You’ll need to find the best way to learn Chinese if you have decided you really want to learn the language.
Whether you plan to learn Mandarin Chinese simply to converse with your Chinese friends or maybe to gain an advantage in business, some important things to remember include:
Learning Mandarin Chinese Tones Is Not That Difficult
Chinese Mandarin is a stress-timed language with four distinct tones, whereas, for example, Cantonese, which is spoken in Hong Kong, is a syllable-timed language with nine tones. Other Asian languages such as Vietnamese have five or six.
The four tones in Mandarin are:
Tone 1: Level Tone (ping) –> —
Tone 2: Rising Tone (shang) –> /
Tone 3: Departing Tone (qu) –> V
Tone 4: Entering/Stop-Final Tone (ru) –> \
These tones are important as one word can mean completely different things when you change the tone. Still, once you have mastered these tones and their correct usage, there will be no stopping you!
Learn Mandarin Chinese The Best Way For You
Everyone has a different way to learn any subject, and learning Mandarin Chinese is no different; some people prefer to be a:
Textbook or classroom learner
Learn a Mandarin Chinese course at your local community or educational centre, either by joining group classes or on a one by one basis.
Alternatively, you can buy text books with associated audio facilities such as a CD or DVD and self study. Medium such as You Tube where there are a number of “learn Mandarin Chinese” videos is also helpful.
Make contact with local Chinese communities
If there is a good sized Chinese community in the city or town where you live, it may be possible to find someone willing to exchange Mandarin Chinese with English (or your native language) so that you both get the benefits.
Of course, it’s more extreme but, to be immersed in the country where the language originates, is possibly the best way to learn more effectively and naturally. Living in China might be an option.
Never Stop Practicing
Like with any challenges in life, it takes time and habitual practice in order to overcome learning new languages and you can practice speaking by:
Asking your Chinese friends to speak Mandarin Chinese with you
Even a regular five minute conversation can be helpful as it will help you hear now native speakers speak the language.
Watching Chinese movies or listening to Chinese songs
One of the best ways to continually hear Chinese being spoken is to watch Chinese movies or just listen to songs as you hear the proper tones, and hear the language in the context of the storyline.
Teach English whilst living in China
Many foreigners opt to teach English in China or Taiwan where they can be supported by the organisation or school they are teaching for, as well as taking Chinese classes at the same time.
So, don’t forget, whichever way you choose, make sure you focus and be persistent in your practice-and you’ll suddenly feel like you have become a native Mandarin Chinese speaker!