Tips for Learning Chinese

Studying Chinese is hard but a worthwhile thing for many reasons. Here are some tips how to make the process of learning easier from Daria Poleshchenko.

Tips for Learning Chinese

Studying Chinese is hard, but it is worth it.

First of all, China's advancement to the leading positions in the world economy contributes to the expansion of contacts between this country and its partners. Russia and China have had good relations for a long time now and due to modern realities are getting even closer. This shapes the labor market, requiring the training of highly qualified specialists from various sectors of the economy who speak Chinese.  

Secondly, due to tough competition between alumni all over the world, the Chinese language will be your competitive advantage, for sure! Considering the fact that knowledge of English has become mandatory for almost most professions, and knowledge of two or even three European languages is hardly surprising, knowledge of Chinese immediately gives a huge privilege in the eyes of the employer.

Finally, learning Chinese is a fascinating and beneficial process. While exploring this language, you will learn many new things about Chinese culture, civilization, history, cuisine and national features. While learning Chinese characters, your visual memory will get better, imagination and associative thinking will develop, which may open lots of creative opportunities.

However, learning Chinese is not easy: unusual phonetics, tones, hieroglyphic signs instead of the alphabet, and unusual grammatical system.

  • Step  1: 

    Study no more than 20 words a week. This is effective because you are not overloading your brain with large amounts of characters at one time. Overwise, you will mix them all in your head. In that case, making flashcards and review them on a daily basis is also very helpful.

  • Step  2: 

    Study sentence patterns. Take a whole phrase and just learn it by heart. Don’t get caught up in complicated grammar explanations, just focus on patterns. It helps you to make sentences yourself much faster.

  • Step  3: 

    Practice reading out loud with exaggerated tones. This helps you memorize the way the tones sound as well as helping to make them easy to speed up to normal speech levels afterwards.

  • Step  4: 

    Watch Chinese films/listen to Chinese music/podcasts. Listening to other people talk is one the best ways to learn a foreign language.  Even if you don’t catch every word, surround yourself with Chinese speech, just get used to the sounds. Your brain adapts, listening skills evolve and consequently, your spoken language becomes better.

  • Step  5: 

    Read as much as you can. Since there is a huge number of characters you have to learn, reading books/magazines/news/articles helps not to forget all the characters you have already learned.

  • Step  6: 

    Make Chinese friends. Practicing the language with a friend not a teacher can be extremely helpful in picking up conversational skills. You can go to social events that Chinese people also attend, or join a speaking club.

  • Step  7: 

    Don’t be afraid to speak. If you don’t start speaking, you’ll never learn how to. Make as many mistakes as possible and listen carefully when your teacher or classmates correct you.

  • Step  8: 

    Integrate the Chinese language learning into your daily routine. As any other foreign language, you can not just learn it for two days and then quit it for a week. A foreign language, and Chinese especially, requires consistency. Take a moment each day to Chinese.

The Chinese language opens up many studying and business opportunities. Every year more and more English-taught study programs are offered in Chinese universities, but knowing Chinese will greatly expand your choice of study options and courses, as well as make you feel more comfortable living in China. China is a modern trade, economic, financial and business center of the world, where a huge number of companies and international corporations operate. China actively exports goods all over the world, and local factories produce goods for the largest international retail chains. The history and culture of China is one of the richest and oldest in the world. There are many historical monuments and attractions throughout the country. Proficiency in Chinese will give you a unique opportunity to personally experience and fall in love with China's original culture. Today Chinese can be learned not only from boring textbooks, but also in an interactive online format that will make the learning process easier and more fun.

Tips by

Daria Poleshchenko