Learning Chinese on your own may sometimes be a feat. So if you’re one of those people who still have a few doubts regarding this, then these three features of the Chinese language will definitely help you cement that decision. You’ll be happy to know that however intimidating it may first seem to be, the Chinese language is, in fact, something that can be learned and enjoyed by everyone.
Tips on How to Get Started Learning Chinese :
1. Familiarize yourself with the sounds.
Familiarization is the key to learning any language. You have to know how to distinguish someone who is speaking in Mandarin from those who are not. Listen to anyone or anything that uses Mandarin, be it an audiobook, a video, or a mere commentary. It’ll help you learn the basics of the Chinese language: the sounds and the intonation.
2. Listen to the words and conversations over and over.
Repetition is the best way to remember whatever you’ve learned. You’ll be confused by everything you read or listen to at first, but over time, it’ll slowly start to make sense. Repetition helps you understand. You don’t need to look for the meaning of each character.
3. Practice every day.
Never stop practicing. No matter how busy life gets, set aside time to practice the things you’ve learned. It’ll help you remember them and encourage you to further your learning.
4. Use music videos
Using music is one of the best ways to learn a new language because it’s fun and interesting! But why use music videos instead of just listening to Chinese songs? Well, sometimes what’s going on in the music video can give you context to better understand the song, and other times it’s a great peek into the culture.
5. Regularly meet with a conversation partner
When I was taking up Chinese in Beijing, I was fortunate enough to have a language partner. I got to learn more Mandarin from her while she learned English from me: a win-win situation! We get to cover more areas than the ones taught in class, like slang and various expressions. I became familiar with their actual way of talking.
6. Watch Chinese shows with subtitles
Once you’ve covered the basics, watching Chinese shows is the next step. Whether it’s dramas or variety shows, you’ll be exposed to new characters and vocabulary. Like with music, pick the genre that you love most. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting to learn something new while enjoying what you’re doing.
7. Listen to audiobooks
If you’ve noticed, all the references I’ve listed here so far target both your listening and reading skills. That’s because it works best that way. You won’t get the most out of your learning if you merely target one of them. It’s for this exact reason that audiobooks will really help you out. Merely reading a book won’t do, you have to listen to the words at the same time.
8. Listen to podcasts
Finally, if you know where to look, podcasts can become your new on-the-go best friend. There is a great variety of topics, as well as numerous podcasts focused on teaching the Chinese basics to beginners. You can download these to start. But if you can already manage, I suggest you pick podcasts that are geared towards specific interests and Chinese culture.
The last thing is to be consistent in how you learn. Once you find a method of learning, stick to it. By sticking to a regular routine, you are more likely to remember what you have learned and can expand your knowledge of Chinese with new content. Remember that you already have the superpowers within to make your mark in the world, so use that power to learn Chinese on your own and enjoy the journey! There’s an amazing new way to learn Chinese! Want to see what everyone’s talking about!