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Intensive Chinese Course 30
   Mandarin House News

Easy Way to Learn Chinese

Be positive.

First of all, as with any other language around the world, Chinese takes time to learn. However, I have found that with the right motivation, the language-learning process is actually quite satisfying.

Do not put too much emphasis on grammatical rules

The complexity of Chinese vocabulary is partially offset by the simplicity of it's grammatical structure. And in languages full of exceptions-to-rules (especially in Cantonese), you'll advance more quickly by absorbing a "feeling" for grammatical structure through practice and exposure, rather than intellectual understanding of rules. It's simply more effective to learn how to speak Chinese in the manner that a child learns to speak and language - by listening and repeating what you hear over and over. Imagine asking a 7 year old if a noun goes before a verb -- they probably won't know, but they will be able to say a sentence correctly.

Focus on frequent exposure

A real key to learning Chinese is repeated exposure to the language. In the beginning, this means listening to your audio programs/lessons as often as possible. Soon you'll notice your ability to distinguish and reproduce the tones of Chinese becoming more honed, and you'll speak with proper grammar because it "sounds right". There is simply no substitute for frequent practice when getting started - you won't learn these skills from a book. Listen in your car, while you work out, or set aside some time each morning and evening to immerse yourself in the audios. If you have trouble concentrating, you might be better off with a more interactive program like Pimsleurs, Rosetta Stone, or Fluenz.

Moive, TV

Watch movies or TV in Chinese. There are loads of great Mandarin movies from China, and Hong Kong has one of the largest film industries in the world. Watching movies or TV was my primary method of learning English, and I've heard of many students reinforcing their Chinese language efforts in the same way.

 

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