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Is learning Chinese a good time investment?

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How do I learn elementary Chinese in the shortest
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Is learning Chinese a good time investment?


Hi, I am 15-years old, and I live in Costa Rica. Five years ago I started learning English
and I loved knowing a second language. It really was worth the time. I have been studying
Chinese for over a year and I'm so sick of it, it's really difficult and I really don't use it
outside my class. Should I just quit it, or should I invest another 5 years to master the
language?

What is your review of Learning Chinese?


Why should one learn Chinese?
Should I learn Chinese?
Are foreigners so crazy about learning Chinese?
What are some good Chinese poems about time?

6 Answers

Is Chinese tough to learn?


What are some good tips for learning Chinese?
Is learning Chinese hard?

Tait Lawton, 10+ years with small biz, China, marketing, Mandarin.
Written 9 Nov 2014

To figure out the answer, you'd better consider your options. Think of what you would
otherwise spend your time on if not learning Chinese, then compare.
As to the value of learning Chinese, I can help give some pointers. I started learning
Chinese at age 15 as well, and studied on-and-off over the years. Now I'm 31, considered
fluent, and this is what I get out of it:
I can run my business, which is based in China.
I can communicate with my wife's family.
I will presumably be able to pick up some other Asian languages more easily now.
(Since Chinese & English are so different, I have a much bigger base for learning new
languages than I would if I had studied, say, French.)
I had fun with it. It's interesting.
I can travel around China more easily, do other practical things in China. (Although,
this doesn't require fluency.)
I can pretend to be cool because I speak two very different languages.
874 Views View Upvotes

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More Answers Below

How do I learn elementary Chinese in the shortest amount of time?


What is your review of Learning Chinese?
Why should one learn Chinese?
Should I learn Chinese?
Are foreigners so crazy about learning Chinese?

Mac Tan, Stats junkie


Written 24 Aug 2014

First of all, if you can master it in six years of study, hats off to you. I've been listening to
my parents speak it for nearly 20 and I'm still nowhere near what I would consider
mastery. It's a tough language. But because of the political and economic role China plays
in the world now--and not just because of the size of its GDP or its military power, but the

https://www.quora.com/Is-learning-Chinese-a-good-time-investment[26/10/2016 00:01:27]

Do non-Chinese people want to learn Chinese?

Is learning Chinese a good time investment? - Quora

way those two things are connected with those of the other great economies--fluency in
Chinese is an impressive addition to any rsum.
What's more, you're already mostly done the language trifecta of modern times--English,
Spanish, and, hopefully, Mandarin. That alone would make you one of the most wanted
people in the financial and governmental sectors. (Arabic would be icing on the cake.)
647 Views View Upvotes

Jennifer Zhu, A lover of Chinese, the language, and a professional teacher


Written 27 Sep 2015

Learning Chinese is a great investment, especially if you are planning on doing something
with China in the future, such as living there, doing business, or just working there.
1. NOT ALL LANGUAGES ARE CREATED EQUAL
With that being said, not all languages may be directly beneficial to you. It is important to
choose to study a language that will remain relevant and useful in the coming years.
Mandarin Chinese is one such language. In the last decade, Chinas economy has surged
forth, causing it to become one of the leading world powers. Chinas explosive growth had
elevated Mandarin Chinese as a coveted language skill. Businesses looking for
opportunities not only in China, but also in neighboring countries such as Taiwan,
Singapore, Malaysia, etc., are now seeking to educate employees in Chinese. China itself
has already been making strides to become more global, expanding overseas and gradually
welcoming foreign companies into their economic landscape.
2. LEARNING CHINESE IS A STEP TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THEIR
CULTURE
For those people working in leadership roles or management positions in China, knowing
Mandarin Chinese is exceedingly useful. Through the language you can facilitate a positive
relationship with team members, better understand their viewpoints and break through
cultural barriers.
Understanding and speaking Chinese is also one of the first steps of forming a CQ (cultural
intelligence) in China, which is imperative to those doing business there. Having a CQ
goes beyond the customary , and accepting a business card with two hands. There
are subtle nuances in behavior that indicate levels of respect and dignity among the
Chinese people, and those take time and patience to understand. Of course, any attempt to
ease the cultural difference by speaking Chinese is well received.
The Chinese people have great pride in their culture and history, seeing as it one of the
oldest civilizations in the world, with over 5,000 years of rich history. Not only will
learning Chinese help you on your travels throughout the country, it will also open your
eyes to a range of literature, poetry, and art.
3. CHINESE IS NOT AS DIFFICULT AS YOU MIGHT THINK
With that being said, why isnt everyone learning Mandarin Chinese? Many people are
often discouraged from learning Chinese because they think that its extremely difficult.
This is a common misconception. While there are over 80,000 Chinese characters in the
language, the truth is that native speakers only use around 3,500 characters in all their
conversations. Furthermore, Chinese grammar is very straightforward: no plurals, no
tenses, no subject-verb agreement, and no conjugations.
4. LEARNING CHINESE IS NOT A BORING ENDEAVOR
For those of you that worry learning Chinese may be boring, do not fear. The Chinese
language is built like a puzzle. There is no other language quite like it. It is one of the only
remaining modern languages that are purely pictographic. (Even Japanese, Korean, and
Arabic rely on a form of alphabetical spelling.) Its no wonder that Chinese calligraphy is
still a popular art form. Each Chinese character is deliberately designed to have reflect a
certain meaning, and by learning the language you will gradually pick up on the patterns
between characters.
For many non-native learners, studying Chinese is about bridging a gap between two
cultures. When it comes to the future, English will remain the worlds de facto
international language, but Mandarin Chinese will have an increasingly ubiquitous
presence, seeing as over 1 billion people in the world already speak it. With the everchanging economic landscape and growth in China, learning Chinese is a smart and
valuable investment, and a journey that you will not regret.

https://www.quora.com/Is-learning-Chinese-a-good-time-investment[26/10/2016 00:01:27]

Is learning Chinese a good time investment? - Quora

To make sure you get the best bang out of your buck, I would advise you to work with a
professional teacher online. This will make sure that don't miss anything and learn very
fast:
Learn Chinese Online via Skype through One-on-One Chinese Lessons
(Disclosure, I work for them, but they are market leaders)
389 Views

Jessica Tang, Professional Chinese instructor and lover of the language


Updated 24 Dec 2014

I think Chinese is well worth to learn. It may be hard at the very beginning, but as long as
you stick to it long enough, you definitely can master it. Just keep fighting.
You can also change your learning method, probably it is better for you to learn with a
professional tutor.
Try this Learn Chinese Online via Skype through One-on-One Chinese Lessons and the
online Chinese teacher will help you a lot.
592 Views View Upvotes

Kumar Thoth, Spent time in China studying Chinese language.


Written 19 Jun 2016

I have lived in Costa Rica for 10 months and enjoyed learning Spanish there and I have
also lived in Hangzhou, China and struggled to learn Chinese. Unless you have an
excellent memory, learning Chinese will be difficult. If you don't have an excellent
memory but are passionate about the Chinese language, it will be more difficult to learn
but your passion for the language will help you get there.
I am learning Chinese because I found it challenging to remember a lot of things - my
personal strange theory is this: if you have trouble remembering, then remember
something difficult. Remembering something difficult forces the brain to make new
connections. I find the Chinese language stimulates my brain like nothing else. I have to
remember a complicated alphabet and complicated sounds. I now believe my memory is
average or better - there are other things I did besides learning Chinese to improve
memory.
As for the practical usefulness of Chinese, one has to be in regular contact with Mandarin
speakers, perhaps business situations or social groups or better yet travel to China - you
get plenty of practice and I found it enjoyable when I was there. Notice I said Madarin. I
live in New York City and I hear different Chinese dialects. I personally feel Mandarin is
the best of the Chinese dialect to learn.
You can use italki.com and try practicing your Chinese that way. Even though I have yet
to speak to a Chinese person in NYC, I learn the language out of my own personal interest
and have coversations with Internet tutors. Will Chinese ever be useful for me for business
or daily use? I don't plan on traveling to China any more but a part of me believes it will
continue to stimulate my ability to remember and most importantly it can be a fun and
enjoyable language to learn.
Kumar
410 Views View Upvotes

Related Questions

https://www.quora.com/Is-learning-Chinese-a-good-time-investment[26/10/2016 00:01:27]

Is learning Chinese a good time investment? - Quora

What are some good Chinese poems about time?


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https://www.quora.com/Is-learning-Chinese-a-good-time-investment[26/10/2016 00:01:27]