How will you respond when a person asks you, "Ni hao ma?" It pays to learn a new language as it may be handy some day. Chinese is a very interested foreign language. Imagine speaking the words being used by more than a billion of the world's population. Have you ever imagined teaching yourself to speak this language? Yes, it's possible! Cooking an exquisite Peking duck dish is more challenging than learning the basics of Chinese. Mandarin is as charming as it is mystical. It is very much intertwined with the rich Chinese history. Learning how to speak it is an opportunity to view another side of the world.
Do you remember how you learned your first few words? You probably do not anymore; Moreover, it may not have been as difficult because you've learned to speak your native language naturally, without effort. When it comes to learning another language, it takes some dedication and commitment.
Once you have decided to learn Chinese, set aside a few minutes of your time. Let it be a time when you are alert and ready to absorb information. Perhaps, take a half hour schedule where you can immerse in an amusing adventure of discovering a new culture through its words.
It is basic to start with phonetics. Phonetics is the study of the sound of human speech. In this case, it is the study of how to pronounce basic letters, syllables, and words in Chinese. It is important to note that the meaning of a word may depend on how it is pronounced. The best thing to do is get a headset and listen to basic Chinese phonemes. There are various websites which offer free tutorials with accompanying texts and audio output. In the first few days, it is advisable to really listen and be familiar with the Chinese pronunciations before running straight to complex sentences.
Do you have a cable TV? Chances are there is a Chinese channel which you can tune in to. A handy Chinese-English dictionary is very useful to help you make sense of what is being discussed in the said channel. While you're at it, you can practice calling out names of different objects nearby in Chinese.
If the primary goal is to be able to converse in Mandarin, think of common words and phrases that are practical in everyday living such as "Hello!", "How are you?", "How much?", And "I'm Okay. " Try saying the Chinese phrase equivalent out loud. This will give you confidence in initiating simple chit-chat with others who speak Mandarin. Test your new-found skill by tracking how much you understand when you watch a Chinese film.
As cliché as it may seem, practice indeed makes perfect. Make the most out of available materials such as books, online Chinese language study guides, and numerous smartphone applications. Read interesting articles about China. Watch classic kung fu movies. Cook a steaming shrimp dumpling dish. Learning Chinese is not just all about words but also experiencing a part of China.