Learning a new skill, sport or subject can be exciting and scary at the same time. We’re required to listen more to absorb as much as we could. We also have to be patient with our learning curve and to re-evaluate our own performance. The process may be tedious, but the rewards we get after can make everything worthwhile. Studying a new language is no different. In a recent study by Babbel.com, the Chinese language surpasses all the other languages when it comes to the most widely spoken language in the world garnering 1.2 billion native speakers. With that staggering figure, it is no doubt that having the Chinese language as an additional tool could be of tremendous help not only in one’s personal growth, but also in one’s economy.
In Malaysia alone, as many as 19% of the students who study in Chinese schools are non-Chinese. Most of which have parents who are unfamiliar with the language. More and more individuals see the value of learning the language for various reasons. One of which is cultural significance. Just this July 2017, the deputy president of Malaysia (Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong) stated that they spend over USD 233,306.89 to train teachers extensively in seminars. They stand firm with the belief of hiring and training highly qualified teachers to provide the best Chinese education. Their efforts of preserving and improving the Chinese roots is very distinguishable. This certainly proves how chinese education is not only for its local citizens, but also for other races.
Chinese proficiency provides more career opportunities for other races if they wish to pursue work overseas. More and more business leaders are looking for competitive Chinese speakers that can operate successfully in a Chinese environment. With this skill, it als breaks down the language barrier between different countries which can strengthen the ties between them. In a world where culture is immensely diversified, it opens the door for stronger relationships among future leaders in the global market.
More than the career and monetary benefits, educating oneself of the Chinese language allows one to view the world in a different light. The language itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Learning more about the richness of its culture is found in novels, poetry, films and many more. This is where hardships and victories are reflected together with the values they uphold through the years. We may be well-rehearsed with our country’s own culture, but this shouldn’t put a stop on learning about others. In this era, we can read almost anything and everything when we browse the internet and social media websites. Some of which we don’t know if it’s true or not. Just like the recent video that spread in social media regarding the Rape of Nanking, it is difficult to take sides without knowing what truly happened. With the help of knowing the culture of different nations, this will help us understand deeper the news and reports we encounter may it be through print or media.
The advantages of learning the Chinese language extends immensely on different aspects — opportunities, self-awareness, and the economy. Without the self-realization taking place, we’ll never know how much more this road may take us. Just like Mark Zuckerberg, who despite being one of the most successful people in the world, still learned how to speak Mandarin and delivered a presentation in China. He may have seen the integral part of such in the role he plays. This could be something that could motivate us to learn this new language and even more. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that no matter what race you’re in, there’s no stopping you from learning something new.