How to Learn Chinese Quickly
Many language experts agree, out of all the languages around the world, Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn, especially for English speakers. The U.S. State Department of Foreign Service estimates that it takes approximately 88 weeks of study to achieve fluency in Mandarin, the most widely-spoken form of Chinese.
With that said, most people take much longer to learn Chinese, because they often struggle to learn it fast enough to feel like they are achieving progress. Here are some tips for the fastest way to learn the Chinese language.
Break the Speech Barrier
The biggest hurdling in learning the Chinese language is pronunciation. Memorizing sentence structure, nouns, verbs, and everything is all gravy, but it will mean nothing if you don’t know how to say it. Chinese is a major tonal language. That means the pitch of your voice is just as important as the words you’re trying to say. Saying a word in the wrong pitch can mean the difference between talking about your mother or talking about a horse. That’s an easy way to ruin a good conversation.
Since speech is so important, the best tools to use for the fastest way to learn the Chinese language are audio tapes and video lessons. Writing is important too, but for beginners, you should avoid using books for the most part of your first few weeks starting out.
Practice makes perfect
What you practice is just as important as how often you practice, too. You should start with simple phrases that you can manipulate into other questions and meanings by attaching possessives and basic verbs. This allows for you to learn a basic understanding on how to carry a conversation, so that you may move onto complex meanings later.
Once you have a good foundation and a good grasp on pronunciation and sentence flow, you can then start to really pick up speed by having a native Chinese speaking tutor teach and converse with you to build your vocabulary bit by bit. The best way to learn a foreign language, of course, is to visit the country itself and immerse yourself in the culture and have regular exposure to the language.
If you are constantly using the language, you are going to be more confident and more able to absorb more of what you’re learning. This is the fastest way to learn the Chinese language, especially when you combine the intricate art of writing in Chinese. What is normally overwhelming to new learners, becomes second nature to those who use these methods of learning.