China has risen to a global superpower in the last few decades and you should expect this to continue. This means that the countries in a close proximity to China, such as Singapore, are likely to ride the continued growth of China and benefit as well. Many people have opted to take learn Mandarin in Singapore as a way of future-proofing themselves for what is to come. Mandarin is a national language in China, one of the six official languages in United Nations, and one of the four common languages spoken in Singapore. Therefore, learning the language will be a huge benefit, both in Singapore and across other continents. You should consider looking at some interesting facts about the Chinese language below before enrolling in a class.
- Characters instead of Alphabets
Unlike English that uses 26 alphabetical letters, Chinese uses thousands of characters, which can take a very long time to learn. The Chinese language features both traditional and simple characters that may be written in different forms. Therefore, you will have to study Romanised Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, while taking Chinese courses in Singapore before you can master the use of characters. You are also likely to find most street names in the country written in Pinyin and in Chinese characters, so learning Pinyin if good for surviving in China.
- The Language has Over 80,000 Characters
You might already be calculating how long it would take you to learn all these characters for you to master the Chinese language. Luckily, this is not the case since you can comfortably read a Chinese newspaper after learning 2000- 3000 characters.
- You Will Have to Master the Tone Before you Can Gain Fluency
Chinese is a tonal language comprising of four tones and an additional fifth tone, which is the neutral tone. Your pitch will automatically affect the meaning of a sentence. For example, using ‘ma’ in a sentence can either mean ‘a horse’ or ‘mother.’ Therefore, you have to be extra careful while speaking Chinese to avoid conveying the wrong meaning. Learning these tones is always a challenge for beginners but it gets better after continuous practice with spoken Chinese.
- The Grammar is Quite Simple
Chinese has one of the simplest grammar among all other languages such as English or German. The language lacks singular-plural distinction, gender-specific nouns, or concept of numbers. Chinese also does not have any restrictions on tenses, making the grammar easy to learn after a short while.
- It is One of the Oldest Languages in the World
Chinese dates back to over 4000 years old, making it one of the oldest writing systems in the world. The ancient Chinese writing system, dating back to 1600 BC, was found written on old bones and turtle shells, proving that the language has been in existence for about 4 decades. Language learning is directly related to learning the culture of a country. Therefore, taking a Chinese course in Singapore would be a wise option if you want to learn about one of the oldest cultures in the world.