OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Wednesday, February 5


QUESTION: Thinking of taking a diploma in Mandarin on the side of my degree... no prior experience and culturally European. I do speak three languages though (French and German) Should I go for it?


  1. I'd say go for it. Mandarin is widely spoken and is definitely an asset to have for employment. It will open up a lot of job opportunities!

  2. Ja, warum nicht? Je mehr sprachen man kennt, desto kluger man wird!

  3. Just a warning: Chinese takes a long time to learn. The part of your brain that processes tonal language is separate from the part that processes non-tonal language, and you've never really used it before. You will probably find that your comprehension of the written language and grammar comes very quickly while your ability to listen and speak with tones without having to consciously think about it will take time.

  4. Yes if it will come in useful, like you want to do business in china or something. Mandarin is hard to learn, and you won't find it at all similar to the french, german, or english

  5. I definitely recommend it!! I'm of European descent as well and I also speak English, French and German. I have been studying Mandarin for the past two years and I think it's very rewarding. However, I have also studied in Japan for a while, so writing the characters is relatively easy for me. Honestly, the speaking and listening are the most challenging aspects. My advice is just to seek out as many opportunities as possible. Take classes, meet some Chinese friends, start listening to Mandarin music - you just have to expose yourself to the language as much as you can. So while it is really challenging, it's also incredibly rewarding. I study for about 15 hours/week (at least 10 hours going over writing/reading/vocab and about 5 hours speaking with friends/coworkers) and I'm just beginning to notice improvements in my comprehension and speaking skills.
    Hopefully this was helpful! Good luck!!

    1. Agree most of the above comment, except don't listen to Mandarin music. Most contemporary singers have more or less some accent and it will ends up confusing you more. For the most correct pronunciation, listen to Chinese news channels, it also helps you learn some of their culture.

  6. Do it, mate. Having another language on your belt equals more opportunities/open doors!