6 Essential Tips to Improve your Chinese by 100%
Chinese might be a very difficult language to learn and especially for foreigners. Chinese characters and proper pronunciation can cause trouble to almost every learner. But by following our simple tips and tricks, you will discover that it can be fun and far easier than you would ever expect.
#6 Repeat words aloud and focus on tonalities
Repeating words aloud is important when learning any language, but it is especially critical when you are learning Chinese. Since Chinese is a tonal language, differences in how you pronounce words can alter the meanings you are trying to convey. So you have to not only learn how to pronounce words correctly, but how to subtly alter your pronunciation to get your real meaning across.
#5 Listen carefully and often
Listen to as much spoken Chinese as possible. Thanks to the internet, you now have access to abundant audio and video resources you would not have had access to if you were trying to learn Chinese years ago. Take full advantage!
#4 Focus on the most important words and characters
Try to resist the urge to teach yourself like you were likely taught foreign language in school. With Chinese in particular, it is way too easy to bog yourself down trying to learn endless characters. Instead, figure out what you would need to learn just to get by. Memorize the most important characters. With vocabulary, you don’t need endless synonyms. Often you can cheat with cognates if you have to and still convey your meaning.
Drill grammar over and over until you can fluently and confidently deliver basic sentence structures. You can add in more complicated vocabulary and characters after you learn enough that you could get through a simple day speaking Chinese.
#3 Make studying a daily ritual
You do not have to spend hours a day learning Chinese, but you do need to make it a scheduled daily habit. Even just 15 minutes a day can result in relatively fast learning if you just have the tenacity to stick with it!
#2 Remember, it isn’t hard, it’s just new
Going into the learning process with the right attitude is important. It is all too common for new Chinese learners to jump in telling themselves that they are about to try to learn the hardest language ever, mostly because it is so different from their own. But Chinese isn’t necessarily objectively any “harder” than English or any other language. It’s just new. Once you learn the rules, you may even find it intuitive.
#1 Reward yourself for learning
Finally, learning a foreign language is hard work, and hard work deserves to be rewarded! You need to motivate yourself to keep up all that effort every day, so do something nice for yourself when you master a difficult concept. Go out for dinner, buy yourself something you have been wanting for a long time, and so on. If you can swing the cost, you might even consider planning a trip to China as your ultimate reward for becoming fluent!
About the author:
I am Adam Kotala and I originally come from Czech Republic, small but adorable country in the hearth of Europe.
I started to learn languages in kindergarten and since then I am big language enthusiast. Besides my native language, which is Czech, I can also speak Spanish, German, English and partly Chinese. However, I am also in the process of mastering Russian. It took me lots of time to manage each of the languages mentioned, therefore, I wanted to share all the methods, tips and tricks that I developed over time with people who might find it useful.
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