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Business in Shanghai
Getting a Job in Shanghai: Knowledge and Qualifications Necessary
The American Chamber of Commerce and the German-American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, respectively, have recently advertised job openings for the financial controller, plant operations manager, supplier quality engineer, and sales manager.
Based on this sample, it's clear that having a background in technology or business administration is preferable to learning Chinese and developing cultural competence first. More practical degrees in Chinese Studies or Intercultural Communication are generally preferred to those with "hard talents" in marketing, sales, finance, consulting, IT, engineering, and new technology.
Specifications for the Language
English is often used as a lingua franca in multinational corporations with significant foreign investment. Chinese proficiency does not need to be broad; rather, it should be restricted to a few work functions.
Even if your language abilities aren't stated in the job posting, they may offer you a significant edge over your rivals. Despite the fact that you won't require them on a daily basis, they will help you get along better with your Chinese coworkers and business associates. Furthermore, the greater your proficiency in Chinese, the greater your employment options will be.
dialects of Chinese
Shanghainese is the most prevalent dialect of Wu Chinese, which is the linguistic family that includes Mandarin and Cantonese. Consequently, other Chinese dialects, such as those spoken in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, Fujian and Beijing, are incomprehensible to speakers of Cantonese.
When the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, Beijing's central government proclaimed Standard Mandarin to be the country's official language. As a result, many Shanghai residents suffered from diglossia (the simultaneous use of two languages). Shanghainese were eventually forgotten about due to the inflow of migrants from other Chinese provinces and foreign citizens from other countries. However, fresh interest in maintaining and promoting the Wu dialect has emerged in recent years, and you may hear the occasional regional colloquialism on the street.
Studying a Foreign Language
You should learn Standard Mandarin if you want to do business in China. While Mandarin does not have sophisticated inflections or syntax, it does require the following skills: Because of the tonal characteristics, even the smallest variations in pronunciation have enormous value. Furthermore, the sheer number of Chinese characters makes it more difficult to read and write in comparison to languages that use alphabets.
If you don't need to be fluent in Mandarin to do your work, you shouldn't stress too much over learning it. It's not necessary to be successful in order to show that you're willing to learn about another culture and have an open mind about it. As a result, even if you speak Mandarin poorly, your hosts, colleagues, or contact person will appreciate your effort since they will see it.
Before you go, we strongly advise you to enroll in business Chinese courses that are specifically targeted to your career goals. To assist you learn a language, contemporary technology is accessible to entrepreneurs, such as downloadable Mandarin podcasts for your MP3 player, Chinese vocabulary trainers or character dictionaries as smartphone apps (like iChinese), and orhànz sketching tools for graphic tablets.