If you read the newspapers, then they will tell you that Mandarin is the language to learn. In this article, we look at a few facts about Mandarin that might help you to discover whether you would like learning a language spoken by over a billion people.
Chinese people love visiting the UK and continental Europe. A recent report showed that by 2017, Chinese tourists visiting the UK will spend a total of £1 billion. Relaxed visa rules and a growing middle class mean that the RMB is something that British businesses are now competing for.
China is a nation of 1.4 billion people, and western businesses are increasingly looking for a foothold in the nation as the middle class grows and trade between the west and China becomes easier.
Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, with four basic tones. It means that a word can be spelt one way but mean many different things, purely on the sound that you make. This apparently does help singers though.
There are around 20,000 Chinese characters, and seeing them puts off a lot of westerners. A more basic form of written Chinese exists in the form of pinyin, which is based on the Roman alphabet. If you are starting Mandarin from scratch, you will start with this.
This is the most widely spoken form of Chinese, while other dialects include Cantonese, Min, Hakka and Gan. Chinese people in the UK and the US tend to speak Cantonese, as this is the language of Hong Kong.
If you are looking to learn Mandarin Chinese, then Unique Languages has a range of courses from business to general language training. Fill in the form on this screen, call us on 020 3566 0145 or e-mail for further information.