Why Learn Mandarin in China

20 May

The time is ripe for Mandarin language studies. China is a growing power and with the rise of China Mandarin will assume a more and more important role as a mode for global communication.

Learning Mandarin has never been a more prudent investment than today. Starting in the late 1970’s a wave of reform has swept over China and the result is in many ways one of the top eras of economic development in history. The speed and the scope of the changes are breathtaking. In Beijing, where I live, there are noticeable changes with every year. The city is not the same today as it was before the 2008 Olympic games. For a place to be transformed to this extent in only 3 years is remarkable, but what is even more noteworthy is that it is not a singular 3 years of change that is being discussed here. The breadth of the development has been continually surpassed each year since 1990.

The nature of the development and reform is of a more open China. It was from the beginning the policies that connected China to the world that created this miracle. 1990 the Shanghai Stock Exchange opened, later in the same decade China joined the World Trade Organization, piloted a series of geographic areas with increasingly deregulated market forces and crucially freed up the flow of capital, to and from China. This globalization strategy has hugely paid off. Since in 1990 the average rate of growth in China’s Gross Domestic Product has floated around 10 percent. This can be put in contrast with the global of weighted average of 2 percent. However, percent does not really capture the enormity of the period of change.

If Luxemburg would grow by 10 percent a year, it would be great for Luxemburg, but it would not matter much more than that. When China grows it changes the world because China is by far the most important country when it comes to actual people. Over 20 percent of mankind lives in China. China is twice as big as North America and Europe combined. When China catches up to the west in terms of per person income, China’s economy alone will be twice a large as the the traditional west. That will change the balance between east and west.

Today western civilization dominates the world; in the future this picture will need to be redrawn. China will be able to offer 4 times more development aid than The United States. China will have access to 4 times as many soldiers and 4 times as many guns. China’s consumption patterns will make 4 times the difference. The rise of Beijing is the end of The Washington Consensus.

These events, and what they can tell us about our future, makes learning standard mandarin a pretty good idea. Given that the importance of English ultimately is derived from the economic prowess countries for which it is the native language. It began when The United Kingdom dominated the waves and conquered the world. It was firmly cemented when The United States assumed control of the world after it emerged as biggest winner of The Second World War and The Cold War. As nuclear warheads has made this type of cataclysmic events a thing of the past the future will not be conquered by armies in the same way that it has been for the last 10.000 years. It will however be conquered. The battlefield is economic weight and dependence. Those who produce and consume most are those that have the final say in how things are produced how they should be consumed. Having access to China when China is no longer just the worlds largest producer, but also the worlds hungriest consumer, will be crucial for any business that wants to have a say in global markets.

The next 50 years will see a huge increase in demand for young professionals that are able to be speak both Standard Mandarin and the English language. Getting a head of the crowd and learning Mandarin today is one of the best ways around to set yourself apart when it comes to future interviews for the top jobs in any major business.

Rui Ming works for a Mandarin language Academy in Beijing that is a great option for those that want to learn Mandarin. If you are interested in more information about learning Mandarin Chinese in China, please consult the website of Beijing Gateway Academy.


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