Regardless of whether or not you live in China, learning Chinese is bound to give you a leg up in the life. Consider that while China’s economy continues to grow at a faster rate than most other large nations, it is the leader in online commerce and connectivity. Recently I was talking with some of my American friends about how they pay for things back home, and I was surprised to hear they still use those ancient plastic cards. What, no WeChat? No Alipay?
This growth has naturally led to Chinese people getting more and more involved in business, travel, trade, study, and really all manner of economic activity on the world stage. Chinese culture is now present in every major city in the west, and so the benefits of Chinese can be reaped whether you end up staying in China or not. Knowing how to communicate easily in Chinese will inevitably raise your human capital immeasurably.
More important than all of that, however, is the fact that learning Chinese will change you. It will broaden your thinking. It will change your perspective on philosophy, economics, relationships, psychology, society, etc. It will give you 800 Million potential new Mandarin speaking friends, business partners, even lovers. The beauty of this country is often lost on those who do not get a chance to really get inside the heads of the people around them. We’ve never lived in a more tolerant, accepting, and fundamentally kind society as we have here in Chengdu, but it took us conversing with local people to finally see how lovely these people really are. Sure, you’ll make more money knowing Chinese, but we’ve got a sneaking suspicion you might just become a better person in the process.