Mandarin Classes Singapore

3 Common Beginner Mistakes To Avoid When Learning Chinese

Mandarin Classes Singapore

When starting with your Mandarin studies, there are many factors to consider first, such as the beginner resources to use, which Mandarin classes in Singapore to take, and the number of hours you can dedicate daily, to name a few.

Without prior experience or proper guidance, starting on the wrong foot is likely to occur, leading to bad habits or time-consuming mistakes down the line. To avoid this in your language learning journey, familiarise yourself with three of the most common mistakes when learning Mandarin and how to avoid them.

Diving straight into the Chinese characters

When learning a new language, it’s logical to think that the first place to start would be the alphabet or, in this case, the Hanzi or Chinese characters. However, diving straight into learning these characters through rote memorisation is highly unadvisable given that the character count is in the thousands; memorisation would likely be ineffective.

Instead, you can focus on learning Pinyin first, the romanised form of the Chinese language. For starters, you can steer your efforts into working on your listening skills, building your basic knowledge of Chinese grammar, and expanding your vocabulary. After making significant progress in these aspects, you would then be more confident in tackling the Hanzi.

Not spending enough time with the language

When you’re not that proficient in comprehending spoken or written Chinese yet, that is when it’s best to spend time with it and improve steadily! Whether it’s through listening to Chinese music or watching movies with Chinese subtitles, there are many everyday habits that you can do to immerse yourself in the language.

The reason for this is because your ability to pick up new words and phrases of a language is directly tied to your level of exposure to it. Hence, even if you listen without understanding the content entirely, you’re still conditioning your brain to be better at learning new vocabulary.

Neglecting your proficiency in the tones

Given how Mandarin is a tonal language, meaning the characters can be read in different tones, neglecting your studies on tones is a big mistake that you might realise down the road. Despite how challenging they may be, mastering the tones is a core aspect of mastering Mandarin. Even if your spoken Chinese is sufficient to sustain a conversation, having a good grasp of the tones can take your language skills to the next level – you’ll sound like a native speaker in no time.

Devoting little to no time to them early on can lead to poor pronunciation habits, which can be challenging to correct in the future and may even hold you back from passing the HSK test in Singapore for future career opportunities. To make the endeavour less daunting for you, it’s good to keep in mind that you don’t need to rush and can tackle it slowly. No matter how long it takes, tones will become easier to identify and enunciate as long as you put in constant practice.


Learning Mandarin without proper guidance might result in making common mistakes that could hamper your progress. On the other hand, by enrolling in Mandarin courses from the beginning, you can kick-start your language learning journey on the right path.

Here at Linda Mandarin, not only do our classes follow the accredited syllabus as produced in Hanban, China, but our experienced instructors are native speakers who can provide you with quality Mandarin learning experiences. With comprehensive physical and online classes, drop us a call today to enquire more!

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