Speaking business Mandarin is something else entirely

22 March 2017
door Regina Coeli

Cat Hai Chiem took a Chinese course at Regina Coeli in November 2015. He already spoke exceptionally good Chinese at the start of the training, not only because his parents are Chinese, but also because he studied Chinese language and culture at the University of Leiden and after that had one year of training at the "Mandarin Training Center" in Taipei.

You already spoke Chinese very well. Why did you choose to take a course with the Nuns of Vught?

“I am a marketing operations specialist and the China expert at Eurail.com B.V. In my role there, I do e-mail marketing, but when I go on business trips to China, I notice that there’s a difference between everyday Chinese and business Chinese. That wasn’t covered in my education and previous training, which made it hard to use Mandarin in daily business. The idea behind doing a course at Regina Coeli was to take my Chinese to a higher level and expand my business vocabulary.”

And, did it work?

“Definitely. I still have to experience how it will help my face-to-face interactions because I haven’t been to China since following the course, but in my daily work I’ve noticed that my Chinese has improved by leaps and bounds. I spent a lot of time having business conversations with my three trainers, and worked a lot on my marketing and sales jargon. A lot of English terms are used in many European languages, but in Chinese that’s generally not the case. I also worked on my accent—I spoke Mandarin with a strong Cantonese accent because Cantonese is my mother tongue. Now I’m much more aware of my personal pitfalls in pronunciation.”

How is doing business in China different to the Netherlands?

“Doing business in China is much more indirect than what we in the West are used to, although that does vary from company to company, of course. I’ve had meetings in China with Alibaba, the biggest e-commerce platform in the world and one with a strong international character. In contrast, many other companies are considerably more traditional. In China meetings therefore tend to last much longer and include a long lunch. It’s important to them to break the ice in an informal setting.”

How do you look back on your course at Regina Coeli?

“The course at Regina Coeli was a great adventure. It was an exciting challenge to focus on one, single goal for a week. The week just flew by. It was great working with the team of three trainers. They each had their own specialism and totally different characters. Because of that, the multifaceted aspects of the Chinese language became really clear to me. I’d like to return to Vught in the future.”

Interested in following language training at Regina Coeli?

The Regina Coeli method ensures that you learn to speak a foreign language quickly and effectively. Our highly qualified trainers teach you the skills, vocabulary and grammar that you need for your specific situation so you can immediately start communicating in the language.

Do you require more information? Please contact us!

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