Do I need to learn a little Chinese?

China is a vast country with people speaking a wide range of different dialects. The official and most widely used language is Putonghua, called Mandarin by many westerners. Another major language widely spoken in south China and Hong Kong is Guangdonghua (Cantonese). If it's your first time traveling in China, especially in major cities, you will be surprised to find many city dwellers are able to communicate in English. Many of them want to practice English with foreigners. Chinese people are generally open and friendly, willing to lend a hand to foreigners. So, it's not necessary to learn Chinese before coming China. However it's always a good idea to learn some common phrases.