If you’re looking to learn a second, third, or fifth language and Chinese is your pick. I’ll try and offer you a few tips that are helping me learn it at the moment.
My mother tongue is Romanian, I was born and live in Romania. My second language is obviously English, and my third was suppose to be French. I studied French for eight years (not by choice) and barely learned a thing because I don’t enjoy it.
In college I went on a different direction and chose Chinese for two reasons mostly: 1. Because you start it from scratch and 2. Because it’s more of a “future” type of language.
Being real for a second, China is doing pretty well for itself. In a few years, it might get more developed than the United States. If not, Chinese speakers will always be wanted and immediately hired by respected companies from all over the world who seek a partnership with other Chinese companies. Not to mention that basically everything is assembled or “Made in China”.
Enough with the introduction, let’s get right to it.
Advice no. 1: Use images!
Chinese is a very artsy language. Because of its characters, people consider it impossible to learn and understand. In fact, in my opinion, characters are what make it easier. Allow me to share the reason why.
A character by itself is just a symbol. Yet, many characters can be transformed into a drawing that most of the time is the word itself. Associated with its drawing it becomes far from easier to remember.
Advice no. 2: Combine two different words to form a third one
For example, the word “polar” and “bear” in Chinese combined mean “polar bear”. Same as in English.
Same goes for “mouth” and “red” combined meaning “lipstick” and many others. More examples and images of this sort can be found in my “Learn Chinese” folder on Pinterest. If you’re interested to check them out, click here. You don’t necessarily need an account.
Advice no. 3: Use Free Apple/Android apps!
Apps can be a very practical way to learn Chinese at home, especially characters. They have the ability to teach you in which order characters must be written and how to read each one.
I will name few useful apps that I use personally and which are completely free to download on the App Store: ChineseSkill; Learn Chinese Offline; How to write Chinese Word and many others which you can find here.
Advice no. 4: Practice!
“Practice makes perfect.” Myself and my college class mates each have a notebook in which we practice writing our characters. We start by drawing the first character and continue a whole row with the same one, just like we did in first grade when we were just beginning to learn the alphabet.
If you desire to learn Chinese, I’m afraid these are the only ways to do so. They’re as quick as learning Chinese can possibly be, the easiest and the cheapest, or in fact free.
Take at least sixty minutes from your day and dedicate them into studying the language. Give it time, patience and dedication. You’ll get there eventually, and who knows, we might just meet in China!
Have fun studying, folks!