How English Speaker can Learn Mandarin Quickly?
Language is the first and in some cases the toughest barrier to cross when it comes to interacting with people from a different ethnicity.
And while learning a new language helps in overcoming many challenges, the challenge of learning a new language itself can be quite demanding.
In fact, the level of dedication needed in this case can become much more significant when the new language is totally different from your native language.
Take for example the case of an English language speaker taking on the challenge to learn Mandarin language.
While English is the most widely used language in terms of native and non-native speakers’ combined, Mandarin language has the most number of native speakers.
So considering this fact learning Mandarin language as an English speaker could give you an edge in many ways as someone who can interact in two of the most spoken languages.
However, both the English language and the Mandarin language have very little in common that can benefit you or any other English language speaker seeking to learn Mandarin language.
In this article, we look at some of the ways in which an English language speaker can quickly and smoothly learn the Mandarin language.
But first, why not quickly review some of the other benefits entailed in learning a new language.
Why learn a new language?
Why learn a new language is the most obvious and frequent question that naturally comes to mind whenever someone talks about learning new languages.
Well, the simplest answer to this question is that it broadens your horizon at understanding things from a whole new perspective.
This is because learning a new language entails the following benefits –
- It increases your brain power.
- It enhances your memory.
- It improves your ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Increases your vocabulary.
- Makes your decision making skills better.
- Increases the understanding and practical applicability of your native language and any other language that you speak.
- It boosts your mind’s response rate at dealing with different issues.
How English language speakers learn Mandarin language quickly?
As mentioned earlier, both the English language and the Mandarin have very little in common.
But this in any case does not mean that being an English language speaker you cannot learn the Mandarin language easily which is a general misconception.
So if you as an English language speaker are eager to learn the Mandarin language as a second language, all you need to do is to practice the following guidelines which we have compiled for you.
So let’s begin exploring these.
1. Gather the basic information
To begin with, you need to do some research to gather all the basic information and as much of it as possible that you will necessarily need.
Research the internet for keywords like ‘how to learn Mandarin’, ‘Mandarin class near me’ or even ‘Mandarin tutor near me’.
Ask any friends who have learned Mandarin or have interest in learning foreign languages for assistance in how to begin and what resources to collect.
On your own, you certainly need to borrow some books from a library, read articles and watch videos to learn as much as possible.
This will also help you decide which medium of learning are you most comfortable with.
Then based on this, you can enroll in a classroom based lectures, self-learn by reading books and articles or subscribe for an online class.
2. Learn the four Mandarin tones
The use of Mandarin tones is highly important in the pronunciation of words in the Mandarin language.
Even if the spelling of certain words might seem the same, the tone or the way you speak these words will change the entire meaning.
A good strategy at this point could be to ask a Chinese friend for assistance or get enrolled in a Mandarin course where the tutor is a native Mandarin speaker.
3. Learn to begin using the Pinyin system
The Pinyin system is basically a way of writing the Mandarin in the form of Roman script.
Remember that Chinese Mandarin consist of complex characters that could be very hard to learn, remember and recognize for new students.
Therefore, it is highly advisable to start with using the Pinyin system as a way to learn the tone, spelling rules, beginning and ending sequences.
Once you are through with the Mandarin pronunciation, you can easily proceed to the next stage.
4. Learn a few basic words, phrases and numbers
Now that you are familiar with the tones and the Pinyin system, you can easily learn some basic words, phrases and numbers.
Memorize words and phrases that are normally used to conduct simple everyday business and interactions.
Like time of the day (morning, afternoon, evening and night), how to greet and say good-bye, words used to begin a conversation and end it, how to ask the price of anything and what words to use to ask for a discount or negotiate it and how to call a cab, etc.
For this purpose, an additional help would be to learn the basic number system as well. Learn the counting 1 to 10 and how to make its sets and pronounce them.
5. Learn how the basic sentence formation rules
Just like any other language, Chinese Mandarin also has a set of grammatical rules to follow in making the sentences structures.
Quite similar to the importance of tones while speaking the Mandarin, is the importance of using correct sentence order and word position in the Mandarin language.
6. Practice making word webs
Buy a book containing Mandarin word webs and practice making the same on your notebook.
By comparing and contrasting the objects and words in the word web, word webs can be an excellent way to build and increase your Mandarin vocabulary.
7. Meet or make friends with native Mandarin speakers
Again keeping in mind the importance of tones in the Mandarin language, it is highly recommended to practice what you have learned so far with some native Mandarin speakers.
For this purpose, you can make some Chinese friends or if you already have some, you can set practice sessions and get their feedback on your progress.
You can also find people on the internet that are willing to help to practice Mandarin.
While the online practice might cost you a fee, you may also get it for free in case some native speakers are promoting the use of Mandarin.
8. Enroll in a course based on your current skill level
Language courses are often offered based on the current skill level of students.
This is because many new language learners prefer to develop basic skills on their own and then seek further guidance through professional help.
So depending on what level you think you currently are, get enrolled to further enhance your Mandarin.
For a better decision at judging your current knowledge, perhaps finding a course that requires an admission test might be more appropriate.
9. Watch and listen to short clips of videos and audios
Again this is a way to self-judge how much and how well you have successfully retained all which you have learned till now.
So by watching and listening to the short duration video and audio content, you can self-analyze your performance and understanding level.
10. Visit China for some time
If possible, you might want to take a trip to China and live among the native speakers.
Even though this can be a very expensive method of practically experiencing the Mandarin language and the native environment from where it originates, it will be an experience beyond words can describe.
This is because China has a rich and diversified culture and offers some very cool tourist attractions both historic and modern.
11. Take Mandarin tests as often as possible
As a way to get certifications and recognition for your hard work, you can always take different tests to check your Mandarin.
12. Practice makes perfect
Once you are in the final stages or even when you have learned it all, keep practicing it so that you do not lose track of it.
Remember that ‘when there is a will, there is a way’. So no matter what others say and how they perceive Mandarin to be, it is upon you to prove your skills and talent to not the other people, but to you only.
So if you really want to pursue learning the Mandarin, start by using the steps mentioned here in this article and hopefully you will end up being successful in this quest.