According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (27 June 2012), Americans are “rushing to teach their kids Mandarin”, on occasion going to such lengths as moving their families to cities in China for extended periods in order to learn through immersion. The reason for such extreme measures is that Mandarin is notoriously difficult to learn. It is a tonal language, and fluency requires that you understand thousands of different characters.
It is estimated that it takes over 2,000 hours to learn to speak Mandarin, as opposed to 600 hours for a Romance language such as Spanish. Nevertheless, it is possible to learn enough of the language at the beginner’s level to enable you to greet Mandarin speakers in their language and conduct a basic conversation. The ability to communicate with business associates in their own language serves as a sign of respect and a show of good faith.
Whether you are learning to speak Mandarin to enhance your career, for travel purposes or for personal enrichment, Wits Language School is your language school of choice. Contact us today and learn to speak Mandarin.