Frequently I have heard my students or anyone who is thinking about learning Mandarin complaining: “Learning Oriental is so hard, I cannot even pronounce properly and the characters are complicated compare to English.” Yes I concur that Chinese is hard, but the hardest thing I found is to get the learning process started effectively, and achieve a good foundation of basic knowledge and skills. Then once students is on the right track, learning Chinese becomes easier the more you study.
May I suggest some key suggestions to make things easier for the first time learners?
First of all, for the fundamentals, 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 very 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 have 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 single Chinese character with the tones, when they are written in Pinyin.
The Chinese characters themselves cannot be pronounced directly, because they were evolved 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, it is advisable to remember what it appears like, how does it pronounce with the right tone, and what does it mean. This may sound hard in the beginning, but with practice, you can actually raise the speed to 10 characters each day. I would suggest learning the characters by means of words and sentences, so as to relate and practice what you have learned immediately, even if you are learning at the speed of 1 1 sentence per day. In the event that you persist the training process long enough, eventually you will be able to master more than 2000 Chinese characters in a year’s time, or quite simply, 300 sentences, that is enough for basic everyday conversations.
Regarding writing best ways to learn mandarin , I would suggest not to pursuit this skill at the beginning. This is because: unless this skill is completely needed, you can type Chinese characters on some type of computer using Pinyin, which is much easier. However, to understand the writing skills, you need to study the components and the structures of Chinese characters first, and practice the hand writing on paper. This can increase your efforts of learning Chinese tremendously, and may take years of dedication to master the skill. While we are living in a digital age now, learning to type Chinese characters is a lot easier and more effective.
In case you have gone this far and spend all the efforts to learn and practice Chinese language, then things become much easier for you. All you need to do is learn more Chinese characters each and every day, and practice them if you have the opportunity. The grammar in Mandarin is a lot simpler compare to English; all you need would be to put the characters together in a proper solution to form a sentence. Finally, I wish you’ve got a great experience learning Chinese language, and maintain an extended term substantial passion and efforts for the study.