Want To Learn Chinese? Here Are The Top 5 Tips
- Take the HSK. The Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) is the official Chinese proficiency exam of China. But you can also take it abroad. There are six levels to the HSK, making it suitable for any level of Chinese learner. The most elementary level requires a vocabulary of 150 words. The levels increase, mainly based on vocabulary, with the most advanced testing over 5000 words. While many people take the HSK for entrance into Chinese university or to obtain a scholarship that allows them to study in China, you can use the HSK as a guide for short-term language study. For anyone without concrete plans on how strong she wants her Mandarin skills, I suggest taking trying some HSK practice tests to figure out where you are. Taking the HSK as a goal will make it easier for you to push yourself. Check the chinese HSK courses FAQ for more info.
- Find good amount materials. Your local bookstore is a good place to start, but most Chinese teaching books tend to be garbage. Chinese is not an easy language, and any book promising that you can "learn Chinese fast" are bullshit. Remember, programs with a couple audio CDs and a basic list of vocabulary aren't going to help you with speaking or writing. Most books are useless. If you do decide to get a book, though, first read reviews on Amazon.com, and remember to check your local library for your selected book before you spending your hard-earned money.
- Use online Chinese learning resources. Finding good website that can keep you motivated in a daily manner is an important step. Online resources are more specific to your individual needs. For example, some learners need to learn Chinese their careers and need specific vocabulary for that. Others simply wish to broaden their own personal knowledge base and are looking for, perhaps, daily advice. Still others want a community in which they can get feedback. Online, you have plenty of options.
- Learn to hear characters. That is, recognize spoken Chinese is not a bunch of sounds, but verbal representations of characters. This is an essential skill that you'll also need to acquire for fluency. In my experience, I found that once I listened to native speakers, visualizing the characters they were speaking, I started to develop my ability much more quickly. For beginners, after you have learned the most common words, start to pay attention and visualize the actual characters being spoken.
- Teach Chinese. Yes, even as a beginner, you should be teaching your friends and classmates some basic Chinese. While teaching, you solidify your own knowledge of the language. You'll also quickly realized where your difficulties the language lie. Consider joining a Chinese language clubs and inspire others. Teaching Chinese is a better solution to finding your language problems than is waiting for native speakers to misunderstand you.