About Chinese

Why Study Chinese?

China has one of the oldest and richest cultures in the world. Mandarin Chinese is the language with the greatest number of native speakers in the world. In the People’s Republic of China alone Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue of over 873 million people, and approximately another 400 million people speak Chinese outside of China. Chinese is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

China is the world’s most rapidly developing country and the second largest economy of the world, which means it will play a major role in world affairs in the future. It is also one of the largest trading partners of the United States. Proficiency in Chinese will be a great advantage in the job market and for career advancement due to the growing global importance of Chinese products and services. Many students and professionals around the world are studying Chinese, which also means learning about Chinese culture and world view.  earning the language is an essential tool in preparing oneself for careers in political science, international affairs, international business, economy, business, international law, and others.

What Does the Chinese Program Offer?

  • Our minor in Chinese Studies prepares students to become active participants in an increasingly globalized and multicultural world and to be equipped for job opportunities. It is comprised of 18 credits, including 4 Chinese language courses (12 credits) and 2 additional interdisciplinary courses (6 credits). The following are the recommended interdisciplinary courses that you can choose from: ART 333A, HST 240, PHL 310N, POL 377, WLC 130. Other courses related to China may be substituted for these support courses.

  • The Chinese language program offers two years of Mandarin Chinese: Elementary Chinese I & II (CHI 101-102) and Intermediate Chinese I & II (CHI 201-202). Students learn to read, write, speak and understand Mandarin Chinese, while also learning about Chinese culture.

  • Minor in World Languages: The minor in world languages consists of 18 credits (six courses) in any two languages offered by the department. Students may use credits in Chinese language towards the minor in world languages.

  • Study abroad opportunities are available in China. See the Center for International Education for more information about short-term or long-term study in China.

  • A multicultural setting in which to study Chinese, including many international students and visiting scholars from China who live on campus, as well as excellent collections of Chinese arts at the Peabody Essex Museum in downtown Salem.

  • Free tutors for Chinese students are available through the Language Resource Center.