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8 Reasons Why You Should Learn Mandarin

Hong Kong Living | September 5, 2016

Do you want to learn Chinese while living in Hong Kong? Why? Which answer(s) below, best describe you?

  1. You’re interested in learning Chinese culture.  
  2. You want to be able to communicate effectively in Hong Kong.
  3. You’re interested in connecting with over 1.3 billion people in the world.
  4. You want people to think you’re smarter than Marc Zuckerburg.
  5. You want to learn an international language good for business.
  6. You’re interested in learning a language that will increase your brain-power.
  7. You want to be able to watch old Shaw Brothers movies without using subtitles.
  8. You want to impress your Chinese girlfriend or boyfriend.


How many answers did you select? One? Several? All? Regardless of your intention, when you’ve decided to learn Chinese, you’ve begun a journey with one of the world’s most powerful languages.


Hong Kong is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan and urbane cities. Although the majority of the people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, a Chinese dialect, Mandarin is becoming more popular in the city and as it becomes more ubiquitous, it’s a great time for you to learn!


Let’s take a look at some reasons why you may want to invest in learning Mandarin while living in Hong Kong.


  1. It’s Easier Than You Think — One thing that has prevented most language learners from attempting to learn Mandarin is the level of difficulty. The mixture of tones, confusing grammar, and Chinese characters can intimidate anyone who is new to the language. However, once you learn the foundation of the language, how things work and fit together, it’s a matter of memory and practice. In addition to great language learning centers in Hong Kong, there is no shortage of online training material, software, apps and books to assist you with your journey.


  1. Hong Kong’s Youth Have An Appreciation For Mandarin – The young people in Hong Kong are moving towards English and Mandarin for business and education. Although the Hong Kong youth still have an appreciation for Cantonese and traditional culture, they understand the practical reasons to learn Mandarin. If you’re a foreigner who has who is new to the city and has children, consider enrolling your child in a school that teaches Mandarin. The majority of primary schools in Hong Kong teach children using Mandarin and the next generation of Hong Kongers will more than likely speak Mandarin as their primary language.


  1. It’s The Second Most Popular Language In Hong Kong — While Cantonese is the foundation of Hong Kong’s culture, the city has been embraced Mandarin as the new lingua franca. One of the main reasons Hong Kongers have learned the language is to conduct business with mainland Chinese who are vital to Hong Kong’s tourism.


  1. Increase Brain Power — Learning to read and write, the base number of Chinese characters improves memory and brain development. Other studies have noted that learning Mandarin has cognitive benefits, especially valuable for young students whose brains are still developing. Adults benefit as well! When you learn a tonal language, you’re exercising different parts of your brain, helping you think differently. This also is one of the reasons why many Asian students excel at math, the Chinese language teaches mathematical concepts inherently.


  1. You Can Have 1 Billion Friends – Okay, well you may not make a billion friends, but you can communicate using one of the most widely spoken languages on earth. Although English is still a common language, there is a strong possibility that Mandarin may surpass it as the most common language in the world.


  1. Business — You don’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg to realize how valuable Mandarin is when it comes to business. China has one of strongest economies in the world and many foreigners who live in Hong Kong realize how valuable the language is. Chinese counterparts and business associates will definitely be impressed by your attempt to embrace their culture. Making an attempt at learning the language will help create better work relationship and tear down cultural barriers. In addition, Mandarin is handy in Hong Kong as more employers want workers who speak the language.

If you do any work in the government, you’ll find Mandarin extremely useful as well.  


  1. Chinese Culture — One of the most attractive aspects of learning Mandarin is gaining access to the Chinese culture. The culture is over 5,000 years old and learning the language provides you with the opportunity to learn poetry, literature, and art.


  1. Popularity — It’s not only the Americans who are learning Mandarin. Other countries such as Australia have implemented Mandarin into their national curriculum. Countries in Europe are learning the language as well. In Hong Kong, you’re bound to make new acquaintances and meet with other foreigners who may not speak any English and use Mandarin as a second language.


Hong Kong is an amazing city, arming yourself with the correct linguistic tools will help make your stay in the city not only enjoyable, but rewarding. In a city that is finance conscientious, learning Mandarin may be one of the safest investments you can make.


Places To Learn Mandarin in Hong Kong

Mandarin House

Hong Kong Language School  

Hong Kong Mandarin School

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