[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1564475746290{padding-top: 50px !important;padding-bottom: 50px !important;}”][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Singapore Expat Essential: Definitely Mandarin” heading_tag=”h1″ main_heading_color=”#222222″ sub_heading_color=”#222222″ spacer=”line_only” spacer_position=”bottom” line_height=”1″ line_color=”” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Poppins|font_call:Poppins|variant:500″ main_heading_style=”font-weight:500;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:28px;” sub_heading_font_family=”font_family:Poppins|font_call:Poppins|variant:500″ sub_heading_style=”font-weight:500;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:28px;” sub_heading_margin=”margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:30px;” line_width=”60″][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1564475699887{padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]A foreigner coming to Singapore to work for a year or two almost invariably does not recognize the remarkable opportunities for personal and professional growth that are suddenly available. Kudos to the person who sees it as more than simply an opportunity to visit the exotic destinations within immediate reach.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”11959″ img_size=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Persons coming here usually have a few distinctive things in common, among them a thirst to take a bigger bite out of life, to expand horizons, to experience things denied to people back home who are tied to the apron strings of their cocooned environments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Whether for professional or personal reasons, high on that list should be acquiring at least a basic facility in Mandarin. A Westerner has no concept of the cultural chasm between his own culture and that of Chinese; perceptions, thinking processes and value systems are wholly foreign. An understanding and appreciation of things Chinese offer huge benefits in terms of business and personal growth, and a long list of practical advantages.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Speaking, or even attempting to speak, Mandarin sends a message that you live beyond yourself, have intellectual curiosity and – most importantly – are seriously interested in Chinese people. It motivates them to reciprocate by finding out something about you and what you think. Most of all, it makes you more welcome and worthy of a closer relationship. Only speaking Mandarin enables you to achieve this level of receptiveness.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

The advantages for business are obvious. Acquaintance at a personal level is an essential prelude to conducting business, and it gives you an edge over most other Westerners.

Understanding Chinese thinking, culture and history is not trivial, as they differ greatly from those of Westerners in ways you cannot imagine – and have significant consequences.


Even if a Chinese person does not speak Mandarin, true of many living outside China, he will respect you for learning Mandarin and about things Chinese. This alone can open doors to opportunities denied to others.

There are, of course, patent and manifold advantages at a social level, whether impressing someone of the other gender or enlarging a circle of friends.

An important issue usually overlooked in discussions of East and West is that no one should want to be seen as a stereotypical expat. Few Westerners are acquainted with the multitude of perceptions that Asians have of them; most of them are not flattering and would startle most ang mohs. The whys and wherefores for this on both sides are beyond the purview of this discussion, but the fact that they exist make it evident that that nothing will establish a personal and beneficial footing for a Westerner a much as achieving some fluency in Mandarin. Even if you’re speaking to a person of Indian or Malay ethnicity, the fact that you’re making an effort to learn about this region will change the tone of the conversation.

Mandarin is often described as a difficult language.  That may be true if you’re aiming for a very advanced level,

but many learners have studied it for just a few months and are able to converse rather freely. Evaluating cost in time and dollars vs. benefit, it’s a no-brainer. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.