Free Chinese Learning Tips—Where to Start?
Where does one start when learning Chinese? Chinese pinyin should be the first step. Pinyin uses the English alphabet to represent Chinese syllables. The earlier you start
, the easier it will be to grasp the correct pronunciation of Chinese words.
are crucial for speaking Mandarin Chinese, however they are usually quite challenging for the beginning Mandarin learner. Here are some suggestions to help you master Chinese tones:
First, practice, practice, and practice. Try to practice the Chinese tones as much as possible. The tone chart (see below) and hand signals will help you remember how the four tones are pronounced.
Find some simple Chinese audio recordings and listen to them. This will expose you to listening to native Chinese and help you to distinguish between the four tones.
Take every opportunity to speak with Chinese people. You will know you’re doing well when you can make yourself understood by a native speaker.
Read Chinese words or short stories aloud to reinforce your memory. Record yourself and play it back later, and ask yourself, “How does it sound?”
Finally, you might try finding a tutor directly from China. She/he can help familiarize you with the tones. Many tutors offer lessons online, making it more convenient for you to arrange a good time for your lesson.
1. Learning the correct strokes is quite important when learning Chinese characters. Knowing the strokes used in writing Chinese will provide you with a good solid foundation on how Chinese characters are formed.
2. The only way to learn Chinese characters is to memorize them, practice writing a character until you remember it. Start with the easy ones using all the strokes, for example “一 (yī) one,” “十 (shí) ten” and so on.
3. Learn Chinese characters using phrases rather than memorizing vocabulary lists. Reading sentences or articles while circling the new words is a great way to learn new Chinese characters. Watching movies or TV programs with Chinese subtitles is also a good way to learn how to form sentences using Chinese characters.
4. Use your imagination by linking the shape of the new word to a familiar object.
A great way to learn Mandarin Chinese is to learn Chinese through songs. Many people have a natural ability to hear tones in songs that are difficult to hear when spoken. When you practice singing in Chinese you’ll learn the language more quickly, because you have become more accustomed to using Mandarin tones in the songs. After you’ve learned to sing a few Chinese songs, you’ll find that you are able to speak Chinese better. Learning Chinese songs is a good supplement to taking courses and practicing spoken Chinese. It is especially helpful in teaching children and used in schools in China. Practicing with songs is not only a lot of fun, but also a very rewarding Chinese learning experience.