Did you ever wonder if it is even possible to learn Chinese as a Westerner? Do you go in complete panic just thinking that you must learn a language so strange looking, it might just as well come from a different world? Do not worry help is at hand! There are a couple of amazing secret ways how you can easily learn a language as exotic as Chinese in a matter of 8 weeks or so. Learning any foreign language is not child’s play, even thou children learn a new language much faster than adults do. So knowing how children learn a new language like Chinese would put you miles ahead of other Chinese learners attempting to do the same as you.
You see, reading Chinese is one thing and we won’t even tackle that in this article. Having a conversation in Chinese is something totally different and much easier to accomplish. The consonants used in Chinese are quite simple. The tonal quality in which Chinese are pronounced is the reason why Chinese sound so “Chinese” to an English speaker. When we say the word “horse” it doesn’t matter whether we say it in a rising or falling tone it’s still a horse. Be careful, in Chinese if you use the wrong tone pronouncing a word that you might be saying something totally different! To learn Chinese fast, you need to become very sensitive to the varying tones used in the language.
And for that, you need an audio-based course one that not only teaches you the words but allows you to hear the pitch and tone in which they’re spoken. Either take a conversational class in person, or choose an online or DVD-based course in which the emphasis is placed on speaking rather than reading, and the instructors are native Chinese speakers themselves. This method will give you a solid foundation in the structure of the language itself while sensitizing you to the nuances of its sound, and it is the best way to learn Chinese fast.
But there is one more essential step in your Chinese instructional method. To learn Chinese fast, make Chinese friends! While this is a good idea when learning any language, it is absolutely essential when learning Chinese because you need the feedback that only other speakers can provide. Pay extremely careful attention to the way your companions shape their lips and tongue as they form their words. You’ll find that as you listen to Chinese speakers, you’ll be able to understand them relatively quickly. However be warned that in your first attempt to reply in Chinese to your friends will break out in hilarious laughter and there’s nothing to feel ashamed about. It’s very easy for a rookie to say embarrassing things in Chinese! Before you take that trip to China or entertain any Chinese dignitaries, you’ll want to have practiced your conversational skills with people you trust.
And where do you find these Chinese friends? You may be able to strike up a friendship with the owners of your local Chinese restaurant, just make sure they speak the same version of Chinese you’re studying (residents of Hong Kong and Taiwan generally speak Cantonese, while residents of the People’s Republic of China speak Mandarin). Alternatively, try your local Civic Association. If you live near a university, see if they have an Asian students’ group. Any of these outlets should put you in touch with people who will help you learn Chinese fast. Just be friendly, and you’re well on your way to learning a new language!