Ever since China implemented the new economic reform policy in late 1978 and opened its door for foreign investments, United States and other countries have established manufacturing facilities in China to take advantage of its cheap and skilled labor forces. Over the years, China has accumulated large foreign exchange reserves as a result of its ever increasing exports to the US as well as to the rest of the world. In turn, China has used this wealth to reinvest in US Treasury bonds , real estates , and businesses .
All these activities promote closer personal relationships between the two countries. English has long been a second language of choice for most Chinese citizens. Most Americans begin to find that being able to understand and speak Chinese provides a valuable social skill as well as better job opportunity.
The Chinese language dates back more than 4000 years to one of the oldest known civilization on Earth, Like the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Sumerian cuneiform , the Chinese language had its origin in recording the every day events in drawings which were simplified picture of the objects seen in the surroundings. Then, sounds were associated with theses drawings so that people could communicate with one another.
Over the millennium, these symbolic drawings with the unique sounds were refined and evolved into the Chinese language we know in the present day. Unlike the Latin and English language where words are made of alphabets, each Chinese character is unique and made of strokes . Unlike the Latin and English language where if you can pronounce the word, you can more or less write it. Each Chinese character can only be learned through practice and memorization .
There are 37 pronunciation symbolsthat are used to help reading the Chinese characters correctly. Some characters can be pronounced with the help of one symbol while the others may need two but not more than three symbols. In addition, 4 special annotations are used to denote the tone of each character. Unlike the English language where tones are used to express a question, command, or a general statement, the Chinese character can be misinterpreted with the incorrect tone.
The best way to write Chinese proficiently is through practice till each character becomes a second nature . Each Chinese character is made of strokes. Through writing each stroke in its proper position and order , the character takes shape and etches in memory .
After reading and writing around 300 Chinese characters by heart, you are ready to learn how to speak, understand, and carry on a simple conversation. In order to read Chinese newspaper or carry on a meaningful conversation, you need to know at least 1500 Chinese characters. Go to my profile to find out more about read/write Chinese.