Is it Important to Learn Chinese?

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Jawad (right) with 5 other students while on vacation at Shin Kong Zoo, Taiwan. (Private Doc.)

UNAIR NEWS – Being able to speak other languange instead of our mother tongue languange Indonesia or even English in 20th century has indeed become a necessity for certain groups. One of them is Chinese.

UNAIR NEWS managed to meet Muhammad A. S. Jawad, an alumnus of Environmental Engineering batch 2012 of Universitas Airlangga and continuing his master degree at Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU). Jawad explained that Chinese is very popular because there are a lot of Chinese language user around the world.

“This language remains as important language for both business and academic realm,” said Jawad. Although in the beginning, Jawad learn Mandarin to survive in Taiwan, he realized that with China’s massive development in recent years, as well a long and interesting cultural history. Both of these made Jawad continue to study Chinese even though this language has a different level of difficulty from Bahasa Indonesia and English.

“Obviously Mandarin is more difficult and very different from Indonesian and English, because there is a tone system,”he explained.

According to Jawad, reading a newspaper or comic, someone who learns Mandarin must memorize thousands of letters, at least 3,000-5,000 letters. The difference in the use of Chinese writing also adds to the difficulty.

Jawad (right) with 5 other students while on vacation at Shin Kong Zoo, Taiwan. (Private Doc.)

In writing, Taiwan (and Hong Kong) used Traditional Chinese letters. While in China used Simplified letters (characters that are simplified with fewer strokes per character). Whereas verbally, Taiwan and China have no difference.

In overcoming these difficulties, he is more focused on reading activities because being able to read Chinese by self-taught in Indonesia is possible. Based on his experience after learning Chinese from beginning, it similar in learning another language.

“Starting from the alphabet (Bopomofo), then go to the tone, after we understand the letters of the alphabet then we learn to make a simple sentences,” said Jawad.

Finally, Jawad told us that if we want to learn Chinese then we should dedicate a lot of time to learn specificaly in speaking and writing actively then we also need to learn reading and listening passively.

“The important thing is we need to memorize the language every day.” explained Jawad. (*)


Author: Hilmi Putra Pradana

Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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