That Chinese language is hard is something we’ll always hear. But I assure you is easier than it seems if you know what method of learning works for you!
So you want to learn Chinese, uh? Let me guess. One of the first things you did was searching on the internet something like “Is Chinese hard?” “Can Chinese be learn in X months?” “Where to learn Chinese”. And… actually that’s why you probably are in this post, and I really appreciate it so I hope this will give you an idea on what you gonna find.
First of all you should know that Chinese is not my native language at all and only have been learning it for few months. But I think at this point I can already share my experience with this, in my opinion, beautiful language.
Find your most effective method!
So let’s see… is it hard or not? The easy and simple answer is: No. Why I’m so sure is exactly because I’ve been learning myself. Chinese is the first language that I’m learning by myself, and I also thought it would be harder than what is being now. You just need to find a method that suits you. Probably I’ll cover this, and how I’m learning it, in future posts. Explore the web, research what you can use to learn the language (at first, you can break up the 2 main parts of a language – vocabulary and grammar), maybe it will be the combination of two methods the one that suits you. When you find it, Chinese will seem much, much easier.
Now let me give you some tips you might find useful.
1. Forget about handwriting.
While it looks beautiful, you’ll probably won’t need it. Most of communications nowadays (you’ll notice in your own native language) is either spoken or written through computer or text mobile phone apps. And, good news, there are ways to write Chinese characters just by knowing its pronunciation.
2. Make some “Chinese” friends.
It could be either a Chinese person or another student. I assure you it will be extra helpful if you have doubts. There are tons of webs where you can meet people from other countries learning languages that will more likely be willing to help you.
3. Practice, practice, practice!
This is so obvious! Whenever you learn new words, get those friends you made and write in Chinese to them from day 1, even if it’s just “hello, how are you?”. Day by day you will see that you are able to write more and more.
4. Learn grammar, but don’t get obsessed with it at the beginning.
Actually the order of words in Chinese is quite important, but people will understand you even if you mess up a bit. In the first stages I truly feel is better to learn as much vocabulary as possible and maybe a bit grammar. As you progress, that balance will be the contrary and you’ll have to start to look deeply intro grammar rules.
5. Exaggerate the tones.
Chinese is a tonal language and at the beginning it will come as not natural for you. So exaggerate the tones. Move your head following the “direction” of the tones. Make it the most obvious possible. It will take time but finally you’ll do tones naturally.
6. Have fun and make mistakes!
Is extremely funny and rewarding to learn Chinese. And it’s also really fun to mess up. Because when you mess up in Chinese… oh boy, you really do mess up! But you’re a learner and people will take it good, it might even make their day. I still remember that time when I asked someone “How is your God going?” instead of “How is your day going?. It’s been months and we still laugh at it.
So that’s all for now, hope you understand that Chinese is not as fierce as it seems at first look and stay tuned to following post regarding methods I use to keep learning! And remember, under that scaring Chinese outfit there is a soft and easy to tame language.