Many people want to know How to Learn Mandarin Chinese since learning Chinese, for most people, is very difficult and takes much commitment. However, setting a goal of learning daily Chinese and basic working vocabulary is not so hard, and it can be a lot of fun. We suggest you start with practical and interesting topics when you learn Chinese.
It matters as well if you have the best material and interest, if you want to become fluent in Chinese sooner. Can you find a method allow you to reach accurate recognition and recall with the fewest number of exposures, within the shortest period of time?
If you want to communicate with Chinese speakers, you'd better start Chinese listening first. With time, you can begin to distinguish the Chinese sounds and rhythms. First, learn how to listen, and then learn how to copy what you heard well. Since as a foreign language, the Chinese language sounds different and uses different sounds. Different muscles are employed. The mouth, cheeks, nose, and tongue, along with breathing in or out, may be combined in almost endless ways.
There are many methods you can use to learn Mandarin Chinese.
The way children learn
Assuming you want to speak more than you want to read Chinese, perhaps the best way is the way children learn: first by listening, then by repeating or speaking. Little by little children learn vocabulary and only much later do they learn reading and grammar.
I recommend starting with audio Chinese learning programs that offer short conversational Chinese lessons, as these are more likely to keep the vocabulary simple and practical. Another feature to look for, are the audio lessons that give the word or expression once in English and at least twice in Chinese. The voice in the Chinese language needs to be that of a native Chinese speaker.
My recommendation is to just listen to the audio lessons all the way through multiple times and only then begin to repeat after the native Chinese speaker. Listening to these audio lessons fifteen minutes a day five or six times a week is much more effective than listening for a long time once a week.
At first, it is easy to get discouraged. Even after a few weeks you will find that your brain begins to associate words in English with their Chinese signification. Soon you will even have dreams where you use your limited Chinese vocabulary. Or, a Chinese word will come into your mind along with its meaning.
The way use phrase book
There is an approach in learning Chinese language is to use a phrase book, where an English word's phonetic pronunciation is given (transliterated) based on English language other than the Chinese language. Many language CDs, DVDs and computer programs come with a manual that includes phonetic pronunciations. With the exception of emergencies, you should avoid this approach when you learn Chinese, since most the Chinese words can not transliterate close enough, most of the time the end result is a disaster. If you use this approach, your pronunciation in the Chinese language is likely to be very bad.
However, if you do not have much time, you need to travel to China immediately, a phrase book will come in handy during your first trip to China.
The ideal approach is to learn to speak some Chinese before travel to China. To reach this goal, you should learn polite and basic Chinese expressions, they will give you the confidence to venture out on your own, help you break the ice of formality, and will be of great use in developing greater relationship with the Chinese people.
Take a Mandarin Chinese class
If you learn better when working along with others, taking a Chinese class can help supplement your audio Chinese lessons. A Chinese immersion or conversational class is what you are looking for. There is a Chinese language learning approach where the instructor uses only, or mostly, the Chinese language, and class participants repeat after the teacher. The instructor may point to an object, give the name in Chinese, and then ask you to repeat it first as a group and then as individuals.
Be careful, however, before signing up, make sure that the class is truly conversational and that the teacher speaks like a native.
Work with Mandarin Chinese tutors
Tutors need to be patient, enthusiastic, and willing to help you along at the pace you need to learn Chinese. They need to be just as quick to get excited at your progress and correct work as to be critical at the mistakes you make.
Use computers and the internet
There are many computerized language courses and online Chinese courses. Those that are interactive and come with audio capabilities, can be very helpful indeed.
Some tools can analyze how close your pronunciation comes to the correct one. This may give you the opportunity to correct some errors and improve your pronunciation and understanding. Although some of the Chinese programs offer speaking and listening opportunities, focus on listening first.
As in anything else you learn, practice is very important, as long as you are practicing correctly.
Learn Chinese songs and singing
Vowels are often the major expression of an accent. Trying to make out the lyrics of a Chinese song can be a fun way to improve your ear for the Chinese language, and improve your accent. When Chinese words are sung, vowels are drawn out so their major pronunciation points are emphasized.
Listen to Mandarin Chinese as possible as you can
Listening to Chinese podcast, radio or other audio programs, and watching Chinese television when available, are very helpful. The advantage of Chinese television is that you can catch body language and facial expressions and can capture the context of what is being said a little better.
As a test, you can listen to a Chinese audio program to see how many Chinese words you can pick up. If you can pick up one Chinese word in ten, you have made a good progress!
Learn Chinese culture
At some point after the first year or two you will be ready to tackle the longer Chinese conversations and enjoy reading. Enjoy reading a little about the Chinese culture, geography, or region you are most interested in. Reading children’s story books in Chinese could be a good starting point as well.
In addition, once you learned some of the basic Chinese, you would go around, in China town close to you, mouthing every street and store sign in Chinese, and feeling the Chinese culture nearby.
What is the best way to learn Mandarin Chinese? There are a lot of different ways to learn Chinese, you should find a way that works best for you. Hope this article answers the question How to Learn Mandarin Chinese.