5 reasons to learn Chinese (like right now...please)

Chinese is one of my favorites languages, though it often carries the stigma of being the world's most difficult language. This language is really cool and fun to learn. It may be challenging sometimes, but it too is learnable. Here are 5 reasons why you won't regret learning Chinese. 

  1. 1. Chinese is fun-(说中文是好玩儿  Shuō zhōngwén shì hǎowán er)

    Learning a new language can always be fun (or a struggle, depending on who you are talking to). Let me be real with you, when I first started to learn mandarin, I had the most fun I had ever had in the fourteen years of my existence. Back in 2014, I was just a young teen and wanted to challenge myself by speaking another language. I already failed with learning Spanish (I just couldn’t understand the conjugations), but Eureka came to me in the form of Yi Zhi Mei- a 2011 mainland Chinese drama and the cover of this article. I fell in love with not only the fighting scenes of the show, but also with the language the actors spoke. It was music to my ears and I desperately wanted to talk like them. Therefore, it was fun learning new words each show I watched, eventually being able to pronounce the words of songs correctly when I’m singing at the top of my lungs at 3 am in the morning. I felt this sense of empowerment, like I could do anything, and this feeling of power is fun. 

  2. 2. Help to expand your horizons -(让你扩大一见 Ràng nǐ kuòdà yī jiàn)

    One thing learning Chinese taught me was to try new things. It taught me that the world does not stop in the west; there are many other amazing things out there to explore. When it comes to TV shows, I usually like watching random ghost hunts or criminal minds. But I quickly got into many of the supernatural shows China and Taiwan has to offer, like Ever Night (pictured above). Ever Night is absolutely amazing and breathtaking, with wonderful actors and stunning sceneries. Watching that show was the best decision of my life. Also, I learned that the world is not black or white, that people react to things differently based off where they come from. For example, in Chinese custom is common to believe that you are not just an individual but also a member of the society, you’re a brother, sister, mother, father, wife, husband, etc. Therefore, with whatever decision one has to make, one must carry the burden of their entire family on their back. This is contrary to western ideals, where a person is an individual and their decisions in life are only theirs to make. If you learn Chinese, you might discover new things that you like or more truths about the world. 

  3. 3. Learn a new culture-(学会别的国家文化  Xuéhuì bié de guójiā wénhuà)

    It’s a no brainer that learning another language will ultimately make you learn of the culture in which that language is spoken. Like I said above, you’ll realize that the world is bigger than the environment in which you live. I learned so much about Chinese cultures, like 中秋节 or zhong qiu jie, a festival that happens during the autumn of the lunar calendar to celebrate the moon goddess ascending to the moon. During the zhong qiu jie, Chinese families will gather around eating moon cake( 月饼 yue bing, while staring at the moon (月亮 yue liang). I also learned of Chinese histories (历使 li shi), like the Qing dynasty and Ming dynasty. I have become exposed to a whole other world through learning their language, which you will too if you study Chinese!

  4. 4. Learn about yourself - ( 好好儿了解自己   Hǎohǎo er liǎojiě zìjǐ)

    When learning a new language you get to discover things that you never knew about yourself. Before I started learning Chinese I never knew that I could stay up 14 hours with my face buried into a screen, laughing my ass off. On a more serious note, I learned that I can be patient. I have been learning Chinese for about five years and still have a lot to learn, but I am taking it step by step. I also learned that I am very determined, since every night before I go to sleep, regardless of how tired I am, I spend about 30 minutes practicing my Chinese on the Mango language app. I learned that I am passionate: I desperately wanted to learn Chinese, so I taught myself it through watching shows and music. Learning Chinese made me discover more qualities about myself and I love that about Chinese. 

  5. 5. Creates new opportunities - (给你好多机会 Gěi nǐ hǎoduō jīhuì)

    Whether we like it or not, the world is becoming more global and everyone is becoming interconnected with each other. It’s now important to be able to communicate with different groups of people you didn’t know existed before. When you pick up a new language, you’ll create a new world with a lot of job opportunities. It’s more likely for a job to hire you if you speak more than one language. Of course, speaking another language will give you the full travel experience of engaging with the natives and making new friends. All in all, whether it is Chinese, French, Spanish or any other language, you should continue learning! 

P.S if you think that some of my translation is a little off, please forgive me, I am still learning.