Why Mandarin Chinese?

China, whose name translates into English as “the Middle Kingdom,” is one of the largest and most populous nations in the world. With a GDP that trails only the United States, this East Asian giant is one of the forces driving the world’s economy. As globalization continues to expand in scale and scope, American companies will depend on workers who not only speak Chinese but also have a deep level of cultural understanding to promote their business throughout “the Middle Kingdom.” In addition to being a major economic force, China boasts a rich and profound culture that can be traced back five millennia.

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of the world’s most populous nation and is spoken by approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide. Although all Chinese high school students are required to take several years of English before graduation, only a small fraction of the U.S. population studies Chinese. The goal of the Chinese Language Flagship Program at The University of Mississippi is to provide its students with the necessary training to transition seamlessly between the languages and cultures of the most politically and economically powerful nations of the Pacific Rim, i.e., the United States and China.

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