Although I am a native Chinese, I think Chinese language is not a good language tool to communicate information among people.

So when I found there are some people asking some Chinese language questions I was surprised. Why do they learn Chinese?

[Edit] The reason why I think Chinese language is not good at communicating is Chinese characters are not closely connected to oral sound. The fact that Chinese was used for thousands of years doesn't mean it is good at communicating.

I found another post said the people who learn Chinese mostly come from Russia. Then I understand.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Drunken Master, songyuanyao, Claw, NS.X., neubau Nov 22 '14 at 17:15

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Why don't you think Chinese is a good method of communication? Hasn't it served well for many thousands of year? – Cocowalla Nov 21 '14 at 9:16
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    I am afraid this question is to vague and inappropriate for this site, answers will be subjective and partial. But I think people learn Chinese for the same reasons other people learn English or whatever other language: professional goals, pure interest in languages, fun, recreation and cultural motivations. – Drunken Master Nov 21 '14 at 9:18
  • It is one of my ambitions to write a convincing essay demonstrating why our language is the ultimate cause of our dumbness. – George Chen Nov 23 '14 at 18:27
  • @GeorgeChen Good work! – Evan Nov 25 '14 at 3:28

This is a very subjective question, so you will get subjective answers.

TL;DR Many people want to learn Chinese for the same reasons that many Chinese want to learn English.

There are a lot of Chinese people - upwards of 1.3 billion, almost 20% of the population of the entire planet, of whom many are Mandarin speakers.

Many in the 'west' therefore see learning Mandarin as having the possibility to open new career or business opportunities in the future.

Aside from that, the written Chinese language in particular has a real appeal to many who see it as beautiful or intriguing. The spoken language too is intriguing in that tonal languages are alien to most of the western world. These along with an interest in Chinese culture in general, literature, cinema, music etc can spark an interest in learning the language.


I can only tell you why I learned Mandarin, the reason being I wanted to understand the culture at a deeper level. Language is what transmits the culture, and so you need to learn the language to understand the culture. As I suspected then and know now, translation can never do justice to the true essence of culture.

If you can't read or speak the language, you are left with what others will tell you, you have to rely on a mediator, like journalists. And that usually dont work out very well, as people tend to have agendas.

For some, business is the main reason, for me it is just a consequence.

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