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Categories: Education and Teacher Training, Postgraduate
Today is Chinese Language Day and we want to celebrate one of the most widely used languages in the world!
For postgraduates looking to enhance their CV and boost global job prospects, learning a new language is a great way to get ahead. As globalisation takes over different industries, international relations is more important than it’s ever been.
If you can add a second or even third language to your skills repertoire, you can pave the way for a highly successful career, with increased earning and travel opportunities. With 1.3 billion Chinese language speakers worldwide (and not just in China), it’s a great language to learn if you’re looking to upskill.
At the University of Bolton, we welcome a number of Chinese students at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as students from all across Asia and the rest of the world. So our campus is very diverse, making it a great place to study if you want to meet people of different nationalities and expand your global network.
To celebrate Chinese Language Day, and our Chinese student community, here are some interesting ways to get involved!
Study the basics
You don’t have to take a full language course to take part in Chinese Language Day. Try learning a few simple phrases, or study numbers 1-10.
Learning Chinese can be a challenge because unlike other languages, there are no cases, genders, tenses or plurals. So it goes against what many linguists understand of their own mother tongue. But getting to know the basics can be fun, educational, and may prove useful in the future.
With no alphabet, you may also find yourself mesmerised in the art of Chinese writing too. There are over 80,000 Chinese characters and while they may appear confusing, some are actually very easy to recognise due to their visual resemblance to what they are describing.
Did you know: Chinese is the oldest written language in the world?
Watch a subtitled film
One of the best ways of learning a new language is to immerse yourself in conversational settings. The next best thing is watching films, as this allows you to listen to conversations play out. Watching subtitled programmes makes it easy to match up the sound of words, different intonations and colloquialisms with meaning.
Some of the best films for students interested in learning Mandarin, include:
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- Beijing Bicycle (2001)
- Let the Bullets Fly (2010)
- Blind Shaft (2013)
- Never Say Die (2017)
Cook a Chinese national dish
Another way to celebrate this unique day is to rustle up a Chinese national dish in the kitchen. This is a great way to throw yourself into Chinese culture, learn a few Chinese ingredients, and discover new ways to entertain or network.
For postgraduate students who are interested in working abroad, or getting a job with an international company that does a lot of trade with China, understanding the culture is something that will come in very handy for those all-important client/supplier interactions.
Strike up a conversation
Conversational Chinese isn’t easy at first. But remember, practice makes perfect, and this is especially true with intonation. Saying the same word in a different tone (higher or lower) can give it a completely different meaning.
The quickest way is to learn as you go, so don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with a fluent Chinese language speaker on campus. And don’t worry about getting words wrong. That’s all a part of the learning process, and your Chinese friend or associate will be sure to correct you and point you in right the direction for improvement.