With about one billion native speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. It's also notoriously hard to learn. Is it worth your time? Read on to find out.

Go back several thousand years and imagine a vast country divided into many isolated regions. Here, most people would spend their entire lives within just a few miles from their place of birth. Clearly, this type of environment is bound to produce a number of mutually unintelligible languages and dialects. The importance of Mandarin Chinese is that, along with the Chinese writing system, it helped unite the country and make it a major player throughout human history.

Is it worth spending your time studying Mandarin? Many smart people think so. For example, the legendary investor Jim Rogers says: "The single best advice I can give you of any kind is to learn Mandarin."

Mandarin Chinese has a reputation of being difficult to learn. This is not surprising since historically it developed independently from the western languages. Yet, in many respects, Mandarin may be easier for an English speaker than much closely related languages, such as French or Spanish.

Here are some facts about Mandarin Chinese that you may find useful in deciding whether learning this fascinating language is for you:

More good news:

So, is Mandarin Chinese for you? If you say yes, go ahead and start learning the basics with our games and quizzes. If you say no, try them anyway!

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Basic Phrases
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Basic Phrases9+14

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Time 19+16
Time 29+6

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Basic Phrases
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Basic Phrases9+sentence builder

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