How to Learn Chinese Fast (7 Steps Guide)
Approximately 1.3 billion people (or about 16% of the world’s population) speak Chinese as their first language. With a few variations, Standard Chinese, in the form of Standard Mandarin, rose to become the official language in the majority of Mainland China and Taiwan, one of four in Singapore, and an official idiom of the United Nations. China is one of the world’s most linguistically rich nations. Standard Chinese is the most widely spoken language in China. 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. 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.
Let’s now take a look at the 7 steps that will get you there!
1 – Your speaking skills greatly depend on your listening skills. Focus on listening to improve speaking!
A sure shot way to learn a language is to grasp it in all its aspects: words, speech, accent, pronunciation, speed, intonation, pause between sentences, pitch etc, properly. Listen to authentic resources to build on your hearing, such that you can identify Chinese from amongst many spoken languages.
2 – Memorize words phrases using mnemonics.
Wherever possible I suggest matching a Chinese word or phrase with something humorous that exists in your native language to learn better. This makes learning not so dense to grasp and progress with
3 – Watch Chinese films with English subtitles and, if possible, English films with Chinese subtitles.
This will enable you to grasp the spoken language faster. Try mimicking the dialogues to get a hang of the native language.
4 – Consider using resources such as flashcards to practise.
The most proven resources for learning are flashcards and at the moment Anki and Memrise are deemed to be the best flashcards applications available to learners. You could either practise with their existing decks or create your own.
5 – Utilize the internet to its full potential.
Look to practise and learn more with free apps such as Duolingo, Multibhashi etc.
6 – Using transcripts, practise listening and speaking from authentic audio resources.
Listen to the audio resources. Don’t look through transcripts just yet. Repeat listening a few more times and sort of settle on what you hear. Now look through the transcripts and assess your understanding. Now repeat-hear the same audio with the transcript to engrave the correct understanding.
7 – Learn Chinese grammar and the rules by heart.
Studying grammar would help you bring your own sentences properly using accent marks or diacritics and many other rules that apply to the Chinese language. This is yet another way to learn a language appropriately.
Most linguists refer to all of the varieties of spoken Chinese that form 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 say that there was an original language, Proto-Sino-Tibetan, from which the Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages descended, similar to Proto-Indo-European. The relationship between Chinese and the other Sino-Tibetan languages is still unclear and being researched, as is the attempt to recreate Proto-Sino-Tibetan.
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