How To Start Learning Mandarin?

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How To Start Learning Mandarin?

Step 1: Determine if starting to learn mandarin if suitable for you

How to start learning mandarin? First you need to know that studying Chinese isn’t suitable for everyone. It requires large amounts of precious time to be experienced at it.

In order to help you determine whether you want to spend time to learn Mandarin, you can participate in free online classes to begin your study of Chinese.

Step 2: Find some Chinese study material

You can buy study materials from bookshops or you can find them online. This includes apps, e-books and videos…

Teacher explaining how to start learning mandarin

Step 3: Study Pingyin

After equipping yourself with some necessary resources, you need to correctly learn Chinese pronunciation. You must’ve encountered many words and names such as Xi An and Qing Shi Huang, but you don’t know their pronunciation.

When you ask, “How to start learning Mandarin?”, the answer is certainly “Studying Chinese should begin with studying pronunciation.”

Pingyin is the most commonly used system to write Chinese words in Roman characters. For example, the Pingyin of I am Chinese is woshìzhongguórén. Every Chinese character represents a syllable and its pronunciation can be written out using Pingyin.

One thing to note while studying Pingyin is that its pronunciation isn’t the same as when we read it like English. For example, the pronunciation of ‘shi’ isn’t like ‘she’ but more like ‘sure’.

There are also many great videos on YouTube and excellent apps to teach you Pingyin.

Step 4: Start speaking Chinese

How to you start learning Mandarin? One very important point is that you must say the words and sentences correctly. In order to help you be certain that your Pingyin pronunciation is correct, you need to try to people whose mother language is Chinese. They can ensure you speak the words correctly and help you go from speaking simple words and phrases to having a basic conversation.

Because of this, I firmly encourage those wanting to learn Chinese to sign up to courses. Search which Chinese language courses are near your area or you can consider one on one online courses with private Chinese teachers.

Teacher explaining how to start learning mandarin on a whiteboard

Step 5: Listen to Chinese while travelling to and from work

How to start learning Mandarin? It’s very important to try to listen to as much Chinese as possible when beginning to learn Chinese. We learned our mother language through listening. Therefore, you should adopt the same method to learn Mandarin.

Step 6: Understand Chinese Tone

You might’ve heard that Mandarin is a language of tone. Because Mandarin has much less sounds than English, tone is of the utmost importance when conveying the meaning of homonyms. Don’t listen to students who proclaim tone is insignificant. I can promise you that using the right tone to speak is very important!

School board displaying simple chinese characters as a way on how to start learning mandarin

Step 7: Start Learning Chinese Words

If you’re certain you want to know how to start learning Mandarin, I suggest that you must start to learning Chinese writing as soon as you’re certain you have mastered the basic knowledge of Chinese Pingyin.

Once you start learning Chinese writing, you need to study it as a system and understand it. Your goal isn’t to just memorize by force.

Step 8: Copy the way native speakers of Chinese speak and their tone

While studying language, you need to copy the way native speakers speak their mother language.

Try to record your own voice on your phone and compare it with native speakers.

Step 9: Practice Chinese Everyday

Start from studying Mandarin for 30 minutes a day. The more you study, the faster you progress. The more you like studying the more you will learn.

Studying for 30 minutes everyday is much better than studying three to four hours once a week as doing that might make you feel exhausted. Try your best to make learning Mandarin a part of your daily activities. This is the advice I’ve given about how to start learning Mandarin.

2 students having a conversation about how to start learning mandarin
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