How English Speakers Can Get the Most Out of Chinese Lessons


Chinese is a language spoken by close to one billion people in China. While there are many regional languages in like Cantonese and Shanghainese in China, Mandarin is the official language of China as well as of the United Nations. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. The way a word is pronounced completely changes its meaning. 

Learning to speak Mandarin Chinese is becoming increasingly more popular because it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world today. Mandarin Chinese is quite a complex language to learn especially for Native English Speakers. However, it may prove quite advantageous for someone who is willing to take up the challenge and get down to learning. 

Learning to speak Chinese is not rocket science. With commitment and daily practice, you should be able to master the language. You can practice alone with your textbooks, interact with Mandarin speaking friends or take Chinese lessons online. Below is a useful guide that can help you get the most out of your Chinese lessons.


Use the four Mandarin tones for practice:

Chinese is a tonal language. Different tones on a single word can change its entire meaning even if the spelling and punctuation of the word or phrase is the same. If you desire to speak Mandarin Chinese correctly, spend more time practicing how to use the four Mandarin tones. The first tone is a high flat tone, the second is a rising tone, the third tone is a dipping tone and the last one is lowering tone. 


Memorizing simple vocabularies: 

Memorizing some useful Chinese vocabulary can help you get the most out of your Chinese language lessons. The more words you have at your disposal, the sooner you will become fluent in Mandarin Chinese.


Learning how to count: 

The Mandarin numerical system is easy to master. Here is the secret; once you learn the first ten numbers, you will be able to count to 99. 


Master basic conversational phrases: 

Make sure you have a foundation on basic Mandarin vocabulary and pronunciation. If you are not sure about how good you are at this, please revisit your list of Chinese pronunciation and basic vocabulary. If you are already comfortable with your vocabulary, begin learning conversational phrases used in everyday Chinese speech. 


Always study Chinese grammar: 

Like any other language, Chinese grammar rules do exist. Chinese grammar rules are more analytical compared to other language systems. Take time to study basic grammar, know where to use them and where to avoid them completely. 


Use Pinyin:

You not only want to know how to speak Mandarin Chinese but also learn how to write it. Create time to study Pinyin, a system used to write Mandarin Chinese in Roman alphabet. The pinyin is used in many textbooks and teaching materials. 


Befriend a native speaker: 

Find friends who speak this language. Interacting with native speakers will help you become a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker. If you can locate one nearby that would be great. You can also find friends who speak Mandarin Chinese on social networks like Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. 


Movies and music: 

Watching Chinese movies and listening to Chinese music can help you get the most out of your Chinese lessons. 



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