Chinese is the second most spoken language across the globe with approximately 1120 million speakers. Talking about the global economy, China is second next to the United States of America and is showing an annual growth that is outpacing the USA as well. It may even be on the way to becoming the world’s largest economy. For all these reasons, learning Chinese for global communication could be a good decision. Let us look at some tips and tricks to learn this language which is also considered to be a difficult language to learn for native English speakers.
Things to keep in mind
Cantonese or Mandarin
There are many dialects in the Chinese language. Mandarin is the official language of China and is also most widely spoken in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. Though both share a lot of words, their pronunciation is very different and you can even find differences in intones. Mandarin has four tones whereas Cantonese has six tones. Hence, depending on where and with whom are you going to interact, decide which one you would like to learn and proceed further.
Start with a goal and a timeline
If you think that you have all the time in the world to learn Chinese, think again. This thought process can lead to procrastination especially when you are dealing with a language like Chinese. Thus, decide on a goal that you would like to achieve within a certain time. You can start with a simple goal of learning basics and as you achieve that move to higher goals with increased difficulty level.
Start with the basics
Yes, learning greetings and the most commonly used words can help in basic communication, but going further, you would need to learn the language in a proper way. Thus, it is always a good idea to start with the basics. Do not ignore the characters because that is the only way to reach the intermediate or advanced level.
Make good use of available resources
Though there are a number of free resources that claim to teach you Chinese, learning from a teacher can be the most effective method. If you cannot afford to attend a regular class, you can opt for an online class where you can learn at your own pace. There are many apps and other online resources which can be used even on the go and are excellent for your practice.
Group words as you learn
As you improve with your vocabulary, try to group the words which are similar to each other or contextually such as words related to food or cuisine, which can be combined with talking about personal food choices and preferences. If you are learning Chinese for a specific reason, you can bring all the necessary vocabulary together and try to express something in different ways.
Make use of every opportunity to practice
Make an effort to use Chinese in every possible opportunity. Create a Chinese learning atmosphere for yourself and find friends or people in your close vicinity who can help you practice the language. Learning Chinese or any new language takes time and effort. It is only through consistent practice that you can achieve a good proficiency level in Chinese. You might think that you can always use English for global communication, but speaking to a man in his own language leaves a larger impact.