How Long Will It Take To Learn Chinese For Business
Want to learn the Chinese language for business?
If you are, then good for you. Whether you need it for your job right now, or in the future, it’s always a good idea to diversify your skillset and portfolio.
Learning a new language, especially one that’s commonly-spoken such as Chinese, is one way to make yourself look like a better hire or even put yourself in a better position to get promoted.
However, business Chinese is different from learning just conversational Chinese.
To be business proficient in Chinese, you need to be able to read Chinese in a technical sense. Not only that, but you need to be able to understand it as well, and hold a proper conversation in the language.
Put simply, it won’t be easy.
This is why the most common questions among professionals who want to take a Chinese business class is, how long it takes for someone to become proficient in business Chinese.
Achieving Full Professional Proficiency in Chinese
There are five levels of language proficiency, with the first being elementary proficiency and the fifth, as well as highest, being Native or Bilingual proficiency.
To be proficient in business Chinese, you’d have to be at the level of Full Professional Proficiency, which is just a step below Native or Bilingual proficiency.
Being this proficient in Chinese means that you can use the language fluently and accurately enough to perform your job correctly without any guidance.
This means that you can participate in conversations, both formal and informal, as well as understand written Mandarin.
Achieving this kind of proficiency can take hundreds of hours. In fact, if your native language is English, learning Chinese requires you to learn a different sound of symbols and sounds from what you’re used to.
This drastically increases the amount of time it takes for you to be fluent in the language.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if it took you as many as 1,000 to 2,000 class hours to be proficient in business Chinese.
Speeding Up the Chinese Language Acquisition Process
Given that learning Mandarin might take you years to the point that you are proficient in the language in a professional capacity, it’s only natural to want to know if there are ways to speed up the process.
You’d be glad to know that there are ways to cut down on your learning time.
For starters, taking the time to learn Mandarin outside of the Chinese business class is a huge help. So is immersing yourself in the language.
Slowly integrating Chinese into your daily life by switching your phone’s default language to Mandarin, watching media in Mandarin, or reading books in Mandarin, as well as talking in Mandarin, can all make for a faster language-acquisition process.
Of course, it’ll still take a long time and require you to put in a lot of effort.
This is why it’s recommended to learn the Chinese language as early as possible.
In the end, you shouldn’t try to worry too much about how much time it takes for you to learn the language.
What’s important is that you put in the effort and try to enjoy it.
Eventually, you should be able to learn the language and feel the joys of being able to speak Mandarin proficiently and fluently at a near-native level.