou

      Hangzhou is a peaceful city. The scenery among the Western Lake changes according to seasons, allowing you to experience a new and beautiful landscape every quarterly.

      The West Lake sits like a peaceful oasis with the urbanity of the skyline. Take a stroll there, or even better enjoy yourself on a little cruise on the tranquil lake.

      In Chinese language, Hangzhou literally means “Paradise on Earth”.

      Shanghai and The Bund

      Shanghai bund

      The Bund has been a long-pleasing attraction in Shanghai. The Bund encompasses the Western culture and the astounding architecture built during the colonial centuries. A Western fascination located in the center of Orientalism.

      Close To Shanghai : Zhujiajiao Ancient

      zhujiajio google

      Zhujiajiao Ancient Town  is a little Chinese Venice, charming destination for lovers, friends or even alone! There, you can take a boat on the lake, passing under ancient bridges, seeing traditional Chinese houses, and admiring all ancient Chinese style. A quiet and peaceful moment where you can take a coffee or Jasmin tea and tasting traditional Chinese !

      You can read more here

      10 tips for expats moving in China

      5 things to know before visiting Beijing

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        China’s Economy : difficult to approach

        Understanding Chinese economy

        The Chinese market has always been one that is difficult to interpret and understand, particularly its customers and entrepreneurs. It has been a huge challenge for foreign companies who want to deal partnerships with Chinese businessmen, not only do they find trouble communicating with one another, but also struggle to find agreements on various subjects.

        China is trying to make efforts

        To take one example, Partnership between Australia and the Chinese has always been complicated.

        China has been requested to conclude the negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the end of 2016. The organization has spoken of large issues, with promises to arrange for agreements between the two countries. While Australian businesses have been hesitating to negotiate with the Chinese, trade agreements between China and India have begun. The new project shows promising potential as the economy in both countries are growing.

        Reforms involved in China’s market success

        In recent months, China has adopted many regulations in order to improve their economic activity. Previous protocols have been difficult, and take long amounts of time to build up. According to American corporates, China should apply for loose monetary policies, which would improve in settling agreements.

        The Chinese market has acknowledged that they are not interested in this type of economic approach. Chinese businesses are conscious that the strategy development for this is not an effective long-term resolution. In fact, for years and years, China has been very patient in their progress, and has taken time to effectively seek for solutions. The present day has shown that the country has succeeded in reaching its goals and built a solid economy.

        China’s most effective economy is the online market. The development on Chinese e-commerce websites have proved to be the most successful compared to the rest of the world.

        Consequently, foreign companies have found difficulty in penetrating the Chinese market due to their lack of knowledge on the economy culture.

        Chinese customers’ confidence

        chinese cutomer's confidence

        According to American companies, the best way to improve the country’s productivity is to create competition within the market, whereas the Chinese government chooses in giving priority to privatized state-owned enterprises.

        Market productivity depends on the reliance between the country’s economy and its customers, who are in charge of making their businesses work. In view of many surveys, two factors have been raised. The employment rate in China is growing, even with the economy growth rate decreasing to 7%, employment rate has seen 13million new opportunities granted by the Chinese government. On the other hand, Chinese consumers need to see concrete reforms, whilst the government approves them, only until then will they be in confidence in their economic plans.

        There have been other ways to attract Chinese consumers, however government reforms enable them to become very connected. They also become sensitive of what they see or hear on the news and social media, thus making their general knowledge of buzz and trends more appropriated.

        That’s why Digital Marketing is the key to success, in such an economic-precise nation.

        You can read more

        5 things to know before visiting Beijing

        Cultural shock: US vs China

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          6 GOOD reasons to learn Chinese

          What are the best reasons to study Chinese language?

          Mandarin is the most widely used among Chinese languages. It is spoken by more than a billion people around the world and is therefore the most spoken language on earth. Along with the internationalization and strengthening of the Chinese economy that has gradually taken place since the beginning of the century, many foreigners have come to “the central country” (most accurate translation for “zhongguo”, the Mandarin word used for China) and even more are about to come! And naturally, a great part of them have been pushed to study Chinese…

          So, what are the 6 good reasons?


          1 – A powerful economy and many job opportunities

          More than just in China, people speak Chinese in other Asian countries, like Singapore or Taiwan. Many “huaren”, as Chinese people call Chinese migrants leaving outside China, are also holding strong positions over the economy in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines or even in Indonesia. As a result, learning Chinese expands opportunities to find a job anywhere in Asia and can definitely make the difference with other competitors.

          learn-chinese-get-a-job

          2 – A wide and dynamic area with loads of business opportunities

          For those who dream about launching their own business, Asia is a perfect playground. However, a strong limitation to make it come true is that many local people cannot speak English. Take the advantage by learning Chinese!

          china-flagge-kurve

          3 – Chinese is in fact not so difficult to learn

          We all heard that Chinese language was one of the most difficult one to learn since we were children. But actually, Chinese grammar is very simple and flexible, and a basic Chinese level can be reached within just few months.

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          4 – Gain access to a brand new world

          Visit amazing places, get in touch with amazing people you could never have got in touch with if you could not speak Chinese. Asia is big, very big. And you will see there among the most beautiful places on earth. The problem is that most of these places, at least for China and Taiwan, are in remote locations where nobody speaks English. It would be a pity to miss these treasures just because you cannot communicate in Chinese…

          shanghai_tower_pirages281108_1

          5 – Change the way you see the life, broaden your view

          Chinese language is very special, using tones add one dimension to the communication, and words are often made of associations of other words that, put together, best describe them. These two particularities put together will impact your conception of language, and even in some cases your conception of words themselves, and their real meaning. It will also be a chance to learn about the long history of China, its culture and rich traditions.

          Beijing - Forbidden City / Verbotene Stadt

          6 – Just to enjoy real Chinese food

          Chinese food is varied and tasty, because it comes from many different Chinese areas and cultures. It has nothing to see with most of dishes you will get in Chinese restaurants back in Europe or in the US. So if you learn Chinese, you should be able to order your food in restaurants and maybe you will be lucky enough taste real Chinese food.

          xiao-long-bao

           

           

           

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            Top 5 Reasons why you have to learn Chinese and take the HSK exam

            Group studying chinese

            Top 5 Reasons why you have to learn Chinese and take the HSK exam

            What is HSK test?

            You may have heard millions of times about this HSK test. It is standing for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试) meaning Chinese level test.

            It was launched by Hanban, which is a kind of institution tightly link with the Ministry of education. The main goal here is to spread and better serve the Chinese language in the world. Mandarin is one of the most spoken languages in the world.

            For 30 years, this test has been taken over 100 billion times!  Why not just passing it!

            hsk

            How does HSK test works?

            You have 6 levels of the HSK that will test your Chinese language proficiency. The content of the test will depend on your level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced.

            For example, level 1 to level 2 will be more focus on basic listening and read understanding. From the level 3 to the level 6, it will be advanced understanding of listening and reading with presentation and image description…etc.

            Now that you have a better understanding of what is the HSK test, here let discover the 5 reasons why you should better pass your HSK test and learn Chinese.

            1. In China, you have to speak Chinese.

            If you are planning to go to China, you will have to know you have to speak mandarin. When you will go to order food or doing some daily activities, speaking Chinese is obviously a necessity. I know what you are thinking…”I have to learn a bit mandarin, but why do I have to pass HSK test?”
            It is a way for you to force yourself to start to learn mandarin and to speak the right one! If you start to learn Chinese, you will know that depending on the accent that you will use, the understand meaning will be different.

            1. The HSK is asked for foreign students who want study in Chinese Universities

            Both students whose mother tongue is not the Official Chinese Language (Mandarin) but a Chinese dialect and foreign students are asked to take the HSK. Professionals also take this exam when they want to prove their Chinese proficiency to potential employers.

            face-to-face-chinese-lesson

            Here there is an interesting article about the best program for you to learn Chinese in Beijing.

            1. Showing to your employer your dedication to being in China and your respect for Chinese Culture.

            It shows all efforts made to learn Chinese culture.

            Learning one country’s language is a way to step up to its culture and to let them give the feeling that you are planning to immerse into the Chinese culture.

            As most of the countries, each one has its own way of thinking and traditions are deeply rooted in china. So, showing interest in this culture is a way to win one more positive point during a job interview.

            If you want to do business with Chinese people, you need to understand them and the first is to know how to speak mandarin.

            Do you think it is too difficult to pass the HSK test? Do not hesitate to contact us.

            1. So many foreign workers are expatriating in China. Wouldn’t you like to be the first on head-hunters’ list?

            It shows a value added competence to your potential employer.

            Being able to speak and read Chinese will be the “plus” skill which is more and more sought-after by Chinese employers and multinational groups.

            IMG_7011

            They need foreign workers who are able to deal with Chinese businessmen in Confucius language. Passing HSK will be your VIP entry pass. Here, you will be able to show your skill and performance to the recruiter.

            1. It is easier to learn Chinese

            Nowadays, learning Chinese is easier than never, thanks to Chinese schools for foreigners in China. Some of them can provide Chinese lessons online and offline, one-on-one, or in small groups… and can help to prepare you for the HSK exam

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