The ability to speak, read and understand English is vital to communicate to a diversified range of people. It is the language of the world’s scientific academe and political reference. It is even predicted during the 19th century that English will be the world’s language.
But English is declining. Chinese is rising. And the world’s tongue is adjusting.
Chinese is now the most widely spoken language in the world. This is mainly due to the multitude of Chinese population. In China alone, there are more than 1.3 billion Chinese and those who are scattered around the world speak their own language as well.
In the business world, Chinese is sitting comfortably along English as the most useful language. Transacting business matters using a common language is essential for rapport building but also for the “speed and effectiveness of your negotiations”, says Leigh Hafrey, a senior lecturer in communications and ethics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.
The Chinese people better use their voice because it takes years to fully master the language. Learners should find the best memorization technique that works since Zhongwen Da Cidian (Great Dictionary of the Chinese Language) lists 50,000 Chinese characters, whereas English only has 26 alphabets. Being a tonal language, different tones of the same word have different meanings. And there are variations in form of dialects – Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Min, and more. Each has internal diversity.
Despite the barrier of difficulty, westerners demand to learn it. Michael Roemer, an attorney who lives in California, brought his family to live in China. His purpose was to teach his two children the Chinese language because according to his own words, “speaking Mandarin is important”.
While Europe and USA remain the key players in the world’s economy, they recognize the gaining power of Asia, especially of the Chinese economy. Companies worldwide manufacture in China. The Chinese people are the biggest consumers of goods. Learning the world’s newest language would maintain the west’s competitiveness.
Language is power. Those who don’t speak it will be secluded. But China seemed to pass on this opportunity. It showed no interest to influence the world to make their language native. China casted English classes throughout the colossal country so the population could speak English when they hosted the 2008 Olympics.
Even without the slightest of effort from China, Chinese is still emerging. Right now, 9% of the population spoke English at birth. By 2050, it’ll be down to 5%. This gives room of expansion for the next major language.
Are you ready to learn the Chinese language?