Hey, guys, when you read this article, you probably want to prepare yourself ready enough before officially starting to learn Chinese.
Chinese has been for so long time stereotyped as one of the hardest languages in the world, and you may not be very confident if you can “conquer” it. But, as I mentioned, it is stereotyped and from the real experience of Chinese learners around me, they’ve realized that it is actually a very logical language and it is just can be defined as different but not difficult. That’s true, like people said, the difficulty is less more horrible than we’ve imagined. Here below are some helpful tips for beginners to learn Chinese.
Ask yourself what’s the level you want to achieve. Is it the conversational level which helps you to travel or do business? Or the fluency you want to achieve to study in China? The goal of the study can determine the endeavor you want to put in and the method you use.
There are plenty of Chinese books available in the market, and searching without any idea could be a waste of time and energy which may wear down your motivation. I’ve bought many Chinese books on Amazon, and I find some of them good and systematically edited but some really a bullshit to be honest. If you plan to find a Chinese tutor to teach you, it is recommended to choose the books edited by the authority such as Beijing Language and Culture University or Confucius Institute, whose quality can be well guaranteed. But if you plan to learn it by yourself, like squeezing some trivial time to pick up the Chinese, you can turn to to the websites which provide some learning audio or video lessons and this can easily adjust to your flexibility.
Practice Chinese doesn’t have to be with a real Chinese person around you. It can be conducted with yourself in various ways such as imitating the teacher’s pronunciation, listening to the audio lessons again and again. You can imagine a scene where you meet a Chinese person and think about how to start a small talk. These practices are easy to do, more practical than finding some Chinese person with a bad accent and practice only once a week. Don’t give yourself the excuse of not having a Chinese person around to practice with, because you are the most important one to count on.
Don’t give yourself so much pressure by telling you that I have to find 2 or 3 hours sitting there reviewing my Chinese, because that burden may wear you out in the mentality and you could end up without doing nothing and feel guilty. The best way is to make use of the trivial time on the bus, the rest time after lunch or the time before going to bed, listening to a Chinese audio and jotting down the useful words or trying to make some small sentences. The most important is to make this study a part of your daily life.
Before starting to learn Chinese, many people may be intimidated by the Chinese characters. But Chinese characters are really just a part of Chinese language and whether you need to learn it really depends on your learning expectation. If you just want to talk to locals and travel in China, the pronunciation, key sentences structure and vocabulary will be much more practical and come in handy. But if you consider to study in China, then learning the Chinese characters become quite essential because you may need to pass the exams such as HSK ( HSK 3 requires the writing of Chinese character) to get the certificate. My suggestion is to put more focus on the Chinese word order and pronunciation at the beginner level, and try to recognize a few frequently-used Chinese characters.
I always tell myself that once you get ready to do something or to form a habit, never let it stop, otherwise, you have to start it all over again. Many Chinese learners start to learn the language for a few months and then gradually lose the motivation because of the different word order or the dull pronunciation drill at the beginning, and then give it up. And when they find me to learn Chinese, I find out that many of them have already studied the Chinese language to a point before but fail to stick to learning it due to the similar reason. This is the same case with some Chinese people who want to self-study the Spanish or French etc., among whom at least 80% get stuck at the level of the conjugation of verbs. (Because there is no conjugation in Chinese) So please think well before you start to learn, and once start, never let it stop.
All right, the above are just some little tips to solve the questions you may encounter during the Chinese learning. I believe that learning Chinese will be one of the most worthwhile experiences in your life which can make you more confident of yourself, and more assured of the person you will become. No more hesitation and let’s do it!