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Chinese is no easy language to learn. However, there are ways to learn better, quicker, and more efficiently. Today is a quick list of 10 tips to learn Chinese and learn it fast! Apply as many as you can to your own Mandarin studying and start seeing the results today.
Remember, all students who sign up with TutorMandarin get one free trial class. Get yours day!
2. Don’t be afraid of sounding like a fool
This may sound like point 1, but it's worth repeating. Don't be afraid of sounding silly! You're brand new to this! You need to practice to get good. As soon as you accept that, then your learning will go much faster. The louder more obnoxious kids in my Chinese class were actually much better learners than the quiet ones. Don't be afraid of mistakes! Don't be afraid of sounding stupid! You gotta be bad at something before getting good at it.
Heck, look at how these celebrities sound when speaking Chinese!
3. Make sure you get yourright
Tones are one of the hardest parts of learning Chinese for foreigners. Sometimes, since it's so hard, people take shortcuts and/or don't spend enough time on the tones. Learning good tones is like learning a good habit. If you spend time and get it right from the start, then they will always be there for you. If you have half-ass it at the beginning, it's much harder to fix later down the line. Learn all the tones together with all the pronunciations, it will help you build the strong Chinese foundation you need to succeed.
Learn how to improve your Chinese tones with this separate article.
What inspires you to learn a second language? A language is just a tool. For most people, the best use of this tool is to get to the culture and history behind it. Many people learn Chinese because they're interested in Chinese history, economics, music, food, or otherwise. Remember the reason you started learning Chinese. Learning more about this aspect of Chinese will help keep you motivated and interested in learning.
After pronunciation and tones come Chinese words. You need words to build sentences and start learning the language. Know that some words are more important than others. Choose "high-frequency" words first, so you can learn as quickly as possible. Look at our list of HSK1 words to see the first 100, 250, and 500 words you should learn!
6. Learn grammar so you can apply it in conversations
Words are the building block, but you need grammar to stack them together! Just like "most common words" that are also "most common grammar points." Start going through the grammar points as soon as you know 50 words. With TutorMandarin, we designed our lessons to have 8-10 vocabulary each lesson and 1-3 grammar points. The lessons draw all these into one nice concentrate theme to make learning practical and conceptual.
7. Talk to native speakers as often as possible
Hopefully, this comes naturally to you. But the point of learning a language is to speak it! You should want to apply the new things your learning in real conversations with native speakers. At the same time, there's a double benefit. There's no better way to learn the language than to practice it with native speakers. Native speakers will show you new phrases, native phrasings, correct your awkward problems, and more. Plus, the human connections will hopefully make you feel more attached to Chinese language learning.
8. Learn Chinese through different
I know countless people that have learned and improved their English just by watching American TV shows. It wasn't even on purpose! They just liked the TV show friends and watched it so much that their language skills improved. You can do the same with Chinese. There are tons of great Chinese dramas, Chinese kungfu movies (make sure it's not in Cantonese), and Chinese songs. Just because it's fun doesn't mean you're not learning!!
Every year technology gets even more and more advanced. There are some incredible apps out there for all aspects of Chinese learning! Apps for Chinese writing. Apps for Chinese speaking. Tons and tons of apps for both iOS and Android. Come to see our lists of different types of Chinese language learning apps. TutorMandarin even has their own Chinese learning app!
The last tip is to learn with a Chinese tutor. Since people have the internet and youtube, they think they can learn a language all on their own nowadays. Not true. A good teacher is the number one factor in whether or not you will learn to speak Chinese. Do yourself a favor a try a tutor as soon as you can. At Great Harmony, we even offer one free hour class for all users who sign up. Sign up for your trial class today!