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You are here: Home > Teaching Tips for Books You've Purchased > Learning Chinese Resources > Why Learn Chinese?
Why Learn Chinese?


According to over 60% of our survey "To be equipped for future opportunities" is the answer why they want to learn Chinese.
Family, traveling, and Chinese Culture are other major reasons. Our view is Learning
Chinese gives your kids a seat at the table of an increasingly competitive world.
For any doubts you have about learning the Chinese language and culutre,
we also have a Top Ten Learning Chinese Problems & Solutions further in the
article.


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Free Web Survey

Top 10 Reasons to Learn Chinese

1. You'll be Equipped for Future Opportunities

Learning to speak Chinese is a great way to give your children an advantage in the increasingly competitive business world. Between equal foreign competitors courting a Chinese company, who will the company choose to associate with: a Chinese-speaking foreigner or a foreigner with a translator? China is emerging from a period of stagnation and again taking it's place as one of the great powers of the world. China currently has the second largest economy in the world, and has a huge growth rate of averaging 10% per year. To take advantage of this huge economic shift and opportunities.

2. "Made In China" and the Business World

From iPhones and other cutting edge technology, to cheap products sold at prices that are rock bottom, China makes it all. China has become the factory of the world and is moving up the technology food chain. Look at the balance of trade between the US and China. According to Nobel Prize Winner Robert Mundell China will become the factory of the world; in my opinion it already has. Now products are built, as well as designed in China. In the business world, especially manufacturing, knowing Chinese is helpful.

3. Export Opportunities

China is a huge export market for the US. 1/5th of the world's population lives in China. Overseas Chinese dominate the economies of many countries in Asia, and speaking Mandarin gives you an edge in doing business with them.  Countries with large overseas Chinese populations include Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.  China has become one of the largest trading partners with the US. Over 16,000 US companies sell products in China. Trade is not only from China to the US, but also the other way. $41.8 Billion in 2006.

4. One-on-One Business Transactions

China is a 12 hour flight away from the U.S. Using Skype or calling China costs a few cents per minute. As Thomas Friedman has written, the world is becoming "flat" so communication, ideas, and goods are traveling faster and faster between countries including the US and China. Learning Chinese gives you the opportunity to take advantage of this change. It's a great ice breaker when working with people from China if you can say a few words in Chinese. This helps especially when dealing with business people on the other side of the world via conference call if you can speak the same language, adding a translator in negotiations is another barrier.

5. Political Opportunities

The Austrian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. The US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner studied Chinese and attended Beijing University. The former Utah Governor, Ambassador to China, and Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is fluent in Chinese (he learned it as a missionary in Taiwan and has an adopted child from China). China is also investing around the world, so being involved in government affairs is another reason to learn Chinese.

 
6. You'll Learn China's Fascinating Culture

Chinese culture is over 5000 years old.  By learning the Chinese Language, you will learn another culture and another way of looking at the world. Learning a language gives you a better understanding through the grammar and even how the words are derived of the culture behind them. And with 20% of the world's population in China, it would be extremely beneficial to be able to communicate with them!

7. You'll Learn Another Point of View

When a child uses a word, this word also triggers associations in the brain, brought about by the other languages the child knows.  Maybe this is why it seems people who know languages seem smarter.  The numerous mental associations playing in their brain, opens new ideas.  It also helps as people age. I once had a fun talk with a programmer explaining how learning a new computer language helped keep his mind fresh.

8. Competitive Advantages

Chinese is the fastest growing Foreign Language being taught in US schools. I like Mayor Daly's quote: "We want to give our young people opportunities to advance ... and [Chinese] is a great opportunity to survive in today's economy."  Students can get higher grades when they take Chinese subjects in school because they started early at home.

9. Japan is Learning It 

Mandarin Chinese is the most taught foreign language after English in Japan. If the Japanese are learning it, shouldn't people in the US? The Japanese have a sharp scent on who or what is arriving. Mandarin Chinese is the most used language on the Internet.  

10. Family and Community 
 

My daughter's ability (she is mixed) to talk to my in-laws in Mandarin is a gift I am glad my wife and I gave her. If you have relatives who don't speak English, but only Chinese, it's so great to be able to speak with them in Chinese.  If you also live within a Chinese community, it's nice to be able to relate to neighbors and friends speaking their language.  I can't tell you how proud my wife is that my daughter got selected to be the announcer for her Chinese Choir (in Mandarin Chinese)!  There are big Chinese communities all over the world. Whether for business or to establish personal ties, knowing the language is not only useful, but endears you to people you want to connect to.

As adulthood rolls in and the need for knowing Chinese becomes crucial, hopefully children will tell their parents "Thank you for taking the time and effort to have me learn Chinese."

Ready to start?

Browse Learning Chinese Materials now.

Top 10 Learning Chinese Problems & Solutions

  1. "We are native speakers, but our kids refuse to speak Chinese or learn the culture"

Unfortunately, some children who have native speaking Chinese parents refuse to learn Chinese. This is often done in the teenager years as a method of defiance to establish their power as they become adults. With defiance issues at that age, consider sending them to a full immersion environment.  Our daughter was starting to speak Chinese with English Grammar, which frustrated my wife.  The more frustrated my wife became, the less my daughter spoke Chinese. My daughter got to spend a summer with cousins in Taiwan, and nobody would speak English to her. Within a day, she was even speaking some Taiwanese, not to mention the Mandarin Chinese.

  1. "I am worried about my kids learning Chinese; won't it hurt their English speaking skills?"

The truth is scientific studies have shown that children have an amazing ability to learn more than one language, such as Chinese. If you are a native born speaker, have one parent speak only English and the other Chinese.  This way the kids are forced to learn and speak both.  My wife speaks Mandarin Chinese to our daughter and I English, and it's worked out great.  We have not had the issue of having her mix up the English and Chinese.  Their is so much English in the US, especially when they start school, that not getting enough English is not an issue. I have seen students who only speak Chinese at home, start public school and become the best in their class at English and want to become a writer.  They are also taking Chinese as their foreign language in High School. Kids have an amazing ability to Learn a foreign language, as long as they are given the opportunity.

  1. "It's easier to just speak English to my kids, I'm not going to teach them another language"

Kids have an ability to quickly learn a second language without an accent that adults don't. There are so many adults I have met who are learning Chinese in College where it's much more difficult as you get older. It would have been in great favor if their parents had them learn Chinese when they were younger.

  1. "Learning Chinese is a waste of time, it's too hard!"

Some US born Children and even their native parents believe this.  There are many reasons why one should learn to speak Chinese. Studies have shown that being truly bilingual can help a child develop their brain in new ways and make it easier to learn other languages as well as understanding the Chinese cultures better (like why the number 8 is a lucky number in Mandarin, and 4 is not).

  1. "It's not fun like other studies in the US!"

Usually kids have this belief and it takes time away from their other studies and video games.  Usually parents think their children have better things to do, and everybody knows English anyway around the world! However, there are many products and tools out there that make learning Chinese fun and easy!

  1. "Learning Chinese Characters is too hard."

There are great books and even computer software and some great books that make learning Chinese characters easier. I won't be surprised when they finally release more apps for this to make it even easier!

  1. "Neither my wife or I speak Chinese. There is no native speaker at home."

Many parents are finding online tutors to help them. Finding local tutors at a center or have someone you trust come to you are classic ways of selecting a good teacher. Some parents are even learning Chinese with their kids.  Many curriculum and other Learning Chinese tools are specifically designed for non-native language learners of Chinese.

  1. "I'm so afraid my kids will HATE me for forcing them to learn Chinese."

It's important to work with your kids so they are not being forced to Learn Chinese, but actually enjoy learning it. Picking the right curriculum that matches their learning style is also very important.

  1. "I don't have Time! We have Piano, Soccer, and other things to do!"

Time management is always a challenge with young kids. Prioritization and asking your self "am I doing the right work?" are key. Creating a weekly schedule and a dedicated time for Learning Chinese can help you a lot.  Keeping record of a time sheet for a few weeks to see where your time goes can also help. By starting a foreign language early, you will actually be helping your child in high school to give them more time, instead of learning a foreign language from scratch. Learning a language is just as important as other extracurricular activities.

  1.  "I have no idea where to buy fun, entertaining and affordable Learning Chinese Materials!"

I can help you with that. ChildBook.com has a full range of Learning Chinese materials. We have best-selling books, CDs and DVD to suit your childs needs. I also offer lots of free advice and tips that are available as well!

Conclusion: Chinese Will Make You Better

  • Being bilingual gives you more opportunities! And by knowing a second culture, you can also relate better to other people. 
  • By planting these seeds today, you are more likely to become even more productive and well-rounded. 
  • With your support, now is the best time for your children to learn Mandarin Chinese.
  • Your commitment now will truly give them an advantage later on.

Ready to start?  Browse Learning Chinese Materials now.


Joke I used when I was teaching ESL:

What is a person who knows three languages? - trilingual.

What is a person who knows two languages? - bilingual.

What is a person who knows only one language? - American.

It's a joke that though funny on the surface, it does make you think. My ESL student loved the joke once I explained it to them (humor can be hard to translate sometimes!).


What if My Kids Don't Learn Chinese?

Well, what happens if they want to do business in that Giant Market Full of Opportunities, China?

  1. If they have Chinese-speaking parents, will they bring the parents in to transact business for them?
  2. Will they do business using their Kindergarten-Level Chinese with accent? 
  3. Or take classes in Chinese as an adult and hope they don't have an American accent?
  4. Will they ask their parents, "Why did you not force me to learn Chinese? It would have helped me so much now!"

Or will they be lucky that their parents, unlike others, took the time to read them Chinese books as children and spoke to them in Chinese, knowing they would learn English at school anyway, and they now speak Chinese like a native?  Or perhaps they had one parent who spoke to them only in English, and another in Mandarin Chinese. Or their parents don't speak Mandarin, but sent their kids to Chinese School to learn or other methods.

The choice as a parent is yours, but know that your kids knowing the Chinese language is an irreplaceable gift for the future.

Tips for Learning Chinese

It's Easier For Kids to Learn Chinese!

  • More and more school districts are adding Chinese Programs.  Childbook's Chinese School finder can help.

Our Goal:

We hope that parents take the time and effort to have their kids Learn Chinese. The best time for Children to learn another language is before puberty, so they speak like a native and learn very easy. We provide quality books, CDs, and DVDs and other items that are fun and educational for helping children learn more about the Chinese Language and Culture.  We offer these materials both for children who have native speakers in the family, as well for those whose parents don't speak Chinese.

As parents and also as owners of ChildBook.com, we have made the commitment for our child to be brought up bilingual, learning both English and Mandarin. We feel this ability will help our child in the long term, so our child can make the most of the opportunities that life presents.

How about you?  

Help add opportunities for your child, start with Chinese today.    


Why Learn Chinese

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Why it's important to Learn to Speak Chinese and some of the reasons or excuses that people have for not learning Chinese. Feedback is appreciated. Learning a foreign language such as Chinese is a big decision and it's important to pick the right foreign language.
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