Frequently I’ve heard my students or anyone who’s thinking about learning Mandarin complaining: “Learning Chinese language is so hard, I can’t even pronounce properly and the characters are complicated compare to English.” Yes I agree that Chinese is hard, but the hardest thing I found would be to obtain the learning process started effectively, and achieve an excellent foundation of basic knowledge and skills. Then once students is on the right course, learning Chinese becomes much easier the more you study.
CAN I suggest some key ideas to make things easier for the first time learners?
First of learn Chinese pdf , for the basics, there are 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese, and each character needs to pronounce with 1 of these 4 tones. Without knowing this, pronouncing Chinese can be quite difficult. If you need to master the pronunciations of Chinese characters, then learning and practicing the tones is among the keys.
Second, the pronunciations of Mandarin Oriental are represented with alphabets written in Latin, which is called Pinyin. That’s why so many people find Chinese names written in English hard to pronounce, as you need to pronounce them as Latin instead. Therefore the hard part is actually to remember the Latin pronunciations of English letters, and use them to pronounce every Chinese character with the tones, when they are written in Pinyin.
The Chinese characters themselves cannot be pronounced directly, since they were evolved right into a language from ancient drawings within the last 5000 years. To pronounce a Chinese character, you must know its Pinyin – alphabets written in Latin letters, as well as its tones. And then when you memorize a Chinese character, you should remember what it appears like, how does it pronounce with the right tone, and what does it mean. This might sound hard in the beginning, but with practice, it is simple to increase the speed to 10 characters each day. I will suggest learning the characters by means of words and sentences, so that you can relate and practice everything you have learned immediately, even though you are learning at the speed of just one 1 sentence per day. If you persist the learning process long enough, eventually it will be possible to master more than 2000 Chinese characters in a year’s time, or basically, 300 sentences, which is enough for basic everyday conversations.
With regard to writing Chinese characters, I would recommend never to pursuit this skill at the beginning. The reason being that: unless this skill is absolutely needed, it is possible to type Chinese characters on some type of computer using Pinyin, which is easier. However, to understand the writing skills, you need to study the components and the structures of Chinese characters first, and then practice the hand writing in some recoverable format. This can increase your efforts of learning Chinese tremendously, and may take years of dedication to master the skill. While we have been living in an electronic age now, learning to type Chinese characters is a lot easier and more effective.
In case you have gone this far and spend all of the efforts to understand and practice Oriental, then things become much easier for you. All you need to do is find out more Chinese characters every day, and practice them once you have the opportunity. The grammar in Mandarin is much simpler compare to English; all you have to is to put the characters together in an effective solution to form a sentence. Finally, I wish you have a great experience learning Chinese language, and maintain a long term substantial passion and efforts for the study.