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Why Mandarin Is Important in Malaysia | Here Are 3 Main Factors

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by Miss Lim Mandarin (MAMA)

Last updated:


Saturday, 8 October 2022

Interesting Facts

Why Mandarin Is Important in Malaysia

1. Career Aspect

1.1 There is increasing demand for jobs that require the Mandarin language as one of the requirements. Based on Jobstreet’s data in 2022, 25% of the total jobs listed require the Mandarin language skill offers you more job options that match your preference.

1.2 Being prioritized during selection process. With the same technical skills and a good attitude, it’s hard for HR to decide to hire which candidates. If you’re able to speak Mandarin it makes you outstanding to other candidates that don’t speak Mandarin. It shows you’re someone who is proactive in learning new things and a better communicator in case of sudden dealing with Chinese clients.

Imagine an expat able to speak Bahasa Malaysia. Definitely he will surprise you. The same for non-Chinese able to speak Mandarin.

1.3 Being treated better by Chinese managers or top management level. If you were able to speak good Mandarin, which in general your Chinese manager would be more open to communicating with you as you might know Chinese culture better than other non-Chinese colleagues assuming your professional skills and attitude are good as well.

With that advantage, you would open yourself more opportunity to handle important tasks & projects. Hence, better chance to get promoted to a higher position.

1.4 Get closer to Malaysian Chinese and pick up their “good values”. As some non-Chinese have these stereotypes towards Chinese are "hardworking", "saving money" & "good at doing business". Well, as a Chinese I feel that might not be a fact, but there are higher chances that a Chinese is hardworking but not all of them. Being able to speak fluent Mandarin allows you to mingle pretty well in the Chinese community regardless of your skin color. In real life, I do see my Malay & Indian friends who speak fluent Mandarin can mingle with Chinese social circles much better than I do (as a Chinese).

1.5 Do a better job when your company’s target customers are Chinese. Yes, most of Malaysian Chinese can speak Bahasa Malaysia. However, if you’re able to speak their mother tongue it creates a unique experience and strong first impression on the Chinese customers. And you do a better job in servicing them, more likely they’re coming back for you.

2. Culture Aspect

2.1 Being more understandable to each other. Learning a new language enables you to learn a new culture including food, religion, and beliefs. By knowing the Chinese culture, we know which one is a myth which one is a stereotype, etc. Then Malaysians can be more tolerant of each other.

2.2 Understand Chinese wisdom. Some of the Chinese wisdom come from the language itself such as idioms & proverbs. Sadly the Chinese not being able to speak Mandarin (also known as bananas) will be accused by some narrow-minded people, which makes them upset and demotivated to learn Mandarin.

2.3 New door of knowledge. A lot of knowledge is in a certain language only because not all of the knowledge is translated into English or other languages. The language barrier is huge. Therefore, knowing the Mandarin language gives you tons of learning sources from cooking, beauty, business, technology, and more that you’ve never discovered before.

3. Business & Sales Aspect

3.1 Higher chance to close a deal. Customers whose first language is Mandarin would be more open to talk to you. If you’re a property agent or insurance agent or equivalent, being able to speak Mandarin definitely will increase chances to close the deal.

Many Chinese customers assume non-Chinese don’t understand Mandarin, hence when buying a product or service they would discuss it openly with their family members or friends, which is obviously they talk so loud until you can hear them. They might discuss the objections about your product such as “expensive”, “somewhere is cheaper”, etc. If you understand these keywords, surely you can handle their objections well and convert them into your customers.

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Miss Lim has coached over 5000+ students in learning Malaysian Mandarin. She is a certified HRDCorp trainer and able to speak 5 languages which are Mandarin, Hokkien, Bahasa Malaysia, English, and Cantonese.
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