You need to learn Chinese quickly for your new job — what should you do? Where do you start?
Your friends recommend a few places to learn basic Chinese. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough. No doubt learning basic Chinese will help you improve your general communication, but not for a business environment. In other words, if you just learn from materials designed for general Chinese, you just won’t be able to apply much of it to your real-life situations at work.
So, what really makes learning Chinese for work different from general communication Chinese?
It’s the vocabulary. Chinese people use different phrases, expressions, and words in an office setting, not to mention technical terms. In fact, this is the same as almost every other language. Think about it. Would you use the same vocabulary and language with your professional colleagues or boss that you do with your circle of friends?? Or would you likely speak more formally and technically?
Now that you know why learning Chinese business vocabulary is essential, let’s check out the best tips to develop your vocabulary for work quickly!
How to learn Chinese for work effectively?
1. Read bilingual newspapers
This may sound like an old-fashioned method, but it never fails to be effective. Normally, news articles are written in a professional and formal manner, so you can easily pick up common phrases used for business. A bilingual news website will be more practical if you’re new to the language. For example, here are some Chinese-English newspapers links for you:
- VOA bilingual news in Chinese and English 双语新闻
- New York Times on China 纽约时报中文网 (click “中英对照” for the bilingual version of the article you want to read)
- Chairman’s Bao
Suppose your native language is not English, and there isn’t any available bilingual news source between your language and Chinese. In that case, you can use Google Translate to translate a Chinese business article roughly, and there you go — a bilingual piece of news!
2. Buy a business Chinese language course
Rather than going to a basic Chinese class, you should study a course specifically designed for a working or business environment. You will learn through more suitable topics of conversation like introducing yourself in a business meeting or making work complaints. The only downside of this approach is that it’s pretty costly. You may want to watch some free clips on the Internet before buying a course. For example, here are some free and useful teaching videos about business Chinese:
- Learn Chinese Business Language 25 Minutes!
- Business Chinese workshop | 60 words & phrases
- 100 Essential Business Sentences
3. Learn Chinese business vocabulary through flashcards
Pandanese can help you with this! Pandanese is a web-based Chinese learning application that helps you learn Chinese vocabulary for business, school, travel, and more. The app’s core method is to give you unique flashcards equipped with fun mnemonics so you can easily remember new words. It then will continuously quiz you based on the Spacing Repetition System (SRS) until the new items are fully encoded in your brain. These are all top-notch, scientifically proven memory aids to help you learn and memorize more effectively.
Try out the Pandanese learning app to master Chinese business vocabulary for FREE!
Vocabulary is the key to helping you succeed in learning Chinese for work. With persistence and the right method, you will definitely conquer Chinese and make the most out of your career or business in China.
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