In our time, English might be considered the language of the world. Business and communication between people with different native tongues is usually conducted with English. In fact, many countries require schools to teach English as a second language. However, with the progression of time, nothing remains definitive and eternal. Mountains crumble. Civilizations are buried by the inevitable, indiscriminate flood of dust and earth. Change is natural, as is our understanding. Even as we move from day to day we do not notice the incremental changes in this world until we are already familiarized with the differences. And now in our time, Chinese might be considered the language of the world.
The language with the most native speakers in the world is Chinese. Over one billion people speak the language. Since the rise of China’s economy, more and more non-native speakers from around the globe study Chinese in China. Business is extensively being conducted within the country. The new globalized economy now requires proficient Chinese speakers. With this new demand, people are learning Chinese to fill the void. Before you might see more Chinese people going abroad to study. Nowadays a massive influx of foreigners has arrived in China.
People want to study Chinese in China in because of the environment. Learning a foreign language is unlike learning any other subject. Where math and science is understood universally, a language is only specific to a certain corner of the globe. This country is the source of the language. In China, people can see their efficiency for learning Chinese skyrocket.
While in China, non-native speakers will use the language everyday. Most Chinese people do not speak English. Here a simple task such as eating will require someone to speak Chinese. By going through these everyday tasks in Chinese, a non-native speaker can wholly immerse his or herself in the language. The key to learning any foreign language is practice. Learning a language is more similar to learning basketball or piano as opposed to math or science. No one can learn a language by simply reading it out of a book. By being in China, the daily exposure of Chinese in everyday situations will reinforce the language learning process.
In addition, language is closely tied to the culture. Certain aspects of any language are only understood by native speakers. In English, many phrases grossly neglect the rules of semantics and syntax, yet native speakers understand what is being said. In China the same is true. The true essence of language can only be learned by hearing how it is used by native speakers. For example, Chinese people do not say hello or how are you doing to one another. Instead the preferred greeting is “have you eaten yet.” Really, this phrase is a rhetorical question. It basically means hello or how are you doing.
As the world turns, the world will continuously shift its focus. For now though, Chinese is in the spotlight. People who study Chinese in China see the requirements of business in the twenty first century. The only path to reach their goal is by learning the language with first hand experience.