The importance of knowing the language when traveling abroad to China can hardly be overstated. The most basic reason for learning at least a little bit of Chinese is simply being able to get around. No one wants to be in a foreign land and have no idea how to find a bathroom, for example. Understanding the language allows travelers to know what food they’re ordering in a restaurant, get directions and communicate with taxi drivers, read signs, handle transactions when shopping, and many other very basic activities. Trying to communicate with gestures alone can be very frustrating.
Knowing some Chinese also gives opportunities for a deeper experience of the country. Travelers who can speak the language simply get more out of their trips. They can communicate with locals and not come across as someone who expects to be accommodated. While it is true that many Chinese people can speak English, travelers shouldn’t count on this. Not everyone in China knows English, and those who do will appreciate the effort made to learn their language. Travelers will also be able to understand more of what they see when visiting sites if they know some Chinese. There are many more chances to learn new things and experience the culture when you can understand what people are saying.
China is a country with a very old and rich cultural history. As it becomes more and more technologically advanced, China is gaining increasing importance in the rest of the world. This combination of history and growth makes it a very interesting time to visit. Travelers can visit centuries-old sites like the Great Wall and experience the traditional culture, while seeing first-hand why China is seemingly becoming the next world superpower.
If you are traveling to China we recommend you look at buying one of our travel phone‘s which work in China, making contacting and being contacted by friends and relatives far easier.
Helpful Online Resources for Learning the Chinese Language
Chinese for Travel Survival lessons in spoken Mandarin
Watch to Learn Chinese Dozens of beginner video lessons
eLanguageSchool Podcasts, grammar, exercises, and more
Clear Chinese Learn basic sentences
Beginner’s Chinese Tutorial Pronunciation, characters, Chinese for children, and more
PopUp Chinese Intermediate lessons with interesting topics
Classes for All Levels Includes many intermediate pages
Watch to Learn – Advanced Videos for more experienced Chinese learners
The History of the Language
Chinese Language Facts History of spoken and written Chinese
Chinese Language Profile Development of and current information on the language
History of Chinese An easy-to-read overview