Is Chinese the language of the future?
China's population was 1.439 billion in 2020, an increase of 72 million since the last census in 2010. Most economists expect the country, which is close behind the United States as the world's second largest economy, to eventually become the world's largest economy.
Mastering Mandarin Chinese, the world's most widely spoken language, increases the chances of better understanding a world that has changed dramatically in recent decades.
Having commercial texts translated into Chinese is also a way to close advantageous business deals, giving you a competitive advantage.
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1. Chinese influence linked to the economy
Whether or not China is in first place, there is no doubt that, as the world's second largest economy, the influence of its main language is only growing.
The Chinese aim to outdo their US rivals in all areas: banking (de-dollarisation), economic, technological, military, industrial, conquest of space, etc.
As the second language on the Internet, Chinese has seen its share of users grow by 2,650% between 2000 and 2021, reaching almost 20% of the global total, according to Internet World Stats.
As a result, the Chinese language is used by a growing number of institutions. The official body is the Hanban or "National Office for the Teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language", which is the umbrella organisation for the Confucius Institutes around the world.
2. Simplification of the Chinese language to facilitate its learning
Mandarin originated first from archaic Chinese and then from medieval Chinese: its history involves many dynasties. It is therefore by no means a fixed language.
One of the biggest challenges of learning Chinese, when you are a foreigner, is the thousands of characters called sinograms that you have to master in order to read and write correctly.
Recognising this difficulty, the Chinese government validated the use of pinyin in 1979 as the official system of language romanisation.
In this way, the main barrier to learning the language disappears in favour of a system that also facilitates the pronunciation of the different tones.
3. Exponential growth in Chinese translation
For all translation agencies, the market share of Chinese translations has been growing substantially for years, as many companies wishing to establish themselves in China have recurring needs in this field, which undoubtedly has a bright future.
We have ranked the Translators' Association of China (TAC) (a member of the International Federation of Translators since 1987) among the top 8 translators' associations in the world.
4. Current barriers to Chinese language development
Despite its strong economic performance, China also faces unsettled times after years in which global trade has been complicated by the health issue.
It is therefore possible that the Chinese are temporarily losing interest as attitudes change. Some have preferred to turn inwards: abandoning "made in China", returning to their own culture, or even turning to the supposed ease of English.
But China will remain the country to watch in the future. Chinese is already an important language and will only grow. If one wants to make a point on this, one could say that, although it is not necessarily the only language of the future, it is certainly a language with a great future.
At AbroadLink, we can help you with quality business translations into Chinese: our renowned translators are native speakers.
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Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.
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