Speaking and learning Chinese is the new fashion now! Chinese is currently the most spoken languages in the world. With the super-fast speed China is developing, we will see an exponential growth in the number of people in the world using Chinese. China is not just the country with the world largest population, it is also the country with the largest GDP after America. In the years to come, we should see more and more Chinese in our community as many Chinese have migrated, went abroad for study or work in different countries around the world.

Learning Chinese can be interesting as the language is strongly tied up with more than 5000 years of Chinese history and culture. With thousands of years of history, Chinese culture is endlessly fascinating. Whether your interests are in history, architecture, music, or cuisine, a knowledge of Chinese will enrich your understanding of Chinese culture. Discovering this history, traditions and way of doing things by Chinese will make us take up a new approach and paradigm shift as we interact with our Chinese friends and colleagues. It’s just amazing! Having spoken and understand another party using his/her native languages will always seems to break barriers between two people much easier and warm up relationship faster.

Chinese in many of today context and work place, it is not just something uncommon and good to have, but a strong added cutting edge advantage for companies and businesses. Chinese will open up a world of opportunities for you! If you have not started learning Chinese now, soon you will face a need to take up the language in the near future. China’s booming economy and rising status as a global Superpower has made it arguably the largest global economy. There will be huge demand in all Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) to source for staffs who not just know the arena of their work but competence in handling the business with our Chinese counterparts. Language will be the first step. Armed with a fluent command in Chinese, it opens doors for you and your enterprises to 1.3 Billion population.

While English is widely spoken in many other countries of the world such as India, Nigeria and those of the European Union, this is not the case in China. Many people in China have learned some lesson of English in their schooling times, but due to lack of chances to use it, many still are not able to converse adequately in English. If you are looking at to making more friends in China, understand and converse in Chinese have somehow become a necessity.

As for students, Chinese has increasingly become one of the compulsory subject in the high school graduating examinations in more countries in the world. It is also fast becoming part of many countries college entrance exams. Below is an article by Li YingYan from People’s Daily.

Thanks to China’s increasing global influence, Mandarin has been introduced as a subject in more and more countries’ college entrance examinations as an elective foreign language.
Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science has finished technical preparation works and is planning to include Mandarin in the country’s unified state exam as an elective foreign language, said Sergey Kravtsov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
The unified state exam, including 14 compulsory and obligatory subjects, is a series of exams every student must pass after graduation from high school to enter a university or a professional college. About 750,000 high school graduates take the exam annually.
Students selecting Mandarin as elective course are expected to take the national exam in 2019, Kravtsov said, adding that it took them three years to complete the preparation work, including technologies for written and oral tests, reference materials and talent reserves.
Germany, which adopts a two-year qualification process for college entrance, is also seeing more and more schools taking mandarin as the subject of foreign language in graduation exams. The number of students choosing Mandarin as elective foreign language is also on a rise.
Besides, Mandarin has been introduced as a subject in Ireland’s final examination in middle school system, according to a 10-year foreign language teaching strategy released by the Irish government in late 2017. Starting from 2020, Mandarin will be an optional course for middle school students in the country, and will become an exam subject in 2022.

In addition to being incorporated into the college entrance exam systems of foreign countries, Mandarin courses have also been offered in elementary and middle schools in many countries.
The UK government launched the “Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP)” at the end of 2016, offering lessons taught in mandarin in state-funded secondary schools across England. With an investment of £10 million, the program aims to have 5,000 pupils on track towards fluency in Mandarin by 2020.
Now there are over 40,000 people studying Mandarin in Spain. Over 150 French universities and 700 French elementary or middle schools are offering Mandarin courses. The French Ministry of National Education has even designated general inspector of national education for Mandarin. In Italy, more than 30,000 registered students are learning Mandarin.
According to incomplete statistics, over 10.6 million people in the Republic of Korea (ROK), or 21% of the country’s population, are learning Mandarin and Chinese characters, topping the world. Each year, there are over 170,000 ROK residents taking the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK), Young Learners Chinese Test (YCT) and other Chinese-related tests.
Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute in Islamabad Zhang Daojian introduced that the number of registered HSK candidates at each Confucius Institute across the country has exceeded 1,000.
Early in 2010, the UN has established the Chinese Language Day. At present, over 600 UN international employees and diplomats are studying Mandarin each year.

There is a modern Chinese saying, ‘不要输在起跑线上‘,which translate to English denotes ‘Be prepare in advanced and not lose out at the starting line’.

A Russian student writes Chinese characters with Chinese calligraphy brush. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

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