Asian languages will be the future
In an increasingly globalized world, learning foreign languages has become essential not only to get a good job, but also to learn more about a specific culture background.
The interest in Eastern languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean is growing: according to data made public by My Oxford English, Japanese is spoken by about 122 million speakers, and Mandarin by 1200 million.
The most popular eastern language in schools is Mandarin; however, Japanese and Korean have gained some popularity within the business world.
Reasons to learn Asian languages
Asian languages are becoming important for three main reasons:
– First, the economic success of countries such as China and Japan, where products which we use on a daily basis are manufactured every day.
– Second, many European countries are negotiating free trade and association agreements with Asian countries, which makes it necessary to hire people who speak these languages.
– Finally, these countries offer scholarships and very interesting cultural exchange programs, directed both at undergraduate students and students who graduated, and one of the requirements to access it is to have a good basic knowledge of the language.
Hiroshi Hosotani, a Japanese teacher at the Academy of Oriental Languages, said recently that more and more people are choosing Mandarin as a second language, compared to those who study English.
But as we explain in our previous article on the 10 most difficult languages for English speakers, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Korean are at the top of this list.
So a question arises: can adults still learn?
Although it is best to begin learning a new language as quickly as possible, it is not impossible for adults to learn a foreign language.
While normally for children learning a language is more like a hobby and children do it because they are intrigued by the culture of a different country, adults rather feel the need to learn because they dream of traveling and don’t want that language to be an obstacle for them.
It is also true that for many young people learning Asian languages is easier, because they are already very influenced by the culture of these countries, for example, due to the success of the k-pop music, anime and Japanese manga.
Alejandra Rodriguez, a professional in the field of Finance and International Relations, as well as a student of Mandarin, says that learning one of the most spoken languages in the world gives an edge in the workplace. In her case, the reasons that led her to study Chinese were the numerous opportunities to do business with China that have occurred.
“Learning Mandarin requires more effort than other languages because it is one thing to know how to speak and another to know how to write. Being able to juggle between pinyin for phonetic transcription and the logograms requires a big commitment” – she shares.
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