Discover the Middle Kingdom of opportunities with ‘Chinese for Business’

Posted in: employability, foreign languages, intercultural competence

你好 Nǐ hǎo language enthusiasts, curious minds, and future global leaders!

If you’re keen to learn more about one of the world’s economic powerhouses and how to communicate with Chinese partners in a business context, why not sign up for the Skills Centre’s new beginner-level ‘Chinese for Business’ course in Semester 2?

Why learn Chinese?

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. As China continues to play a significant role on the international geopolitical and economic stage, there’s no better time to future proof your skills by learning this language.

Here are some facts about China and the Chinese economy:

  • Vast consumer base
    China, or ‘Middle Kingdom’  (中国 Zhōngguó) in Chinese, has a population of over 1.4 billion. This vast consumer base opens up enormous opportunities for international businesses.
  • Impressive GDP growth
    Over the past four decades China has experienced impressive GDP growth. Estimated at $17,786 billion, it’s now the second-largest economy in the world and a magnet for foreign investment. It's also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.
  • Technological advancement
    China is making significant strides in technology and e-commence, with companies like Huawei, Tencent, and Alibaba gaining global prominence. Understanding Chinese can be beneficial if you're interested in partnerships with Chinese tech companies or the digital economy.
  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
    First announced in 2013, China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or One Belt One Road (一带一路 Yīdài yīlù) in Chinese, aims to strengthen infrastructure, trade, and investment links with countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The BRI now has more than 150 member countries.

Learning to speak Chinese will give you a solid grounding in the unique needs of this huge market and allow you to engage successfully with it.

What does the 'Chinese for Business' course offer?

Our 10-week ‘Chinese for Business’ course adopts a holistic learning approach and aims to give you a solid basis to communicate in Mandarin Chinese in a range of business-related contexts.

Beyond the core language component, you’ll also explore the following areas:

  • Chinese workplace practices and culture

Language is a key to understanding culture. Learning Mandarin provides insights into Chinese traditions, customs, and social norms. This cultural awareness is crucial in building meaningful relationships and conducting business effectively in China.

The course will go beyond vocabulary and grammar and look at different aspects of Chinese business etiquette and customs.

  • Chinese society within a business context

Of course, business doesn't exist in isolation; it's very much part of wider society.

The course will help you understand the connections between Chinese society and business, gain valuable insights into how culture shapes business practices, and develop a nuanced understanding that extends beyond the workplace.

  • Chinese social media in workplace communications

In an era where digital communication is king, you’ll learn how to navigate and explore the current Chinese social media landscape. From WeChat to Weibo, you’ll discover how these platforms play a key role in today’s workplace communications.

  • Intercultural competence to enhance employability

Success in the global marketplace demands more than language skills; it requires intercultural acumen – i.e. an ability to understand and deal with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The course will help you develop your intercultural skills so you can navigate different cultural contexts, boosting your employability in an interconnected world.

Who can take part?

The course is designed for complete beginners or those with some basic understanding of Chinese.

Chinese is a tonal language with a unique writing system based on characters. Learning it is a stimulating intellectual challenge which requires patience, resilience and good problem-solving capabilities. It demonstrates to potential employers that you’re dedicated, open-minded, and willing to go the extra mile to enhance your skills.

So, 言归正务 (yán guī zhèng wù), let’s get down to business! We can’t wait to welcome you on this exciting new course!

The Skills Centre is also running beginner-level business courses in French and German in Semester 2.

Posted in: employability, foreign languages, intercultural competence

Find out more about the Chinese for Business course


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