Using chopsticks is a key element of Chinese culture. Just like the history of China or Chinese signs, it is important and even essential to master it if we hope to work one day in the country of Kung Fu, tea and fireworks!
For those who have had the opportunity to travel to China, it's quickly obvious the importance to speak the language to be seen, order a meal or simply communicate and have a conversation with the local people. Then imagine what is like at an entrepreneurship level!
To learn Mandarin for business is a challenge for British people, certainly; however, this language is becoming more and more used and trading is very often made in Chinese.
A language disappears when those who speak it don't have the money and the power anymore to enforce it.
This is far from the case in China. In the middle of liberalisation, with its massive population, its growing middle class, and a market that increases as quickly as the kicks in a Jet Lee movie.
Even if we know that the best linguists are not necessarily the best salesmen, it is better to stack the odds on your side by learning Chinese, its vocabulary, and its grammar to bag yourself a great job.
Let's discover those who bet on the Chinese learning and why it's good to speak and to write Chinese in order to join a company in China.
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University Degree Courses are betting on China
Judged on the level of professors-researchers, the quality of the education and the insertion of the students in the workplace, the public and private universities have much to do…
In the private sector, schools of management and engineering have come close to China and Asia in general, by proposing initiatives that follow the economic and the linguistic trend to take Chinese class or to study in China.
In the same way as the deployment of digital formations - with the emergence of everything in digital format - business or engineering schools developed academic partnership agreements, the implementation of double diplomas or even campus relocated in China.
According to a survey, today 1 British student in 5 chooses to do a language exchange in Asia with China - between Shanghai and Beijing - as one of the key destinations.
It is thus in parallel of the formation in business, communication or even marketing that college students take basic Chinese lessons online, both in writing and in oral, in response to the labour market in China for which " the knowledge of Chinese and Chinese dialect is required." Beginners can take language and culture lessons to begin to learn th complicated Chinese characters and to help them master pronunciation and expressions. Having a native Chinese teacher can help you to master the different Chinese tones and help you learn how to speak more fluent.
Except for jobs like finance and positions that require a strong technical expertise, foreign or Chinese recruiters are in search of profiles who know the Chinese culture and who have fluency in the language, the traditional values of the Dragon and who have an expertise in the language to become integrated quickly with contracts.
In 2014, there were more than 10 formations in universities in the UK to focus on the Republic of China, a statistic that has increased exponentially in the last years.
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Learn Mandarin to be part of the Marketplace of the Future
China is developing economically and with its set of business areas in sales that are growing at a rate faster than Jackie Chan's fame (which received an Oscar of honour).
The Chinese middle-class, which is already larger than in the UK with 100 million inhabitants, should triple in 2022 according to a study published by the newspaper Le Monde. (Triple? Yes, I did write triple...).
With this growth, it's the Chinese economic market potential who should see the light of day in the years to come and the demand for foreigners to speak Mandarin or Cantonese is increasing.
Currently, the numbers build up and they don't lie:
- The king of e-commerce: when we think of trading on the internet, we often think about the United States … However, China already represents 28% of the online sales with 430 billion dollars in 2014. Today, it has 668 millions of internet users for 413 millions of Internet shoppers. I'll let you do the calculations to determine who is the biggest online market in the world!
- The cinematographic industry: severely hit in the west by the illegal downloading, The 7th Art in China has experienced an increased in sales by 48% since 2014. A phenomenon that continues and represents already 20 billion yuan (about 2 billion pounds).
- Games for mobiles: industry in full hatching in the west for a few years, the recipes of the games for mobiles in China would make more than one billionaire dream about, with a 66% increase between 2014 and 2015. Once again, the United States should leave the first place in China with forecasts at the level of 100 million dollars of income in 2016.
- The tourism: being used to travel in groups, Chinese travellers seem more inclined to travel alone as it is confirmed in the report of CITM (Chinese International Travel Monitor) indicating that there were 5% more travellers compared to 2014.
Despite its status of the new largest economy, China, as many countries in the world, remains sensitive to the natural and powerful charm sent by the pheromones of foreign products.
Indeed, the Celestial Empire shows certain craze for the foreign products, in particular, western products. In 2015, not less than 35% of the Chinese buyers placed orders on foreign sites, while they represented only 26% in 2014.
The UK and its high-end reputation - with its luxury items - can taste it already and there are many companies that have already one foot in the Middle Kingdom for several years. Those are in search of British talents with a good Chinese vocabulary who know how to express themselves in Mandarin and know their habits and customs.
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Finding a Place in the Chinese Labour Market
The curve of the unemployment may have fallen recently in the UK (for those who don't see any manipulation of numbers there), it's still difficult to find a job.
The competition in the job search gets harder in the UK and the foreign languages, the stays abroad for immersion purposes, as well as the particular experiences, are now very appreciated by employers!
With the emergence of business in China and the role that British companies play in the country, we can imagine the importance of having the Mandarin language as "read, spoken and written" on the CV!
To do the translations, deal with a Chinese customer or answer a request, your expertise in the language is an advantage that will be highly valued in the work environment.
Whether you learned it in business school, through immersion in a Chinese school in China or even with a private tutor - we can find more than 2,000 on the SuperProf site available to offer instruction - the knowledge of the Chinese language is a very effective linguistic distinction.
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Learn Mandarin Chinese to Manage a Team
“When I speak English, it’s for buying, not for selling…”
The character of Patrick of The Truth if I Lie would not have been able to become integrated into the Chinese current market.
In fact, with the hatching of the middle class, the potential of the market and the interest for the western products - As mentioned earlier - companies are mainly looking to sell in China.
Their products, their services or even their expertise, Westerners dream to offer a range of businesses in China that they cannot refuse. Nevertheless, despite the attractive aspect of the market, the Chinese are culturally different from countries of Latin and Anglo-Saxon origins and they are more difficult to convince that we can imagine.
We often say for example that a Chinese businessman will not call to you if you don't speak his language. To speak Chinese with a good pronunciation to assure things in the everyday life is a plus.
If in the facts this idea still remains to be proved, it accentuates a fundamental problem to the companies that try to penetrate into the market: the language barrier.
To speak Mandarin, to be capable of understanding a transcript in pinyin phonetics or even to feel comfortable with tones reassure the Chinese interlocutors. They'll see a form of respect that will bring closer your commercial entities.
Ideal to establish economic relationships, much more than using a translator who could not translate everything due to fear of offending one of the two actors in the communication...
You will have understood it, it's not essential because there are numerous interlocutors who are English speakers, but it's the competitive advantage which is not insignificant and could pay off in a big way…
Besides, to increase the productivity and the efficiency of your management, it's ideal for an English manager to learn Chinese. Imagine needing a translator every time you have to speak to your team. The dialogues of the deaf that can result and the communication problems that could be costly to your company, even to your head of employees.
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In addition to the language, it's the Chinese culture that must be understood and assimilated by the manager to avoid any gestures, greetings, remarks or signs which could be misinterpreted and make your colleague feel ashamed.
Management is a human science, it is thus necessary to understand the human values of your Chinese employees to improve your collaboration.
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Note: You can learn about the languages and dialects of China or why aren't more students learning Mandarin Chinese on Superprof.