Wait! Learn a new language, AGAIN? But I can speak English!

At first thought, many people will dispel the idea of learning a new language. Really, nobody likes to be troubled, especially not with an odd language like the Chinese language. It has thousands of characters and strange new tones which, if not used right, can alter the meaning of one’s expression. So, what is the use? To what end?

While it is true that Mandarin differs from the English language and other local languages you may already know. While it is true that Mandarin has a complex tone use and a huge collection of characters. While it is, also, true that the Chinese language is neither the official language of Nigeria nor the second official language, it will be untrue to say that there are not enough sound reasons to learn Mandarin.

The Chinese language is a new entrant in the Nigerian society and that explains its unofficial status, yet. But despite its novelty, the benefits of learning Chinese currently rival those of learning English, French, or other languages that are popular among many Nigerians. This is because the Chinese language has grown into one of the most sought after languages in the world and its use now comes with awesome perks in business, education, cultural experience, networking, and even health. For now and in the future, there are many reasons to learn the Chinese language than there are not to learn it.

If you want to know why you need to learn the language of Confucius, we are ready to tell you — for free.

Benefits of Learning Chinese Language

With Mandarin, you can never be wrong. Mandarin is a useful tool for all categories of people; students, business people, freelancers, and even people who just spare time and would like to start a new adventure. Learning Chinese presents you with multivarious benefits that will give your life a new breath.

Foremost, learning Mandarin can help your brain perform better and tarry the onset of dementia in old age. Study findings have shown that learning a new language can hone your cognitive abilities. With the constant need to stay creative, mentally alert, and possess great critical thinking skills, developing a Chinese tongue can help you stay on top of your game.

Also, you stand a better chance to enjoy free university education in some of the best universities in the world, based in China, when you can speak Mandarin. One of the corollaries of the bilateral relationship between the Nigerian and the Chinese government is this largesse of free university education in China.

Beijing School Campus
A Campus in Beijing: Enjoy top-class education, good learning atmosphere, and networking opportunities when you school in China. Source: Unsplash

More so, we must not forget the golden status Chinese proficiency can give your resume. Across the world, recruiters give preference to professionals who boast multi-languages and considering the immense economic and political clout that China wields, no company doesn’t want talent with the rare combination of Chinese and English on its team.

The list of gains is endless.

With Mandarin: Augment Your Business, Earn in Yuan

It is safe to call China the commercial nerve of the World or, even, the business capital of the world. Displacing the United States to become the largest economy in the World and reigning as the largest manufacturer cum exporter in the World, all eyes now watch out for China when it comes to business.

Young professionals all over are moving to China to have their piece of the cake. If you have a reasonable skill to sell, China has a home for you. With its large number of industries, China presents huge opportunities for young workers who want to have a better workspace and better work pays.

One viable way for Nigerian students to easily join the Chinese workforce is to school at a Chinese University. Having an international degree like that makes it easy to find a place to work in China without taking extra proficiency exams or aptitude tests.

Perhaps you do not want to work in China, you can also work in top Chinese firms based in Nigeria. To survive the competition (who doesn’t want to work in an international firm?), consider taking a Mandarin course before you apply. Having a rare combination of English and Chinese can greatly increase your chances of getting recruited.

Beyond these, competence in Mandarin can help you become a better team leader. If you manage a diverse team of people, perhaps, within a global NGO or humanitarian institute, you can better communicate with your Chinese colleagues and express to them that you care for everyone.

Take the right step to advancing your business and enjoy new career opportunities by taking a Chinese language course.

Experience a New Culture; the Rich Ancient Chinese Culture

As old as time: as modern as tomorrow. I’m steeped in wisdom and rich in beauty.

What am I?

Yeah, I know! Not so good with riddles. Haha! If there is a culture that has stood the test of time, it is the culture of Confucius. Despite being one of the oldest cultures in the world, it is true that you will still find pieces of Chinese culture in just about every place in China and many other places around the world.

From Chinese arts, like calligraphy and ceramics, to Chinese architecture, martial arts, philosophy, and — even — the business and war etiquettes of Confucius and Sun Tzu. Like it or not, the popularity of the Chinese culture has no end in sight.

We all like to watch Jackie Chan throw lethal kicks in movies, and at one time or another, about every one of us had tried some of those kicks — just that they wouldn’t even kill a cockroach. Like you cannot learn soccer from just watching soccer games, you will need to do more than just watch Chinese movies to be good in Chinese martial arts. You can start taking classes in Chinese Tai Chi, not just to learn self-defence, but to know basic Chinese words and expressions.

Chinese medicine and Yoga are also part of the Chinese Culture. Many universities within and outside China provide interested students with courses on Chinese medicine, even up to the PhD level. Or, you may start a Yoga course with a Chinese instructor to enjoy the balsamic physical and mental Confucius exercise and have a feel of the Chinese way.

Not interested in Chinese science? Then, try out the brain-stimulating Chinese art of paper folding. Beyond aesthetics, you will enjoy better creative and cognitive abilities.

Study Mandarin to Enjoy Your China Tour

With China becoming the most desired Holiday place for tourists all around the World, learning Chinese has increasingly become a means to an end. Especially for people who want to enjoy the famed historical sites and frolic in China without a tour guide to explain every text or tell them what to say or not say, or what to do or not do, learning Mandarin, even if just for a year, gives them the freedom they need.

A site in China
In just a few years, China is set to overtake France as the most desired holiday place in the world. Source: Unsplash

Being able to speak Mandarin opens a window of opportunities for you in China. It also removes you from that ‘confused’ state typical of strangers in China. What about the fact that it reduces your chances of being duped in Chinese cities? Your ability to speak Chinese earns you an extra love star amongst the locals and increases your safety in China.

If you want to stay a long time in China, you will need to know more than just how to write Chinese text or how to use its tones to be assured of a hitch-free stay. You should study Chinese gestures too. Don’t go to China believing that every acceptable gesture in Lagos will be the same in Beijing. You may have more enemies than friends. Okay, that’s exaggerated.

Learn the Tricks to Grow a Chinese Tongue

If you look across Africa, you will find no African State with Chinese as its official language. Instead, you will find English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, e.t.c. With English as the official language in Nigeria, many Nigerians find it hard to study Mandarin.

The Confucius language is highly tonal and contains thousands of characters. You may state something and mean something else. A change in tone can result in a disproportionate change in meaning. But as true as these are, getting a good language institute or school can halve the troubles. Or, even a better option, hiring a skilled private tutor.

Chinese text
Yes! The tones and characters are difficult. But they are not impossible to learn. Half the troubles are solved when you hire the right tutor. Source: Unsplash

Sound tutors, like those profiled on Superprof, will expose you to the five tones that Mandarin has in a manner that belies its famed difficulty and constantly practice with you until you master them. They will create a schedule for you to learn the character bit-by-bit while teaching you the ‘pinyin’ to gain mastery in reading and writing Chinese text.

Go with Superprof and watch as you grow with speed.

Why not Many Nigerians Study Mandarin

Until the year 2007, there was no prominent institute to study Chinese in Nigeria. The Confucius Institute was set up in Enugu — and a year later in Lagos — to end the drought. The novelty of the language is one of the reasons why the tongue is rare amongst Nigerians.

Consequently, there are not enough professionals teaching Mandarin, yet, in Nigeria. Although the Confucius Institute graduates few thousands of students every year, not all of them resort to teaching. The few ones who do cannot serve the huge population of Nigerian students.

There is also a lack of adequate awareness about the benefits of learning Chinese. Many Nigerians do not know of the personal benefits of learning multiple languages, the free University study offers, the networking prospects, business gains, and career opportunities.

We mustn’t end this article without citing the scare of Chinese among students and the bother of attending a language school as top reasons why many Nigerians are not Mandarin-savvy. However, most of these hurdles have been displaced by Superprof. We parade Chinese tutors who, not only know their onions but how to feed every student according to their learning style. We offer quality, flexibility, comfort, and a fun-filled learning adventure that will leave you asking ‘Is this the Almighty Mandarin?’

We are just good at what we do!

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A Nigerian freelance SEO Writer-cum-Editor and 2019 Writing Fellow of ALWF who blends creativity with rich content to produce sterling copy — persuasive, informative, or expository. He loves nature and trains in Karate, and he loves to help others grow — individuals and brands.