There’s no doubt that learning any language requires commitment of time and effort, even more so when there is significant difference between one’s native language and the new one. Here are some suggestions to maximum your effectiveness, minimize the time spent, and make learning Chinese easier.
|Chinese Popular CulturePerhaps you are already a fan of Chinese TV Shows and Music and that can partly be your motivation to pick up the language. Popular culture can definately be increase your interest in the language as well as being a great way to spend some of your free time.
You might have already learnt some simple words through the shows’ or lyrics translations. This is a good start, but you will need more to be able to strike a meaningful conversation.
|Listen and RepeatListening and Repeating is an intuitive concept for foreign language students. It is particularly important in Chinese because poor pronunciation can render your speech incomprehensible. Hear a new word, or ask someone how to say something in Chinese.
Listen carefully to how a native speaker (your teacher, language partner or friend) speaks. Repeat it back to them and get them to feedback.
|Speak and Practice With Native SpeakerPractice,practice, and practice. The more you practice, the easier it becomes for you and the more fluent you will get. It will be best if you can practice with a native mandarin speaker who can correct you.
Most importantly, do not be afraid to speak and make mistakes. That’s the only way to learn; practicing and correcting yourself. Remember, Practice makes Perfect!
|Using Electronic or Online DictionaryOne of the hardest things for westerners is Chinese characters. Not knowing how to pronounce a word from looking at it can be very frustrating, with an electronic dictionary you can actually draw the characters onto the screen or with online dictionary/ translators, copy and paste the characters.
You can find the translation and pronunciation (in Zhuyin/Pinyin) for the character or sentences conveniently during self-study.
|Taking Up Language CourseEventually, you will need to find a language course to get you properly educated on the language’s foundation and usage. Find the right course that understands and fits your needs.