As you surely already know, Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world and its demand in the work force is constantly growing, so the number of people who choose to study Chinese is increasing.
The possibilities that it opens don't imply that you move to China to work there, there are Chinese companies all over the world. Of course, if you visit this giant Asian country and meet native speakers, you'll be happy that you decided to learn Chinese.
In this post we are not going to talk about a unique and wonderful method to learn the language. Instead, we'll see how to study Chinese in a way that makes you feel enthusiastic about it, gives you results and allows you to feel that it is something that you can achieve.
Unfortunately, Mandarin has been labeled as one of the most difficult languages to learn. And that could be discouraging to even the most enthusiastic of all.
True, for a Westerner, reading and writing Chinese characters can be intimidating.
However, for a few decades now, it has become more attainable since the creation of simplified Chinese and pinyin. Besides, learning to speak Mandarin is not that complicated, despite the reputation that the "infamous" tones have.
A very basic structure in any language is that of subject + verb + object. In Chinese it is very simple and very similar to English, as the example below shows.
"I + eat + rice" 我 (Wǒ) + 吃 (chī) + 米饭 (mǐfàn).
If the person changes ("you", "she", "my family"...), the rest of the phrase remains intact. Yessss! Verbs in Chinese don't change. When what changes is the tense, that is, the moment in time, there are ways to indicate it without altering the verb word.
That means that, if you are going to, say, eat the rice later, or if you have already eaten it, you just add a particle either before or after the verb to indicate that temporality.
"I will eat / am going to eat rice" is: "我 会 吃 米饭". 会 (huì) before the verb shows that the action will take place in the future. "I ate / have eaten rice" is "我 吃了 米饭". 了 (le) after a verb shows that the action has been completed, it's past.
The pronunciation is easier for an English speaker than it is for others. That is because when pinyin was created to teach Chinese using the Latin alphabet, the sounds were based in English's. So, you'll surely take the hang of it in no time.
It seems like a no-brainer, but remember that knowing a lot about a subject is not the same as knowing how to teach it. Learning a language implies forming new structures in the brain. To do so successfully, we need the help of someone who's not only fluent but also with the necessary empathy to adapt to our rhythm and abilities.
Now —and especially during this time of Covid-19—, more and more people study Chinese online through private lessons. This modality allows you to learn Mandarin from the comfort of your home, at your convenience.
An excellent goal may be studying to take a standard Mandarin Chinese proficiency test. The official exam, "Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi" (HSK), managed by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, certifies the level of the student, something like the TOEFL of English.
Around the world, there are about a hundred countries where you can take the exam, which consists of an evaluation in your oral, written and reading performance.
Chinese can be intimidating, but with good motivation and the guidance and resources that good teachers can provide, you'll surely master it in no time-1
At Hanyu Chinese School, our native and non-native teachers specialized in teaching Chinese can help you to, not only learn Mandarin Chinese, but also enjoy the process. You'll look forward to your class!
We also offer courses specifically created to taker the HSK exam. You can record your lessons to review their content any time you wish. And for those who don't have much time, we have developed an on-the-go Chinese course!
Contact us for more information, and don't forget to ask for your free lesson!