Frequently I’ve heard my students or anyone who’s thinking about learning Mandarin complaining: “Learning Chinese language is so hard, I can’t even pronounce properly and the characters are complicated compare to English.” Yes learn Chinese pdf concur that Chinese is hard, but the hardest thing I found would be to get the learning process started effectively, and achieve an excellent foundation of basic knowledge and skills. Then once a student is on the right track, learning Chinese becomes much easier the more you study.
May I suggest some key suggestions to make things easier for the very first time learners?
First of all, for the basics, there are 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese, and each character needs to pronounce with 1 of the 4 tones. Without knowing this, pronouncing Chinese can be extremely difficult. In order to master the pronunciations of Chinese characters, then learning and practicing the tones is probably 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 need to pronounce them as Latin instead. So the hard part is actually to keep in mind the Latin pronunciations of English letters, and utilize them to pronounce every single Chinese character with the tones, if they are written in Pinyin.
The Chinese characters themselves cannot be pronounced directly, since they were evolved right into a language from ancient drawings in the last 5000 years. To pronounce a Chinese character, you need to know its Pinyin – alphabets written in Latin letters, together with its tones. And then once you memorize a Chinese character, you must remember what it appears like, how does it pronounce with the correct tone, and what does it mean. This may sound hard in the beginning, but with practice, you can easily increase the speed to 10 characters per day. I recommend learning the characters by means of words and sentences, to be able to relate and practice everything you have learned immediately, even though you are learning at the speed of just one 1 sentence per day. If you persist the learning process long enough, eventually you will be able to master more than 2000 Chinese characters in a year’s time, or in other words, 300 sentences, which is enough for basic everyday conversations.
In terms of writing Chinese characters, I would recommend not to pursuit this skill at the beginning. This is because: unless this skill is absolutely needed, it is possible to 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 will take years of dedication to understand the skill. While we have been 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 understand and practice Oriental, then things become easier for you. All you have to to do is learn more Chinese characters each and every day, and practice them when you have a chance. The grammar in Mandarin is a lot simpler compare to English; all you need is to put the characters together in an effective way to form a sentence. Finally, I wish you’ve got a great experience learning Chinese language, and maintain a long term substantial passion and efforts for the study.