How to Study Chinese
I get asked this a lot from people wanting to start learning Chinese – How on earth do I start to study Chinese?
This is a pretty big question…
From the standpoint of a learner – correct me if I’m wrong – but this is the Great Wall of learning Chinese:
There are so many squiggly lines to learn ie Chinese characters (which in itself is daunting enough)
then there are the 4 tones which every Chinese teacher and Chinese tutor seem to want to scare and haunt students with for some reason.
Then there’s the Myth hanging around that Grammar in Chinese is dang hard!
It’s no wonder that people are apprehensive wanting to learn Chinese. Who wants all this negative bulldust around before you’ve even started!
So back to the question – how do you study Mandarin Chinese?
You call study Chinese part-time, you can study full-time
you can go all hardcore memorisation grammar drills or you can go basic phrases
You can self-study through books and CDs and videos or you can join a Mandarin Chinese Language Course or Chinese school online
or you can hire a private Chinese lessons with your very own personal tutor
As you can see – there are many ways to study Chinese
The question then becomes – which is the BETTER way to study and learn Chinese?
This very much depends on what your motivation to learn is. And no, “I want to learn to speak Chinese” is not good enough mate. Be more specific. WHY do you want to learn to speak Chinese? is it because you want to communicate at work? or that you now have a Chinese girlfriend and want to speak with her. Or just want to give some respect by a handful of phrases when you see the in-laws. Maybe you’re travelling and visiting China for 2 weeks and want to get by.Or screw that – you just want to read ancient Buddhist texts. All very different.
By being crystal clear in knowing WHY you want to learn Chinese, we can start with the HOW to.
With all the scary stories out there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you want to learn Chinese in minutes, it is possible. It is basic Mandarin Chinese but much more beyond the usual hello, thank you. You can actually start forming your own sentences and questions.