First, calm down. Maybe you are a serious learner and keen to know that Chinese really the simplest language to learn? how to start your Chinese learning journey by paying a little ‘school fee’ instead of getting confused with those “learning materials”.
You can learn and speak like a native by listening to their pop songs, watching tons of Chinese movies, dramas and series. Of course, do not miss out on reality shows and TV series, too. These are the greatest “learning materials” that you can get easily from the internet. You can get those “learning materials” easily from youtube or by joining their WeChat group, too. It’s all FREE and you can learn it anytime that you are on the go. Now, you may get frustrated at how to get the resources of those “learning materials” when you do not even know how to spell or read a single Chinese word.
This is true; if you speak English then French is a lot more similar to your native language than Chinese is. But this difference also has its advantages.
Chinese, individual words are like bricks that you’re free to arrange in your own order. Common grammar obstacles in European languages like tense and gender are comparatively trivial in Mandarin. This means you’ll be constructing your own sentences within a few months of studying the language, and you’ll be understood more often than you expect. If you’ve ever studied any European languages, you’ll realize how unusual this is.
2. Chinese Characters Only Seem Impenetrable
Yes, it’s true that there are thousands of Chinese characters to learn, and they all seem different and complex for Chinese learners starting from scratch. But in fact, learning Chinese characters can be easier than you think.
All characters are made up of the same collection of elements, known as radicals. Once you’re familiar with a few categories, they stop looking so alien and start to make more sense.
I feel you, and this is something I really struggled with at the beginning. If you’re a native speaker of English, you’ll find several sounds in Chinese that don’t seem to naturally occur in your own language, so they’re very hard to say at first
- if you’re not a native, you’re not familiar with Chinese culture or or speaking western languages. you will find speaking Chinese difficult. The intonation each individual letter has will change depending on the letter next/before it, and depending on your emotion you also should be able to convey your message across either explicitly or subtly.
- Chinese grammar and basic vocab are easy, you can be conversational ready in a short time, but you also need to learn Chinese culture/history as that plays a lot of part in using various idioms and phrases. Unlike English, Chinese uses idioms and phrases very very often, and if you speak without using those, you will sound like a foreigner because you sound like a kid (who doesn’t know how/when to insert certain phrases in your convo).
- Learning how to write takes some time, as some letters are only slightly different from the other, and some letters are not exactly how you would write in another letter.
- Listening is basically how often you hear Chinese language. The more you hear the better you are at catching every letter spoken. Mainland China’s TV channels always put Chinese subtitles when interviewing other people so that’s a way to practice.
- Listen & learn automatically
If you’re a beginner and want to improve quickly with little effort, I’d highly recommend www.multibhashi.com.The quality and quantity you get are exceptional for the price. You will get amazing knowledge that will help you learn.
- Talk with Chinese people for free
The online platform Practice and Learn Foreign Languages will help you find language partners for free to speak with a native Chinese – you’ll have to chat with them in English or your language as well.Attend intensive courses in China: The fastest but most expensive way in my opinion is to go to China and take intensive courses (4 hours a day). I went to Mandarin Capital in Hangzhou and was very pleased with my progress there.
- Self-study with books
If you do like books, I very much like the HSK Standard Course books. They prepare you for the HSK exams and every level includes a Lesson Book, WorkBook and audio CD.
- Watch movies
The site iqiyi.com will help you find movies or series in Chinese (with subtitles in Chinese).