How long did it take you to learn Chinese and is it hard?
“There is no end to learning” and the same is applicable for learning Chinese as well. Chinese is a very demanding language in the present world due to China’s emerging as a global power and hence, a huge population is tending towards learning the Chinese language. There is no significant answer for the question “How long did it take you to learn Chinese and is it hard?” The answer to this question completely varies from person to person and also it depends on various factors. As for me, I would say it has already been more than a year that I am into learning Chinese and standing here today I would say that it will take me many more years to go deeper into the language. Why should I tell this only about Chinese, I can bet and say that till now I haven’t even learnt more than 50 per cent of my mother tongue! Language is like a vast ocean or you can even compare it to the universe that has no end. And hence learning it completely will surely take time, and maybe you can’t even finish that in a single lifetime! And if we come to whether the language is hard or not, this will completely depend on what methods you are following to learn the language and what are your motivations and goals.
Let’s have a brief idea about the levels of learning Chinese
According to various studies it has been classified that Mandarin Chinese is a category 5 language which means it is one of the most difficult languages to learn along with Korean, Japanese, Cantonese and Arabic. But there is nothing to fear about this. I would always advise you to compare learning a language as a challenge and hope you have never heard that winning a challenge has ever been a cakewalk. But the moment you win a challenge, that feeling can’t be compared to anything present on Earth, that feeling is just beyond everything! And it is absolutely the same with learning a language like Chinese. Your motivation along with your dedication will allow you to overcome all the hurdles that come between you and learning Chinese. So, without fearing any more let us go through the levels of learning Chinese along with some other really very important information.
Chinese proficiency has been classified into five categories
The first is the Elementary Proficiency where you will be able to form basic sentences and will be able to ask and answer questions.
The second is the limited working proficiency. At this level, you can use the basic level of conversation including small talks to communicate in your work and social environment.
The third is professional working proficiency, where you can perform most of the work task that includes participating in meetings and communicating with client, coworkers and seniors in Chinese. At this level, you have a huge stick of vocabulary, but you are still a bit far away from catching all subtitles and informal nuances.
The fourth category is full proficiency level. This level is required if you are recruited by a Chinese company or you need to communicate regularly with Chinese-speaking clients and investors. At this level, you are capable of carrying out both casual and professional conversations easily.
And the fifth is native/bilingual proficiency. This is the level where you have achieved your most wanted goal and won the challenge! Huge congratulations to you as now you are fully fluent in Chinese!
Now to achieve these five levels you will require a huge amount of motivation and dedication along with a professional guide. Studies state that an average person needs to dedicate more or less around 2,200 hours or 88 weeks of active learning. Some other studies suggest that if you study Chinese for 10 hours per day, you can learn Chinese in 72 days. And there are more predictions like this. But practically, studying anything for more than 10 hours a day is next to impossible.
Regardless of the study, there are some other factors that play a crucial part in learning any language including Chinese and they are:
- The amount of time you dedicate to learn Chinese every day plays a huge role in how long it’ll take you to learn Chinese.
- It is very much crucial to have an excellent quality study resource for learning Chinese from the beginning itself. You need to have resources full of practical lessons, that are user-friendly and full of fun and exciting to learn. They need to be challenging as well as they need to have diverse content.
- You need to be motivated throughout your learning journey as motivation has a direct impact on how long it’ll take you to learn Chinese.
- Your previous language learning experience will also have a huge impact on your learning. If Chinese is the first language you are trying to learn, it will likely be harder for you than for someone who has already learned a second or third language.
- Your language learning organization from where you are taking Chinese classes will also play a crucial part in your language learning journey.
- Learning Chinese is completely possible without learning characters. This will help you to overcome the first two levels very easily.
So, now you know all the factors necessary for answering your question “How long did it take you to learn Chinese and is it hard?” Always remember there is no exact number that can determine the time that you will take to learn the language. You need to consider the above-mentioned factors and then only you can come up with a solid action plan. For taking up a professional course in the Chinese language and having an activity-based interactive language learning experience you can trust Multibhashi, the online language learning platform. So buck up and go for it right now!