Chinese is the world’s largest language if you only count the number of native speakers, so you can probably guess that the benefits of learning Chinese for business are immense. Whether you are an employee, a business owner, or someone who’s only planning their career, learning Chinese will open up lots of great opportunities.
Chinese is an increasingly dominant language in the business world, taking over a large share of business communication from English. As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies, China is home to many leading companies.
In this article, we explore some of the opportunities to be gained by studying Chinese and highlight the five main benefits of learning Chinese for business.
1. Learning Chinese Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Nowadays, the job market and the markets for most industries are over-saturated, and being able to stand out among others is extremely important.
Despite the Chinese language growing in popularity among learners, there are still fewer people who speak it as a foreign language compared to, for instance, English or Arabic.
Being able to speak fluent Chinese, you will instantly stand out among most other employees. As a business owner, you will be able to truly tap into the powerhouse that the Chinese economy is, connect better with your potential partners, and offer unique opportunities to your customers.
Learning Chinese for business will help you be much more competitive in the global market.
2. Business Chinese Strengthens Working & Social Relationships
To do business with Chinese partners, contractors, and customers, you need to be able to speak Chinese. Even if they speak perfect English (or there is a foreign language you both speak), knowledge of their mother tongue will help you build trust and a more personal connection.
If you don’t have any Chinese partners at the moment, learning Chinese will increase your networking opportunities manifold, thus also increasing your potential for success in business.
The population of Chine is around 1.4 billion people. There are also large Chinese-speaking communities all over the world. This means thousands upon thousands of potential business contacts with experts in various fields.
Learning Chinese for business will greatly expand your potential pool of business partners, contractors, consultants, and customers.
3. Learning Mandarin Helps Understanding of Chinese Culture & Etiquette
Doing business with foreign partners can often be tricky! Cultures in general and business etiquette, in particular, can differ significantly. This can lead to misunderstanding, embarrassment, and even, in the worst-case scenario, failed business deals.
There are many intricacies to Chinese business etiquette. For instance, it is important to be careful with gift-giving, as many officials consider gifts to be bribes. It is better to avoid direct negative replies like ‘no’ in a discussion – saying something less direct, for instance, ‘I will need more time to think about it’ is often more appropriate.
When learning Mandarin or Cantonese for business, you will learn these and many other customs. This will help you be more polite, as well as communicate your ideas more clearly. Similarly, you’ll learn and get a better understanding of specific Chinese business and legal terms. You’ll gain an understanding of Chinese business and economic trends, and you won’t lose important information and nuances in translation.
You will get a better understanding of how Chinese businesses and consumers operate. You’ll learn what motivates and drives them. You’ll understand how to better communicate with them and build long-term business relationships. It will also help you build more personal relationships, which is also beneficial as Chinese people prefer to do business with people they trust.
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4. Business Expansion to China Boosts Profits
China is one of the largest markets and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Expanding your business onto Chinese markets can be extremely profitable. But for this expansion to be successful, knowledge of the Chinese language is absolutely essential.
As mentioned above, to successfully build a business in China, you need to be able to understand Chinese business etiquette and culture. Similarly, building solid working and personal relationship is imperative. If you achieve this, expanding your business in China could yield large profits.
Learning Chinese for business can also help you bring in more money by reducing your business expenditures, for instance, by removing (or decreasing) your need for translators and thus cutting translation costs.
5. Learning Chinese Provides New Insights & New Ideas
It may be a simple idea, but it is important to remember that people in different countries do business differently. Many foreign business practices are not necessarily better or worse than the ones used in your country – just different.
If you learn Chinese for business, you will get a deeper insight into how the Chinese economy works and how Chinese people do business. You will come across business practices that may seem unusual but can also turn out to be surprisingly lucrative. They can also inspire you to come up with your own ideas, mixing best practices from different cultures.
China is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing economies. Numerous cutting-edge technologies, trends, skills, and business practices are employed there. Understanding the Chinese economy and business trends will also provide you with great insights into international business practices.
Learning Chinese for Business is a Great Investment
The benefits of learning Chinese for business are immense. Imagine being able to speak the language of one of the largest world economies. You’ll be well on your way to understanding its business culture and build meaningful connections with Chinese-speaking people. Learning to speak the Chinese language fluently will take some time, effort, and patience. However, it is one of the biggest investments you can make in your career.
Business Chinese Courses in Hong Kong
At Q Language here in Hong Kong, you’ll find exactly that sort of supportive environment to help you learn languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, English, or Korean. Whether you’ve just decided to start a new language, or are already well on your way to speaking it fluently, Q Language offers tailored classes to suit each student’s personal goals.
For those of you looking for a career boost, Business Chinese courses can be tailored for company staff in groups or as specialised 1:1 programmes to match the exact needs of your industry. The highly-experienced trainers can conduct lessons on-site at your offices or at Q Language Centre in Central, Hong Kong.
Courses include intensive boot camps, business and corporate speak-focused classes, small group classes, and one-on-one tutoring in a relaxed learning environment.
Great article! No.5 was surprising