Considering a Chinese Language Course?
It’s a great idea to learn Chinese by doing a Chinese language course. It’s always a good idea to study additional languages. This is because studying another language can greatly enhance your CV and help you to secure more jobs. In other words, if a job requires you to speak English and Chinese, then you can stand out in the application process if you have both. In addition, learning another language can have great benefits for your brain and mind. The good news is there are many Chinese language courses currently available. From online to in-person options, from beginner to intermediate to advanced levels.
About the Chinese Language
One in six people speak the Chinese language. With over a billion native speakers, around 15% of the world’s population speaks the language as their mother tongue. That is more than English, French, German and Spanish combined. The Chinese writing system is notoriously different for English speakers to master. This is because it does not contain a segmental alphabet. Rather, it consists of thousands of standalone characters. Although, Chinese can be transcribed into Roman characters by utilising a pinyin, removing some of the burden on the student that comes with memorising thousands of individual characters.
Unlike the English language, in which plural nouns are marked with an ‘s’, Chinese nouns retain the same form regardless of whether they are plural or singular. Chinese is a tonal language and this means that a word’s pitch can affect its meaning. Therefore, different tones can drastically change the word’s meaning. Chinese joins French, English, Arabic, Spanish and Russian as one of the six official UN languages. The Chinese language also contains a vast amount of characters and some advanced dictionaries place the number is even higher. However, rest knowing that around 98% of written Chinese consists of the same 2,500 characters. Therefore, you can successfully read the newspaper even if you can only identify around two or three thousand.
The Benefits of Learning Another Language
There are many benefits to learning another language for both your mind and your brain. For starters, learning another language will help to improve your first language. In other words, studying another language makes you much more conscious of the bolts and nuts of your own language. Terms such as grammar, conjugation, comprehension, vocabulary, idioms and sentence structure quickly become everyday phrases, whereas your own language is most likely absorbed more intuitively.
Learning an additional language makes you a better listener as you have to judge nuances and interpret meaning. Also, studying an additional language will improve your performance in other academic areas. Studies have shown that the benefits of learning another language include higher scores on exams in subjects such as maths and English. Language skills will boost your ability to do well in problem-solving tasks across the board. Learning another language will increase your networking skills.
In other words, it will open you up to a culture that enables you to be much more flexible and appreciative of other people’s actions and opinions. As a result, if you are multilingual, you will have the advantage of seeing the world from different viewpoints which will enhance your ability to communicate in today’s globally connected world. In summary, language learning helps in developing strong cognitive skills such as better concept formation, multitasking, mental flexibility, problem-solving and listening skills.
Areas of Study
Chinese language courses come in various forms from beginner to intermediate to advanced levels. Therefore, not all courses will be the exact same, however, there are some universal areas that you can expect to learn about. You can expect to learn about phonetics and daily expressions, get a basic understanding of the language and learn how to use it in daily communication. You can also expect to learn about grammar and pronunciation. You will learn about its dialects and the formation of written Chinese characters and words. The Pinyin writing system may also be covered as this is the writing system that is used to transcribe Chinese sounds into the Roman alphabet.
Depending on what level of Chinese language course you completed, there is the opportunity to progress. If you have just completed a beginner’s course, you can now move over to an intermediate course. In addition, it does not stop there, there is also the opportunity to progress by doing different language courses in Italian, French or Spanish to name a few.
If you are serious about doing a Chinese language course, check out courses near you in the Nightcourses.co.uk national course finder.