All of them are good. Here are some tips for you:
1-All about your goals.
When we focus on tips for learning Chinese easily you need to be aware that there is no fast track. That is, learning a language takes time! Until someone invests a way to automatically transfer information into our brains like a computer, you need be patient with yourself. The biggest mistake new language learners make is having goals that are too hard to achieve. Be patient with yourself and realize that it takes time. I like to say ‘study smart’. You can’t learn a language faster than your brain is capable but you can make learning easier for yourself!
As you may have gathered from our previous posts there’s no such thing as ‘Chinese’ (find out more here). Usually when people say Chinese language I think of Mandarin or Cantonese. Before you even think of how to learn Chinese, you need to pick which you will learn. Will you want to learn traditional or simplified characters? Why? Think about your language goals, are they short or long-term. Until then you can read as many blogs with tips for learning Chinese but you might find yourself getting stuck. Basically work out why learning this language is important for you. This will also help you pick the right resources.
3-Find the right resources
Once you’ve worked out ‘why’ you are learning Chinese you can hone in on the right resources. You might want to learn Chinese for fun with no major goal. In that case there’s no point dragging yourself down with heavy HSK books. It would be more suitable to use formats that introduce language easily in short bursts, like apps. However, if it’s the opposite then structured classes and books that focus on minor grammar points might be best for you. It’s so important to find the right resource for you. Many learners quit because they find learning the new language difficult. But what you may not realize is that you may be making it difficult for yourself by not using the correct resources!
4-Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
I’m sure you as you read this you are thinking that I couldn’t have stated something more obvious. Yet, having worked with kids there’s something wonderful about how they learn, that we as adults often forget. Kids are not afraid to make mistakes; they don’t care if they get embarrassed. Learning is a series of trials and errors and kids do this well. As an adult we should take a leaf from their book. If you don’t believe me think about the times you have done something embarrassing did it not teach you a lesson? You probably still remember it now right? When I think of my language journey I have lots of hilarious mistakes. They were embarrassing at the time but taught me a lesson. Every time I use the grammar that I made a mistake in I remember that event. It ensures I don’t make a mistake again. Because of that I suggest finding a native speaker you can talk to. Remember if you want to learn Chinese easily, make more mistakes!
5-Invest in your Chinese studies
Although this is true of any language, it is especially true of Chinese. It all comes back to ‘how to learn Chinese’. I don’t necessary mean invest money, here I’m talking about time. You can’t expect to learn Chinese easily without putting in some work. I’m not suggesting you dedicate your whole spare time to Chinese, if anything this is counter intuitive. Short bursts of language learning have been shown to help learn a language more easily. So set aside anything between 10 to 30 minutes each day to study Chinese. You can even dedicate different days for different skills, Monday learn new vocabulary, Tuesday use that vocabulary in writing form, Wednesday speaking, etc.
There’s one thing I know to be true about myself, I can’t learn by studying off a book. I need real interaction! I learnt more from 1 hour of a Chinese class, than I did a whole month studying an hour a day alone. Because of that, although I use textbooks to review, I now refuse to learn by myself. What is your learning style? Have you noticed a pattern to your learning? There’s no point in struggling studying alone if you prefer to study with others or vice versa. There’s no right way to learn! Find your learning style and use resources accordingly and you will find that Chinese will come to you more easily.
Lingo Bus is an online Chinese learning platform that focuses on children’s education ages 5 through 12. Second language learning for kids made affordable, fun, and easy!