Recently, one of my colleagues said, " I Want to Learn Chinese". Here are some recommendation I gave to her. Hope they are helpful to you as well.
Why learn a new language
A language is a communication tool to get to know the culture and communicate with the people who speak the language. If you learn a new language, you are easy to learn and understand the culture, and then you can communicate with more people and understand them well, which open more opportunities for your life including more business opportunities, job opportunities and the opportunities for your personal life. You will enjoy more different things in life!
Why learn Mandarin Chinese
China is the country, which has the most population in the world. It is becoming one of the countries with a strong economic power as well. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language is the world. Mandarin Chinese language is the official language of China and Taiwan, as well as one of four official languages of Singapore, and one of six official languages of the United Nations.
There are different types of Chinese. National and regional differences in vocabulary do exist, but they are minor. People’s Republic of China, mainland China uses Simplified Chinese. Mainland China has the most of Chinese population.
There are more reasons to learn Chinese including:
1. Have access to more information and knowledge
In the information age, by the Internet, television, and books, etc., you can have almost unlimited access to information and knowledge. Most of the information and knowledge are in English, however, if you know Chinese language, you will have an even broader access to the information and knowledge.
2. Communicate with more people
We know that many countries in the world speak English. However, the Chinese language is the most spoken language in the world due to its' large population. If you can speak English and Chinese, you can communicate with almost everyone in the world.
3. Have more business and career opportunities
China is the second largest economy in the world, and it is the biggest market in the world. It is one of largest trading partners of the United States. Many US companies do business in China and have long-term investments there. Business people who speak Mandarin Chinese have a huge advantage in tapping into the Chinese market. It is much easier to develop all-important relationships if you can speak Mandarin Chinese.
Proficient speakers of Mandarin Chinese will find jobs in various fields such as business, government, international relations, information technology, tourism, education, translation and much, much more. Of all foreign languages at American universities and colleges, Chinese shows the highest proportional increase in enrollment.
4. Easier to travel to China
As a wonderful travel destination, China has opened up to foreign visitors more recently than it has been in the past. China and Taiwan offer exciting travel opportunities. Getting around is much easier if you can speak Mandarin Chinese. Learning Chinese will give you a definite advantage in exploring China.
5. Get to know the world’s oldest and richest continuous culture
With over five thousands of years of history, Chinese culture is endlessly fascinating. Whether your interests are in history, architecture, music, or cuisine, knowledge of Mandarin Chinese will enrich your understanding of Chinese culture. To study Chinese means to study Chinese culture and Chinese people.
Traditional Chinese culture, from Confucianism and Buddhism to martial arts and Chinese cuisine, has an enormous influence on East and Southeast Asian countries. Chinese culture has also greatly inspired the western world through Marco Polo, G. W. Leibniz, Max Weber, Franz Kafka, Andre Malraux, Bertolt Brecht, Ezra Pound, and Luis Borges, among others.
6. Learning Chinese language is not difficult
Compare with European languages, such as English, French, or German, Chinese has a relatively easier grammar.
1) no subject/verb agreement
2) no plurals
3) no conjugations
4) no tenses
5) simple numbering system which is applied to dates and time expressions
6) simple conditional sentences
7) simple prepositions
Apparently, if you can master the Chinese language, you will gain all the benefits for your life. You want to start learning Chinese, right?
You might have some questions before you start learning Chinese. What are some of the effective ways to learn Chinese? What is the best way to learn Chinese? To answer these questions, let's look at a Systematic Approach on Learning Chinese. Principles of cognitive neuroscience and time management can be applied to attain conversational fluency. Here we define the fluency as more than 95% comprehension and 100% expressive abilities.
What to Learn - Choose the Chinese Content for Effective Learning
Learning Chinese does not need to be complicated. Deciding what to learn as a Chinese beginner is critical for effective learning. If you select the wrong material, it does not matter how you study since practical fluency is impossible without the proper material. The content of a Chinese course is the key to your success. Use the Chinese language as a vehicle for learning more about a subject, skill, or cultural area of your interest.
If you decided to learn Chinese, a first step is to determine what you want to do with the Chinese language. Is it to travel to China? To read a book in Chinese? Or to communicate with Chinese people? First, you decide what to learn based on usage frequency, the priority and then focus on what vocabulary and subject matter to you.
For example, If your interest is to communicate with others by speaking Chinese, then first you must focus on conversational Chinese. You should choose the material based on its frequency of usage. Start learning the 100 most common Chinese characters and words, and then move to the most common 300-500 Chinese words. Content and vocabulary selection should be dictated by your subject matter interest. In this case, your subject should be focus on daily conversational Chinese.
In my opinion, for most of Chinese beginners, daily conversational Chinese is a good start point since you can practice what you learned everyday. In addition, daily conversational Chinese use relatively simple Chinese words and grammar suitable for beginners. You could start learning daily conversational Chinese with a native Chinese speaker for the clear and accurate pronunciation, and to take your first steps in Chinese conversation.
Learn Daily Conversational Chinese
Most Chinese learners think the Chinese language is very difficult to learn. However, if you learn Chinese in a right way, to learn and master Chinese language is not difficult.
I agree that for most people, especially for westerners, to learn and master Chinese language is not easy. I am a native Chinese. In my opinion, the Chinese writing system makes the Chinese language difficult. However, Chinese grammar is very easy. For example, there is no pain with verb conjugations or irregular plurals. Even many difficult Chinese characters share the same radical, so it makes it even easier to understand and remember. In addition, if you look at some Chinese text, you will see that some Chinese characters are repeated over and over again. So you should start with Common Chinese Characters, those Chinese characters are used in our daily life.
If you find an efficient way to learn Chinese, the Chinese language will be easy for you to learn and master. For beginners, start with daily Chinese since they are used in your everyday life. Children start to learn their mother tongue by learning speak in their daily life.
Most schools teach the mechanics of the Chinese language. For example, they spend a lot of time on teaching sentence structures and the grammar rules. For Chinese beginners, I do not recommend this kind of ways to learn Chinese. Focus on meaning, not form. In other words, do not worry about grammar rules in your early stage of learning Chinese. Focus instead on understanding and being understood.
Listen to good Chinese audio programs, such as Kids Chinese Podcast Chinese lessons in a relaxed and easy way. You can listen to the Chinese lessons in your car or in gym, or when you are doing any other tasks or even house works. Start with daily Chinese, the easy Chinese, you will be able to speak daily Chinese sooner, since you can use daily Chinese everyday, over and over again. The most efficient and effective way to learn Chinese is to use it whenever you can, to listen to it, to speak it, to read it and to write it.
Learning Chinese is a great way to enhance your life, and it is never too early or too late to start. Start learning Daily Conversational Chinese with Kids Chinese Podcast! It is really easy and fun! Use the natural way of learning Chinese language, you will make some progress a little by little with ease. You will become a fluent Chinese speaker easier and faster.
Learn Chinese Phonics - Pinyin
Pinyin is essential and the most fundamental part for all serious Chinese learners. If you are learning Chinese, no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced student, you shall be aware of paramount importance of Pinyin.
I believe that the most difficult part to master Chinese language is the four tones of pinyin for Chinese pronunciation and Chinese characters. However, the Chinese grammar is much easier compared to English language. If you are a Chinese beginner, you must learn Pinyin first. If you are an advanced Chinese learner, you must master Pinyin.
If you master Pinyin, you can express yourself more clearly in Chinese. It can also help you in archiving better listening comprehension. Before learning how to speak, read, write, or pronounce Chinese characters, you must first learn Pinyin.
If you say, " I Want to Learn Chinese." I recommend you start with the free Chinese lessons with Kids Chinese Podcast now!