5 Tips for improving your Mandarin (Chinese) Skills

No matter you are in which level, it is good to know these 5 tips for improving your Chinese/Mandarin skills. Hope you may find that learning Chinese/Mandarin is not something hard to do after reading this.

Use those vocabularies you know already

You may think “I am not an 8-year-old child”, I want to explain myself in more advance vocabularies, and it is hard to present complicated ideas in simple sentence.


How can I express my thought clear by using those words that I first hear or see?I even don’t know if those words are proper or not.

So, don’t be afraid to use simple words or sentence. The point is how much you understood the words you use.

I learn this from one of my students. She is from London. Her Mandarin is good. I ask her to help doing some translation in some card-prediction-reading articles.

When she gave me her paper, It surprised me! I know more than 90% of the words she choice.

But before asking her help, when I try to do it by myself, I even don’t think they are good choices.

So, next time, don’t struggle in how hard or formal the vocabulary is. How much you can control will be the key point.

Don’t try to use the word you just get from a dictionary or google translate. It won’t help.

To communicate with people is always more important than grammar correct.

Why do you want to learn a new language?The answer is very clear:because I want to talk to them, understand them, and hope they can understand me. So, everything starts from “communication”.

According to Sociocultural theory, our mental function is from participating cultural mediation integrated into daily activities with the others. Learners as active participants by interacting with the environment.

For example, when you read my writing, it is very easy to find grammar mistakes. I am not a native English speaker, but I believe you can understand what I want to say clearly.

Why?Because, I focus on communicate instead of grammar.

Following the first tips, I only use what I knew before. When I communicate with people, grammar is the secondary, meaning goes first.

Of course, good grammar still very important, but if I can’t make people understand me, there is no value for a prefect grammar structure.

Next time, when you use Mandarin/Chinese to chat with people, try to make people understand you first, don’t stick on grammar too mush.

Start to think in Mandarin, instead of your language.

A lot of students learn Mandarin/Chinese well, they have great academic achievement. But when talk with a Chinese native speaker, they couldn’t do their job well. Think about why?

Because they used to think, in they own language, not in Mandarin/Chinese directly. So, they are translating between these two languages. When they can’t find proper words or grammar to convert it, they may fell panic.

Like my daughter, she starts to learn English when she was 4-year-old. I remember it was a day when she was in grade 6th, I asked her try to do some simple translation between Chinese and English.

She responds me that she doesn’t know how to do it. She tells me that she can use English, she never translates it. She has no idea about it.

There are several ways to learn a language, to build up the “new system” in the new language is one of the best ways. Don’t ask “why your language is different with my language? Why?”, try to think in the new language you are learning, such as Mandarin/Chinese.

Use it, not only study it.

Language is for communicating. If you don’t try to use it, there is no function for it. Some advanced students can’t use Mandarin as good as a lower-level students.

Why? Normally is because the better-use students use Mandarin more often than those advanced. They don’t see Chinese as a subject in school, they see it as something useful.

Those advanced students want to form good sentences just like they want to have great points in the test, but the better-use students only want to use it as a tool in the real life.

There for, if you want to improve your Mandarin/Chinese skills, use it, not only study it in your class. No matter by reading news, watching shows or videos, writing something or talking with somebody, just use it.

Learning is something we like to do, not something we must to do.

If learning something can’t make us became happier, then probably better think further if we need to continue or not.

It means, try something we like. If you like singing, maybe you can listen songs; if you like drama, you can find good films.

Some of my students they speak Mandarin/Chinese really good. Most of them have strong motivation. Where is the motivation from? Sometime is the move star they like、sometimes is the drama、sometimes is computer games、sometime is their relatives and so on.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is, the most important part is they are willing to learn. They are doing something they like!

Try those 5 tips, you will find how useful it will be.

Here you can read about When learning Mandarin/ Chinese, characters is a must or not?

View useful videos, you can check here.

Free useful document to download 8 smart ways to think in Chinese

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