Ni Hao (你好) China!

Mandarin – A key to unlock opportunities


Widely spoken culturally rich language!

About 1.3 billion people (approximately 16% of the global population) speak a variety of Chinese as their first language thereby making it the world’s most spoken native language. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Chinese is the official language in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Singapore. It is spoken in 20 more countries as mother tongue by a part of the population.

When you learn Mandarin, not only do you know the language, but you understand the Chinese way of life too.

China is one of the oldest continuing civilisations in the world like India. Both, India and China, share unique socio-cultural bonding since ages. Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism formed the sacred tripod of Chinese philosophy.

Chinese is not as hard as you think it to be!

Chinese language has developed a misconceived reputation for difficulty for several reasons primarily due to the alien nature of its writing system.

Thanks to technology, writing Chinese is much easier than it used to be! Instead of memorizing all the strokes for each character, to write Chinese on a computer or phone, you just need to learn Pinyin (拼音) – a simple tool for writing Chinese characters using the Latin alphabet.

You do not need an excellent memory to learn Chinese, but rather it is the Chinese language that helps improve memory. The difficulty of Chinese words appears to be overestimated. Chinese etymology is very logical. Every Chinese character has its significance and is then used as a part of other words. You can often guess the meaning of a word by knowing the most commonly used Chinese characters, which are the ‘building blocks’ for words. For example, the character 机 (meaning machine) is often used as a suffix to verbs to make a noun.

Chinese grammar is easier than that of European languages. It’s quite reasonable to be able to speak basic, conversational Chinese without having studied much grammar because the Chinese language does not have complex grammatical features, such as tenses, cases, gender plural forms of nouns.

Booming prospects of higher education

As per official data updated in 2020, there are 541 Confucius Institutes, funded and arranged by the Chinese International Education Foundation affiliated with the government of the People’s Republic of China, in 162 countries and regions. Confucius Institutes provide preparatory courses for Chinese Proficiency Test known as HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi), a standardised test conducted by Hanban, an agency of the Ministry of Education (PRC). Qualifying HSK exam increases the probability of admission to Chinese universities. 7 Chinese universities made it to the top 10 Asian universities in 2021 (QS universities ranking). Moreover, HSK is a prerequisite for many scholarships such as Confucius Institute Scholarship, MOFCOM scholarship and CSC scholarship.

Similarly, Republic of China’s (ROC-Taiwan) Ministry of Education conducts another standardised test – Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL). ROC provides Huayu Enrichment Scholarship and MOFA Taiwan Scholarship to pursue higher studies in Taiwanese institutions across different streams.


Attractive Economic Opportunities

China is now the world’s second-largest economy and has earned the name “factory of the world”. China is India’s second-largest trading partner despite the bilateral geopolitical challenges. Brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Oneplus, Motorola, Lenovo, Honor, Gionee, Haier, Miniso, Volvo (owned by Geely) and MG (owned by SAIC) have become household names in India.

Chinese investors have funded ubiquitous app-based Indian start-ups such as Ola, Paytm, BigBasket, Snapdeal, Zomato, Swiggy, BYJU’s, Ibibo, Make my Trip, Gaana, Hike, MX Player, Practo etc.

As per the report by FICCI, Chinese companies, including BYD, BAIC, Shougang International, Sino Hydro Corporation, Huawei Technologies, ZTE, TCL, Shanghai Electric, Shenyang Electric, TBEA Energy India Pvt. Ltd. etc., have hugely invested in Indian industry sectors like Automobile, Services, Power, Metallurgy, Construction etc.

Over the past decade, several Taiwanese companies under the banner of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) have collaborated with industry bodies like FICCI, PHD Chamber etc to set up their base in India and invest in diverse sectors. Acer, ASUS, D-Link, Transcend, Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron Corp., Quanta Computer Inc., MediaTek, Transcend, Gigabyte, MSI, Advantech, Edimax, and Maxxis are some of the notable Taiwanese companies doing business in India.


Since the number of Chinese speakers in India is rather less, there are ample opportunities of translation and interpretation from English and other regional languages to Chinese and vice-versa. However, the perks of learning Chinese are not limited to that. Chinese language skills can also be used as a tool to effectively render duties in the following sectors:

  • Academia (literature, Sinology)
  • Research and analysis
  • Embassies
  • Government ministries
  • Media (radio, journalism)
  • Legal advisory (bilateral trade and commerce associations)
  • MNCs (engineering, finance, public relations)
  • BPO and KPO
  • Entrepreneurship (tech start-up)
  • Business (import-export)
  • Hospitality sector
  • Aviation sector
  • Tourism (professional travel blogger)
  • Sports (international tournaments)
  • Art (calligraphy, opera)
  • Freelance translation and interpretation


Course Details (Syllabus)

Course Structure :-

  • Medium of instruction: English and Chinese
  • Number of contact hours: 30 hours (4 hours/week)
  • Duration of the course: 3 months
  • Course Fees: Rs 5000/-

Course Objectives :-

To enable students to meet basic needs for communication and develop the ability to further their Chinese language studies.

Mode of Evaluation :-

  • Written test – 20 marks
  • Speaking – 20 marks
  • Listening – 20 marks
  • Reading – 40 marks
  • Total-100 marks

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • pronounce Pinyin chart sounds reasonably.
  • read and write in Pinyin.
  • recognise and type Chinese characters of HSK 1 vocabulary.
  • use basic Chinese expressions for communication activities necessary in daily life.
  • briefly acquainted with Chinese geography, customs and culture.

Recommended Study Material:

  • HSK Standard Course 1 Textbook (Authorized by Hanban – Office of Chinese Language Council International)
  • HSK Standard Course 1 Workbook
  • Curated brochure on multifaceted Chinese culture

Course Structure:

1 Sound chart 2 Initials and finals of Chinese Pinyin (1)
Tones (Four tones)
Chinese syllables
Strokes of Chinese characters (1)
Single component characters
2 Greetings 2 Initials and finals of Chinese Pinyin (2)
Neutral tone
Rules of Pinyin (1)
Strokes of Chinese characters (2)
Single component characters
3 Self-introduction 2 Differentiate pronunciation of j,q,x and z,c,s
Rules of Pinyin (2)
Simple negative sentence
Interrogative sentence
Strokes of Chinese characters (3)
Stroke order (1)
4 Grammar – possessive pronoun 2 Differentiate pronunciation of zh, ch, sh, r
Rules of Pinyin (3)
Strokes of Chinese characters (4)
Stroke order (2)
Basic sentence structure
Structural particle (de)
5 Number system 2 Retroflex final
Differentiate pronunciation of finals beginning with i, u, ü
Strokes of Chinese characters (5)
Stroke order (3)
Numbers below 100
6 Grammar – modal verb 2 Tone collocation in disyllabic words (1)
Strokes of Chinese characters (6)
Structure of Chinese characters (1)
Modal verb (会)
Sentence with adjectival predicate
7 Date 2 Tone collocation in disyllabic words (2)
Structure of Chinese characters (2)
Chinese radicals (1)
Expression of date
Sentence with serial verb construction
8 Money 2 Tone collocation in disyllabic words (3)
Structure of Chinese characters (3)
Chinese radicals (2)
Measure words
Expression of amount of money
9 Profession 2 Tone collocation in disyllabic words (4)
Structure of Chinese characters (4)
Chinese radicals (3)
Preposition of place
10 Grammar  – conjunction 2 Pronunciation of reduplicated syllables
Pronunciation of words with suffix
Structure of Chinese characters (5)
Chinese radicals (4)
Conjunction (和)
11 Time 2 Function of neutral tone syllables
Chinese radicals (5)
Expression of time
12 Weather 2 Tone collocation in trisyllabic words (1)
Sentence with subject-predicate phrase as predicate
Adverb (太)
13 Grammar – continuous tense 2 Tone collocation in trisyllabic words (2)
Phrase to indicate action in progress
Expression of telephone numbers
14 Shopping 2 Tone collocation in trisyllabic words (3)
Modal particle (了)
Expression of colours
15 Travel 2 Tone collocation in trisyllabic words (4)
Structure to emphasize time, place, manner