Increasing interest in business Chinese
From basic courses to courses at university level
Professor Verner Worm from Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute (CBCI) is experiencing a massive interest in especially business Chinese. CBCI has developed course concepts ranging from basic level over upper secondary school level to university level and has provided courses for students and companies in the past three years. During this period, the overall population of course participants and students have risen from 50 to 200.
- Everybody wants to do business with China, and therefore there is a wish to better understand the language and the culture. We find that the global focus has changed from Chinese to business Chinese. You might say that it is all about using the right words in the right way in the right context. Formerly, there was talk about the strategic potential in learning to be a success in the Chinese business community. But now, people are actually doing something about it, says Verner Worm.
Claus Nørrind Hansen, Director of Transaction Services at KPMG, has taken a tailored course in business Chinese. He knows the language, but he was able to upgrade his business Chinese with the assistance of Associate Professor Huihua Wu from CBCI.
- I was looking for a very targeted course. I needed it in connection with a business conference in China. I was not going to present anything in Chinese, but it is good to be able to converse casually. I am a very busy person; everything changes from hour to hour, so I needed a high degree of flexibility from the teacher, and I got that, says Claus Nørrind Hansen.
In China, business cards are exchanged with both hands
The Chinese business community is regulated by a code of ethics, which can be extremely difficult to understand for outsiders. The reason for the large differences between being able to assert oneself in Chinese and business Chinese must be found in Chinese history and is based on two fundamental Chinese philosophies; Taoism and Confucianism. In China, the Chinese gentleman is a Taoist at home and a Confucianist at work. The Taoist strives for harmony and balance, while ethics is the absolute core concept of the Confucianist.
This means that there is a strict set of rules of how to conduct at work and at home. An outsider, who are not aware of these rules, may accidentally offend somebody. In China, a business card is exchanged with both hands.
It is very important. It is a way of showing that you are treating the business card - and thus the person - with respect, explains Huihua Wu.
The future begins in the autumn
At CBCI, Verner Worm is pleased about the increasing interest in learning business Chinese and the general development in Chinese teaching.
- A movement around Chinese as a business language has emerged, but we have only just begun. The future begins in the autumn.
Read more about the Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute.