Pt. 1: Preparation
1.1 Decide on which Chinese you want to learn (most common – Mandarin)
1.2 Buy a Chinese-English dictionary
1.3 Become familiar with the language
Start reading about the Chinese language on websites. If you feel totally lost, just start right here on our website.
Pt. 2: Mastering the Basics
2.1 Start Practicing the four basic Mandarin tonesAs we mentioned above, Chinese is a tonal language that means different tones can change the meaning of a whole word. It is important to learn the tones if you want to speak Mandarin Chinese correctly.
The more words you know, the sooner you will master the language. Start with easy and basic words that will help you learn proper pronunciation. Remember, you should enlarge your vocabulary every day and don’t forget that accuracy is very important. For instance, using a wrong tone can lead to a mistake like saying "I want cake" instead of "I want coke!".
2.2 Learn the basic vocabulary
Tip! Just take a look at our Chinese vocabulary section or some of websites we have recommended.
2.3 Learn a few basic phrasesOnce you have learned some vocabulary and the proper pronunciation, you can move onto learning some basic phrases which you will use in everyday speech.
Tip! Phrases that will help you are located in Chinese Phrases section.
2.4 Time to start with grammarOne might think that the Chinese language doesn’t have grammar but this is a common misconception. On the other hand, the language itself differs a lot from European languages. Despite this, Chinese uses mostly the same word order as English.
Tip! For this step, we recommend using trials and YouTube podcasts.
Chinese characters can also be rewritten using the Roman alphabet; this is called Pinyin. Learning Pinyin will help you understand the language even if you can’t read original Chinese characters. But remember, although Pinyin uses the Roman alphabet, the pronunciation of most letters is often different than it would be in English!
2.5 Learn to use Pinyin
2.6 Start learning Chinese characters and practice readingAccording to Wikipedia.org, there are more than 50,000 Chinese characters, but most of these are rarely used. A Chinese native who has graduated probably knows approximately 8,000 characters, although to read a newspaper you only need 2,000.
Tip! Check the PDF section, where you will find a Guide to Chinese characters.
Pt. 3: Enhance your skills
3.1 Start speaking with other learners and nativesConnect to speakers through email, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Practice Chinese through live conversation at every opportunity!
Tip! Join Chinese groups on Facebook to find a partner.
3.2 Watch Chinese films and TV shows
3.3 Listen to Chinese radio or music
I am Adam and I originally come from the Czech Republic, a small but adorable country in the heart of Europe. I started to learn languages in kindergarten and since then I am a big language enthusiast. Besides my native language, which is Czech, I can also speak Spanish, German, English and partly Chinese. However, I am also in the process of mastering Russian. It took me lots of time to manage each of the languages mentioned, therefore, I wanted to share all the methods, tips and tricks that I developed over time with people who might find it useful.
Mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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