Chinese studies

Chinese-StudiesChinese studies at Monash offers a world-class program integrating study of language and culture from complete beginner to advanced language proficiency levels, including a dedicated translation stream for advanced speakers.

Handbook entry: Chinese studies

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An International Language

More people speak Chinese than any other language in the world. Chinese is a tonal language with its own unique writing system common to all dialects. Learning Chinese is no more difficult than most foreign languages.

The standard form of the language, better known as Mandarin Chinese, is an official language of the United Nations and is the national language of China and Taiwan. It is an important language of education in Singapore and Hong Kong, and is widely understood among overseas Chinese communities throughout South-east Asia. Not only is China becoming the powerhouse of the world economy, all these economies are amongst the fastest growing in the world and are of increasing importance to Australia within both government and private sectors. Australia also maintains educational and cultural exchanges with China and tourism between Australia and China is growing.


Graduate proficient in Chinese are in demand both in government departments and in the business world. The following career paths could be considered:

  • trade – export and import industries
  • international finance – joint ventures
  • transnational corporations
  • defence
  • tourism
  • foreign affairs
  • teaching (extra qualification required)
  • social work
  • legal professions.

The best career strategy is to combine the study of Chinese language with an appropriate discipline. For government service, for example, the study of history, politics or economics would complement language study well; economics or law would be an asset in the business sphere.


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