Should I learn Chinese in Taiwan or Mainland China?
Both Taiwan and mainland China are attractive to learn the Chinese Language and thousands of international students and adults visit each year to perfect their Mandarin skills. The economic growth, professional development, and cultural interests influence people globally to learn Chinese, but the confusion, which one is the best destination to maximize your experience. The comes the question “Where should I learn Mandarin: Taiwan or Mainland China? Let’s take an insight into what Taiwan and Mainland offer for Mandarin learners then conclude.
Factors to Consider when deciding to study Chinese in China or Taiwan
- Traditional Characters Vs. Simplified Chinese Characters
- Economic opportunities – Size of Economy
- Career Options
- Cultural Insights and Travel Opportunities
- English on the streets
Learn Chinese in Taiwan
What does Taiwan offer for learning Mandarin?
The teaching method of Taiwan is praised all around the world because of better learning opportunities. Just like the Mainland, their teaching style is easy to pick for foreigners, and teachers are friendly to help international students. Learners can learn traditional Chinese characters, and students can identify the language in its ancient glory.
Consider the following aspects before making your decision:
Schools in Taiwan:
Taiwan is considered best for having high qualified learning institutes. Mandarin Training Center (MTC) is the top choice for many students. MTC is founded in 1956 and run high-quality Mandarin Chinese learning programs.
The curriculum of Taiwan for learning Mandarin:
Taiwan uses traditional Chinese characters.
Now, you must be thinking, what’s the benefit of learning traditional Chinese characters as compared to simplified one, Right is? If you are a foreigner, it is easier for you to learn traditional characters might be challenging because its more difficult to write compared with the simplified version. But also, Learning traditional Chinese characters could be fun and set a strong writing skill and you will understand each traditional character’s logical structure.
I know your next question,
Which one is preferable, learning simplified or traditional Chinese characters?
Some experts advise beginners to start with the traditional characters but this advice is for learners who want to get into the literature of Mandarin. Traditional Characters helps you understand the logical structure of the Chinese characters. If you study in mainland China, you will only learn simplified Chinese characters.
Taiwan’s Mandarin Accent
While learning Chinese in Taiwan, you will surely pick some accents- different from what you hear speakers of mainland speakers(Putong Hua). Taiwanese Mandarin is the same as the mandarin used in the different regions of China but for few words, accents and tones. The Taiwanese mandarin is soft, and it softens the sounds like “ch,” “sh,” “zh.” But if you compare the Taiwan accent with mainland China, it differs in the pronunciation. For instance, the pronunciation of garbage in Taiwanese mandarin as “Lese,” we call it “laji” in mainland China.
If you have an interest in exploring the Chinese tradition, Taiwan offers a great opportunity for exposure. Taiwan embraces Chinese culture, and traditional heritage can see throughout the city.
Taiwanese mandarin is attractive, to many except for the accent. If you are learning Mandarin for the first time, you have a good chance to appreciate China’s classic culture.
Taiwan Considered Best Chinese Culture Repertoire:
Taiwan is dominant for the Chinese culture, and without any cultural damage, Taiwan repertoire the Chinese Ideology. Many foreigners who want a better understanding of Chinese culture considered Taiwan as their foremost choice.
Taiwan’s government promotes Chinese culture, and there are different places where Chinese culture can see with diverse perspectives. National Palace Museum has a unique collection of Chinese artworks and artifacts. The collection is collected from the ancient emperors of China.
People in Taiwan:
Taiwanese people are friendly and welcome foreigners warmly. In fact, they help people to learn mandarin and ask people to do practice with them. If you want to explore traditional Chinese heritage with a friendly place, learning Chinese in Taiwan is an incredible choice for you.
Another Important Question,
How much it costs to learn Mandarin in Taiwan?
Considering the budget is the far most important thing to consider than anything else. Many learners choose Taiwan because of affordable budget and scholarship opportunities. The government offers incredible scholarship programs to students for learning Chinese.
Huayu Enrichment Scholarship gives students a stipend to learn Mandarin within six to nine months.
How much time is required to learn Mandarin in Taiwan?
If you want to be sound like a native Chinses, you need a practice of 6 hours a day. Suppose you take 2300 class hours within 88 weeks. Experts estimate that you can become fluent in mandarin.
The key rule is,
“Practice makes perfect.” Remember that learning a second language requires consistency and discipline.
Are you concerned about the Environment?
Most of the foreigner find it easy to adjust to Taiwan because of the supportive and friendly environment. The living standards in Taipei, Taiwan, are high but exceptionally friendly. There is the ease of traveling and rich in cultural value. Taiwan is one of the best for international people to live and interact with the best people.
Why learn Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan – Final Suggestion
Taiwan’s official language is Mandarin, and you can interconnect with the Chinese people that improve. You can see traditional Chinese heritage and Taiwanese people are super supportive of international students. The government offer on budget learning programs and tons of universities are offering incredible scholarship programs. I have seen many foreigners living in Taiwan and happily exploring the traditional culture of China.
Now, let us talk about Mainland China,
Learn Chinese in china
What does Mainland China offer for learning Mandarin?
Several International Students and expats like to learn Chinese in China because of the simplified nature of their version of Mandarin, they also explore more economic opportunities, and acquire the original standardized accents. Mainland China is offering incredible Chinese learning programs. In the mainland, the popular school for learning mandarin is Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), which was opened in 1962. If you are looking to study Chinese in China or an internship in China, CIP offers one of the best study abroad opportunities
Let us take an insight into what Mainland China is offering:
Schools in Mainland:
Mainland China has many institutions that are offering learning opportunities to foreigners’ students. Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) is known for offering incredible Chinese learning programs. They have the best teachers and textbooks that help international students to learn mandarin. Peking University, Beijing Normal University Chinese Language Program, Fudan University Semester Mandarin or Shanghai Jiaotong University programs.
The curriculum of Mainland China for learning Mandarin:
Mainland uses Simplified Chinese Characters.
Simplified Chinese characters are used all accross the world. As many Chinese move to do business abroad, it is very beneficial to learn simplified characters. If you aim to learn simplified Chinese characters, then consider mainland china. It is the fastest route to learning Mandarin. It is an ideal place to learn the best Chinese learning programs under the supervision of qualified teachers. Many foreigners choose to study in Mainland China because they feel it is the standard language spoken all over China and the world, especially in Beijing. In mainland China, Pinyin is used as the official phonetic system for new learners. As your writing skills are not solid yet, it is easier to use the romanized version (ABC….Z) of the Chinese characters.
Mastering the Basics: Mandarin Learners
Mandarin is a tonal language, which means a slight change in the word’s pronunciation can alter the meaning. It is crucial to learn the different tones. There are four primary tones that you need to learn. These are also taught in class, so your proficiency comes from practicing on the streets
Mainland China mandarin learning programs teach international students and you acquire the authentic professional Mandarin accent. The four primary tones are the following:
- The first tone is flat high tone; there is no rise or dip in the voice.
- The second one is the raising voice; your voice pitch gets high tone from low to medium.
- The third tone is the dipping, where the voice goes from medium to low.
- The fourth is lowering the pitch; there is a rapid change in the voice from high to low.
How much it costs to learn Mandarin in China?
The fees depend upon the selection of the institution where you want to learn Mandarin. In Mainland China, every university has different criteria and fee structure for learning Mandarin. Many institutions offer scholarship programs for an international student where a monthly stipend is given.
Let us compare the cost of two main institutions that offer the best mandarin learning programs. If you select BLCU, it will cost you $1700 with a 20-hour class per week. At the same time, MTC costs you $945 with 15 hours per class.
Learning Environment of Mainland China:
Mainland China is incredibly diverse, and there are many places to explore. There are plenty of modern facilities, and you can interact with many qualified Chinese leaners. If you plan to study in mainland China, students can explore different places like Beijing or Shanghai, Xian, Harbin, or even Tibet on a weekend break.
Many foreigners also select the mainland because there are many job opportunities or meet with the best entrepreneurs. Students consider this as a plus point to find a job while studying.
The practice of Speaking Mandarin:
It takes time to adopt the accent and words of a new language. If you adopt the following things, you can learn mandarin quickly, no matter you are studying in Taiwan or Mainland China.
Hangout with native Chinese people:
Make friendship with native Chinese people and ask them to help you in learning their native language. Even a simple 5-minute daily conversation can make an enormous difference. You can ask them to go out for a simple meal or a 5-minute walk.
Eat a meal at local Chinese restaurants:
At the local restaurants, you can meet local folks of china. You can interact with them and can practice your second language. Usually, the menu card is in Chinese, not in English; it is a good opportunity to test your skills.
Watch Chinese TV shows:
This is one of the best ways to learn Chinese words pronunciation, hear proper tones. Just taking admission to any university would not make you a native. You need to hear and practice to speak like a native.
So Should you learn mandarin in Mainland China or Taiwan?
Now, you know about both mainland China and Taiwan, offering countless opportunities to international students. It depends upon you which one preferable for you as per budget and goal. Both destinations are fabulous to explore the Chinese Language and culture as well as make new friends but the mainland offers extra opportunities for career development and networks. So, the choice is yours. Never stop learning because there is always room for improvement. I know the start is always difficult for many international students, but your consistency and passion can win your dream goal.