Sagar Bahadur, 25, learnt Chinese three years ago, when he was studying in Singapore. Today he is convinced that for excelling in the corporate world, knowledge of Chinese language is a must. Sagar is just one of growing tribe of Chinese learners.
“China finds a mention in almost all case studies, business conversations. Infact when anyone consults me where to expand in terms of business, the first country that strikes me is China. We all know that China will be superpower in the next few years. And if we know Chinese, it will be so much easier to explore the synergies,” Sagar who is now studying Chinese in a local institute said.
Forget the traditional foreign languages—French, German and Spanish which one picked mainly as a hobby or to become translators. Chinese is now emerging as a hot choice both among students and businessmen to broaden one’s professional skills.
Agrees prof Anita Sharma, head of Department of East Asia studies, Delhi University. “ When I was learning Chinese, several decades back, there were just 2-3 students in the class. Today the number of students who are learning Chinese in Delhi University has increased by more than three times in the last three years.
Infact besides our department five more colleges had to start teaching Chinese because of the growing demand.”
Maintaining that the growth in economic relation between India and China had been a major factor in the demand to learn Chinese she said: “ You will be surprised many students are learning Chinese for their research work.”
Says a Chinese teacher: “Many people who are in business are asking their children to learn Chinese. I have many students who are businessmen themselves. The global business market has been captured by China. So any ambitious businessman cannot afford not to know Chinese,’
Observing that the number of student enrolment in her institute had increased by nearly 50% in the last three years, Purnima Garg, director of The Chinese Language Institute says: “ Research shows that study of Chinese, develops both sides of the brain. Trade between India and China is booming. So anyone who is interested in international trade has to learn Chinese. I however try to keep my batch small so that the language is understood properly.”
And it not just teenagers and middle age businessmen who are learning Chinese. The Rashtriya Military School Chail has introduced Chinese language for its 6th grade students as a pilot project from April this year. The fundamental theory behind introducing this is that if the cadet is skilled in the language it will be an added asset for him when he joins the defence service.