People find it challenging to learn Chinese because it is a tonal language and has thousands of characters which can be very intimidating initially. Also, there are many dialects in Chinese. Cantonese and mandarin are the two major dialects among the many others which are also very different from each other in many ways.
So is there any easy way to learn Chinese?
Let’s find out.
Choose Mandarin vs Cantonese
There are many dialects in Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are two major dialects. Though both of them are Chinese, there are some major differences and you might not want to confuse yourself by trying to learn both. Cantonese is spoken across the many Chinese communities in the United States and many other parts of China; however, Mandarin is the official language of China and with simplified characters and fewer tones when compared to Cantonese is easy to learn.
Chinese is a tonal language which means you need to learn pronunciation to understand and create the meaning of a word. Also, the same word can have a different meaning based on its town. Thus, it is very important to master the tones.
How do you do that? Listen to the tones and repeat them as many times as you can. Also, it is important to practice tones while you speak. You may make mistakes and get strange glares from people when you say something because what you intend to say and what you actually say may be very different based on how you say it. Learn to laugh at your mistakes and learn from them.
Set a goal
No task is accomplished without a goal. The same goes for learning a language. Start with a realistic goal and divide it into some short-term and long-term goals based on your reason to learn Chinese and how much time you can dedicate to learn Chinese every day.
Find your reason
Your reason is what keeps you going. Find a good reason to learn Chinese. No one learns anything to impress people. Whether professional or personal a strong reason is your motivation that will help you move forward even when you find yourself stuck or want to quit.
Surround yourself with the language
Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are all integral parts of learning a language. Rather than focussing on one area, it is good to include all four activities simultaneously to be able to master the language. There are many ways you can immerse yourself in Chinese. Listening to audio podcasts, watching YouTube videos or movies, making an effort to read and write starting with simple characters, and moving to simple books are all different ways in which you can immerse yourself in learning Chinese.
Find a good platform to learn and improve your Chinese
There are many apps and websites that offer online classes to learn Chinese. You can choose any one of them to learn the language from the comfort of your own space at your own pace and at a time that is convenient for you. This also helps in learning Chinese in a structured and organized manner and ensures that you are able to dedicate a fixed time to your learning every day.
Start with the basics, focus on tones and pronunciation and make sure that you practice every day. Be prepared to put in some time and effort and learn Chinese faster as you progress.