5 best way to learn Chinese verbally
In China, more than 70 million people from 55 distinct national minorities live, and although each minority has its own spoken language, many minority groups lack a distinguishable written medium for their languages. Standard Chinese is the most widely spoken language in China. China is one of the world’s most linguistically rich nations. Despite the fact that many officials and commoners spoke different Chinese dialects, Nanjing Mandarin became prevalent at least during the officially Manchu-speaking Qing Empire. Most linguists identify all of the varieties of spoken Chinese that comprise the Sinitic branch as the Sino-Tibetan language family (spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many minority-ethnic groups in Greater China) and claim that there was an initial language, Proto-Sino-Tibetan, from which the Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages descended, close to Proto-Indo-European.
Here are some easy tips to improve your Chinese verbally are:
Watch Chinese TV shows/ Movies/Talk Shows. Watch videos to understand the natural speech patterns, rhythm, pitch, tone, modulation of speech. Apart from this, the videos will also help you listen to the words and recognize them during repetitions. Eventually when you start speaking with native speakers you would be a little relaxed and would be able to follow a few, if not all, words at the speed, they speak. Watch English movies with Chinese subtitles and Chinese Movies with English subtitles to get a good understanding of the language in an entertaining way. Further your understanding and learning via the shadowing technique to repeat dialogues that you hear. You can also turn on subtitles so that you can follow along and speak with the actors. TV shows in particular are also a great way to learn colloquialisms that you may not learn in a formal learning environment.
Start by learning the basic alphabets, progressing naturally to word building, phrases, idioms and slangs in the language
Empower yourself to read small two letter, three letter words, with children books so you can get confident with speaking the words. This will further strengthen your vocabulary as well as enable you to read; speak aloud as you read! Further your learning by listening to a lesson, reading along, and reading out loud. Then re-read and speed up your speech. Do this again and again until you can speak faster. Try your best to pronounce words correctly, but don’t exhaust yourself over it. Capture new words in a journal or diary to refer back to. Ensure you start by adding day-to-day used words that you hear in Chinese audio, movies so as to be motivated to build small sentences. Remember, One of the best ways to improve your speaking is to improve your vocabulary!
Listen to Chinese talk radio/podcasts/ audiobooks/audio clips/news/radio stations/ songs. Music plays an immensely important part in our life. It is so evident from the fact that Alzheimer patients who forget names of their loved ones, situations, have been known to recollect song lyrics and tunes! Song lyrics can also help you to improve your vocabulary. Also singers tend to pronounce the words more clearly than people. Memorizing songs, you will learn the pronunciation better! Also seek other reliable audio resources online that can help you learn. A learner who wishes to learn to Chinese should listen to Chinese news as it is spoken more formally and clearly. They are also a great way to add new vocabulary words to learn!
Gather the Right Materials to learn to speak right
Old Chinese wasn’t a tonal language but it became one as it evolved over time. Therefore, I suggest you get yourself the right resources that help you learn to speak Chinese properly.
As an example you can see how variations in a word yield new words.
妈 (mā) — mother
骂 (mà) — scold
马 (mǎ) — horse
吗 (ma) — equivalent of a question mark (?) for formal questions
麻 (má) — hemp
Practice, practice, practice! In the end it is only practice which is going to help you learn the language. Try the Pomodoro technique! Spending 45 minutes at spaced intervals, 3 times a day, everyday, rather than spending long hours at a stretch on the weekends. Utilise your spare time whether it will be waiting in a queue, walking your dog, washing your car etc. Use all such time to listen to the podcast, audio clips, basically any audio resource you can lay your hand on, to be able to gather more vocabulary and correct accent. Find a conversation partner to converse and seek feedback from to improve your learning. Look for conversation partners around you, in your neighbourhood, any community near you; if you don’t find one I suggest going online on Conversationpartner, Tandem, Languagepartner, Italku, Hello Talk etc. Review again and again. After you are confident about your pronunciations and the accent, I recommend you talk aloud and record yourself. Then hear yourself again and correct your mistakes, to re-record yourself. You may continue doing this until you get the right pronunciations in one recording
Until the mid-twentieth century, the majority of Chinese in southern China did not speak Mandarin. Since the 17th century, several efforts and attempts have been made to make pronunciation adhere to the Beijing style. To accomplish this, the Empire established Orthoepy Academies. These efforts, however, were largely unsuccessful. The Nanjing Mandarin standard was eventually replaced in the imperial court during the last 50 years of the Qing Dynasty in the late nineteenth century. The connection between Chinese and the other Sino-Tibetan languages is still unknown and under investigation, as is the effort to reconstruct Proto-Sino-Tibetan.
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