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Guide to Learning Chinese

If you are interested in learning how to speak the language of Chinese, then you can begin by using an English/Chinese dictionary and online learning centre. Free online language speaking courses are also available. There are All-in-one beginners’ courses, Chinese Mini-Guides will provide you more about the tones, characters. Audio phrases will help you learn how to say a range of useful phrases from ‘Hello’ to ‘Pleased to meet you. There are two common Chinese languages, Cantonese and Mandarin, being the most common spoken is Mandarin according to Chinese Edge.

Pinyin

Learning the language can be frustrating and difficult, partly because it’s very different from European languages. The letters of the alphabet in English and the Chinese characters do not convey how they should sound when being spoken. There is the pronunciation system which is romanized called Pinyin. This is the way the Mandarin language is spoken. Pinyin is also the common way of typing Chinese.

Pinyin Romanization

While courses and textbooks are good at giving you hundreds or thousands of things to memorise, they don’t focus on making you a better learner of the Chinese language. It is the most common of many forms of Romanization, and is used in most teaching materials.

Pinyin represents each sound of the language in Chinese and it is made up of three different parts that include: finals, initials and tones. Initials are the first section of a sound in Chinese.

b c ch d f g h j k l m n

p q r s sh t w x y z zh

Finals are the end of a sound.

a ai an ang ao e

ei en eng er i ia

ian iang iao ie in ing

iong iu o ong ou u

ua uai uan uang ue ui

un uo ü üe

There are five different tones. Tone marks are drawn above letters of words that are written with Pinyin. Rising tones in English often imply a question or sarcasm. Falling tones may be used as emphasis. Changing the tones of a in Mandarin sentence, though, could completely change the meaning.

New Vocabulary:

Chinese ( – ) Pinyin ( – ) English ( – )

你 nǐ you

好 hǎo good

The Most Common Greeting:

你好! [Nǐ hǎo!] is the most common form of greeting in contemporary Chinese. It can be used day or night.

Take Your Time

Pay attention that you do not speak too fast. It’s very natural to speak in a normal speed just like the native speaker. But you are just a beginner who might not pronounce the standard sound. Speed is the last thing you should care about.

Tips

  • Practice with native speakers with rich experience in teaching Chinese in Mandarin.
  • Easily schedule a lesson according to your time.
  • Learn the language interactively through topic discussion, role play and communication.
  • Grammar learning sites have up-to-date content mostly for serious learners.

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