1.2 billion people (over 16% of the world's population) speak Chinese. It's the most widely spoken language in the world. But don't let the statistics fool you. Chinese has 13 major dialects and is one of the most diverse languages. With nearly 960 million speakers, Mandarin is the most spoken form of Chinese, followed by Wu (80 million), Min (70 million) and Yue (60 million). The diversity between Chinese dialects has been compared to difference between learning French and Italian. While Chinese dialects may share common terms, they are for the most part mutually untelligible.
The official language of both China and Taiwan is Standard Chinese, also known as Mondern Standard Mandarin, or simply "Mandarin". Mandarin is the also an official language in Singapore and one of six official languages of the United Nations. It is also spoken in Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Mongolia and the Philippines – and by millions of people across the globe. If you're thinking about learning Chinese, we highly recommend giving it a try. There are many reasons you should consider learning Chinese.
Learning Chinese opens the door to a whole new world of opportunities and experiences. Learning the Chinese language will introduce you to one of the world's oldest and richest cultures. China has one of the strongest economies in the world and is the largest trading partner of the United States. Ever purchased a product at a toy store or retail estalishment? If so, you've probably seen the little sticker that says, "Made in China". Learning Chinese not only provides fulfillment and enjoyment, it's one of the most advantageous langauges to learn for business. Want to set yourself apart from the competition? Then learn Chinese. While many firms are looking to hire bilingual employees, a growing number are seeking professionals who can speak Chinese.
Learning Chinese can be challenging but it has it's advantages. Unlike English, German or French which require verb conjugation and have complex grammar, Chinese is relatively uncomplicated. If over 1 billion Chinese can learn to speak it, so can you! Just study the guides and tutorials below a few minutes a day and you'll start speaking Chinese in no time.
Chinese for Travelers