Even though Chinese is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn, millions of people are studying it across the globe as a second language. Chinese language courses have also become very popular in the US over the last few decades. You can find a wide variety of Chinese language & literature programs ranging from accredited university degrees to basic level short courses. There are even a few schools and centers that specialize in offering custom designed courses for Americans and Canadians of Chinese ancestry. Chinese Dialects and China’s Role in Promoting Standard Mandarin
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Chinese is a rich language with a broad range of dialects. Opinion is divided as to whether all of these dialects can be considered to be part of the same language as many forms of Chinese are mutually unintelligible. Standard Cantonese and Mandarin are the two most commonly used dialects of Chinese language. Standard Mandarin is also the official language of mainland China and Taiwan. Studies indicate that since, Chinese courses have been introduced in many universities and colleges across the US. China-based educational institutes such as National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language and Confucius institute are also nurturing these programs in many countries.
Types of Programs and Courses
Basic level courses instruct students in writing Chinese characters, reading simple words, and rules of grammar. Many of these courses also utilize a host of multimedia technologies to help students with learning proper pronunciation. These programs enable students to learn short sentences that they can use in simple conversations and dialogues. In addition to taking introductory courses, you can even undertake a degree in Chinese language and literature. Degrees in Chinese are available at Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate levels. Some schools specialize in offering degree programs in linguistics, semantics, and calligraphy. A number of Chinese language certifications and short diplomas are available as well.
Students who wish to learn Chinese at an advanced level can also opt to study at some of the top schools like Mandarin Training Center (MTC) in the People's Republic of China. But learners who are not interested in relocating to China can pursue one of the distance learning programs, which offer convenience and award degrees that have the same value as an on-campus program.
Benefits of Online Programs
Many people prefer to learn Chinese through online programs as they offer flexibility in terms of schedule and are usually more affordable compared to traditional on-campus degrees. These online lessons use all sorts of multimedia files and interactive applications to bring fun and ease to the process of learning Chinese. Learners can also take advantage of pronunciation software to improve their speaking skills. Some online schools even provide free reading material and live video streams of lectures.
Whether you wish to become a translator or are interested in pursuing a career as a Chinese interpreter, courses in Chinese can prepare you for a variety of jobs. People with a degree in Chinese language can even become instructors and researchers. There are a number of jobs opportunities in both private companies and government sectors. Corporations with business relationships in China often employ people with expertise in Chinese languages.