Learning Chinese For The First Time
Right, you have decided to learn Chinese. This is absolutely fantastic. The language is wonderful. As I am sure you can guess though; learning Chinese is very different to most other languages. This means that you are going to need to put a great deal of work into ensuring that you succeed. On this page I want to talk you through a few tips on learning Chinese for the first time.
Know The Reason
It is important that you know the exact reason as to why you are learning Chinese. If you do not know why you are learning the language, is there any point to learning it in the first place? You see; it is the reason that you are learning the language which will provide you with the motivation that you need every single step of the way. Keep your goals in mind and no matter how difficult things become, you will get there in the end.
Find a partner to learn the language with
Find a partner to learn the language with. It will provide you with a ton of motivation. You will be surprised at how competitive things can get when you are trying to be better at Chinese than your learning partner. You will also be able to provide each other with plenty of hints and tips along the way.
I suggest that you try and jump head first into learning Chinese. Read books (once you have learned the Chinese alphabet), watch Chinese TV shows, listen to the radio, and head to China if you absolutely must. It is unlikely that you will understand anything that you subject yourself too. That is not the goal here though. Your goal will be to absorb yourself in the Chinese language. You will also notice that as time goes on you will be able to pick up more and more of the words that you are hearing. This will in turn give you a fantastic motivation boost.
Talk to native Chinese speakers
It is all well and good thumbing through textbooks, but they never give you the ‘real’ language. They are the basics. They are the grammatically correct rules. People do not speak in a grammatically correct way. There is slang and all of that to tackle. If you talk to Chinese speakers then you will be able to pick up on the real nuances of the language. It will help you a lot…trust me.
Look at people when they are saying words in Chinese
This may seem a little strange, but trust me on this one. As you will very quickly discover; Chinese is a language which very much thrives on the actual way in which a word is pronounced. Subtle differences can cause a word that normally means one thing to mean something else altogether. You will probably struggle to pick up on the correct way of pronouncing words right at the start. Don’t worry though; if you learn to observe people then you will get an idea about the way in which they shape their mouth in order to let those words escape. It will help you out…a lot.