And that’s a wrap for a fantastic 2013! So, what are your plans for 2014? This is our first blog entry, and we’ve had several suggestions on writing why people should learn Mandarin. Well, the question, I think, shouldn’t be why Should you learn, but why would you want to learn?
Lots of our students learn Mandarin for a myriad of reasons. There are students who are long-term learners of the language. They are the persistent ones who started off learning Mandarin out of interest and over the years, have developed a grasp of the Chinese language and culture that allows them to understand the underlying meaning of common idiomatic expressions. I must admit that although explaining these expressions can be painful in class at times (yes, the students can attest to my exasperation. Wait till you hear about them trying to teach ME English idioms), the amount of laughs we get trying to explain them are worthwhile!
Then, there are the students who put their Mandarin to good use whilst they are on work trips in China. One student that I can think of has made firm Chinese friends, and gone for those mandatory Karaoke sessions. (And the man has learnt to sing Chinese songs very well too!). Then, there is another student who regularly comes back with Chinese phrases he’s picked up from his Chinese colleagues/passers-by, and asked for me to unravel them for him. Some are easy to explain, some are a little tricky and some are just a touch vulgar…hey, you can’t blame the student if they don’t know what they’ve just heard. All in all, Chinese classes are never dull!
And of course, there are those who learn Mandarin because their partners are Chinese, and they would love to communicate with their partners’ Chinese family members. In fact, we’ve got a student who will be getting married in China in early 2014, adding to the growing list of inter-cultural marriages! Other students learn because they are adopting children from China. We’ve seen some of these parents grow with the language, and also continue to have their children learn Mandarin in Australia. There are those who learn it because they learn traditional Chinese medicine, and of course, those who learn it because it is THE LEADING LANGUAGE of the world, and so why not take a stab at learning. Don’t take my word for it. Go do your research.
In any case, whatever your own personal reasons might be for learning Chinese, ensure that you embark on your journey of learning, persist, and importantly, enjoy the process! May you and your loved ones have a wonderful and peaceful 2014!