Five things you need to know before learning Mandarin Chinese

If you know the following 5 things, learning Mandarin Chinese will become easier. Mandarin Chinese is a very logical but free language.

See Mandarin Chinese as a totally new language, don’t always try to compare with your own language.

If a learner always tries to make comparation between Mandarin Chinese and his/her own language, he/she will face to a bottleneck very soon. I am not saying you can’t compare them, but don’t ask: Why I can say so in my language, but can’t say it in Mandarin Chinese.

No, you can’t, just can’t. Mandarin Chinese is not your mother language. Any two languages with differences. If you stick on asking this kind of question, it will stop you becoming better.

Learning a new language needs time! There is no short cut way to master it.

There was a student in my class, he looks very confident. But he messes up every test during the coming few days. Before the end of the second week, he disappeared.

I heard that he gave up and leave our center. After talking with some of his classmate, I realized that he thinks he can speak as good as a Mandarin native speaker within 6 months.

Anyone who ever learn a real NEW language should know this is MISSION IMPOSSIVEABLE to master it within a short period. Give yourself enough and reason time to learn it.

You need to pay more attention to Tones

When we are singing, we need melody. When we speak Mandarin Chinese, we need tones.

Tones is an important element in Chinese. If you don’t care about it, then you will have problem in using it. People may probably misunderstand you. Here is an example:

「買mǎi」pronounce 3rd tone, which means to buy;

「賣mài」pronounce 4th tone, which means to sell

There is no tense, genders in Mandarin Chinese, but do have measure words(classifier) .

Mandarin Chinese use doesn’t have clear tense in sentences. Except this, the object, like newspaper and chair, in Mandarin Chinese doesn’t have genders. However, Mandarin Chinese do have genders for man and woman, bull and cow.

As measure words(classifier), is a quite important and necessary part in Mandarin Chinese. The basic pattern is:

Nu. (amount) + Measure word + Noun.(singular form)

Ex. 3 pens → 三枝筆 sānzhī bǐ

Chinese character is not based on alphabet, it based on logogram.

Most of the languages in the world are based on alphabet, but Mandarin Chinese is not. Chinese characters including 3 parts: meaning, shape and pronunciation. We won’t know which character people are saying unless we saw it (not in a sentence). The shape (radical and parts) normally can help beginners to understand and memories its meaning.

Here you can read about 5 tips for improving your Mandarin (Chinese) Skills

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

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