These days, everyone wants to do business in China and this should not be surprising given how the Asian giant's economy is booming due to its burgeoning manufacturing sector. It was recently reported that China had overtaken Japan to become the world's second largest economy, with a total worth of $5.8 trillion at the end of 2010. In fact, many analysts are already predicting that China will overtake the US to become the world's biggest economy within the next ten years given its current rates of growth. No wonder businessmen are scrambling to take advantage of the many business opportunities the country is offering.
To get the most benefit from doing business in China, however, businessmen need to have some proficiency in Mandarin, the most spoken Chinese dialect with over a billion speakers. Although Westerners can rely on translators to communicate, Chinese business relationships are determined by guanxi, or connections. This means that the Chinese see interpersonal relationships as essential in the formation of professional and business relations. This does not mean that you have to be friends, but it does mean that you have to be able to speak some Chinese to be able to make the small talk and pleasantries that are so important to harmonious dealings.
Inevitably, many will question the value of taking the trouble to learn Mandarin given that an increasing number of Chinese are learning how to speak English. Why not rely on them to help you deal with Chinese businessmen and bureaucrats? The reason is simple: Chinese value relationships. They will appreciate the effort you've taken to at least be able to learn some of their language and will reward you accordingly by being a bit more sympathetic to your cause, compared with a businessman who may offer better terms, but displays more cultural insensitivity. In addition, speaking Mandarin helps Chinese businessmen develop a certain level of comfort with you that may make it easier for them to do business with you than with your rivals.
And being able to speak Mandarin will also is invaluable when you're doing business in many other countries that have substantial ethnic Chinese populations, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Overseas Chinese have become an increasingly prominent economic presence in these countries and represent a great opportunity to do business. Even though many of these Chinese have become assimilated into their respective societies, they still hold on to their ethnic Chinese roots and would appreciate a Westerner reaching out to them by speaking their language.
Online Chinese lessons are one of the most convenient ways to learn Mandarin, since you have a wide range of modalities available to you. You also have the luxury of being able to study the lessons in your spare time, unlike when taking off-line classes, where you would have to find time for them in a crowded personal schedule. And you have the advantage of being able to avail of personalized instruction through Skype, so that you'll still have that valuable interaction between teacher and student.
To be proficient in the Chinese Language or Mandarin, you must be prepared to learn the language seriously. Online learning is readily available and easily accessible even at home. To find out how easy it is to learn Chinese Online, read Learn Chinese Online today! Or go to http://www.chineseonline.sg/
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