A question that is often heard of is: “Do you need to speak Chinese?” Do you really need to speak Chinese in order to get by normally in China? The short and quick answer is… Yes and no. I can imagine that sounds a bit unclear, so allow me to explain.
If you are planning on travelling through China just for a holiday, then of course it isn’t necessary to pick up Chinese. However if you plan on working, teaching English, studying or living in China; would it be any different then?
Often companies are not worried at all if you are coming to work for them in China and can’t speak any Chinese. The local people in the company usually have enough knowledge of the English language. You will not need to use any Chinese in your daily business life. Some companies might be looking for people that can speak Chinese; this is almost always made knowledgeable during the interviews though.
Now you might be planning to start teaching English in China. You would need to be able to speak Chinese, so you can correct your students properly, right? Wrong.
Often you’ll find that the students that you are teaching will have enough knowledge of the English language. You won’t be required to speak Chinese, and you will definitely be able to get by without being able to speak Chinese.