Majority of Singapore’s residents are Chinese. Therefore, learning the language will be invaluable if you intend to stay in the country for a long time. Chinese has been rated among one of the hardest languages to learn, alongside Japanese and Arabic since they do not use alphabetical letters. However, this should not discourage you from learning the language since the language is not hard. It simply starts out slightly challenging at first, but it gets easier once you learn and have a good grasp on the basic characters.
What You Should Know about Learning Chinese
Almost all beginners who join a Chinese class will ask the tutor the amount of time it takes to learn the language. However, the fact is that there is no set time that can be prescribed to one to speak and read Chinese fluently. This is because some people can quickly grasp a new language while others may take a little longer to learn the same language. However, experts usually say that it will take you approximately 2200 class hours to be fluent in Chinese. Remember that everyone is wired differently, meaning that the hours required will probably be different for each individual.
Factors Influencing Your Ability to Learn Chinese
Many factors influence your ability to grasp Chinese language and the amount of time that you will take learning the language. Some of them include:
- Your learning method
Anyone with exposure to the language outside the classroom will take a shorter time learning Chinese than a person who only speaks the language in a classroom setting. There are many ways of practicing Chinese, for example, listening to the YouTube videos, using Chinese mobile applications, or watching a Chinese television show. You may also take longer to learn the language if you are learning it on your own without the help of a tutor.
- Previous Language Learning
Bilinguals or anyone who already speaks a foreign language can grasp Chinese more quickly than people who are monolingual. This is because they have learned the art of listening to different sounds, building their vocabularies and looking at various letters. Therefore, they are very much aware of what to expect when learning Chinese. However, this should not discourage you if you are not bilingual.
- Your Motivation and Attitude
Attitude plays a significant role when learning any new language. If you view Chinese as an impossible language to pick up, then every character you come across will be challenging to remember. If you see it as fun and interesting, it will appear more fascinating and interesting. Additionally, you are going to learn the language a little bit faster if you keep your spirits and enthusiasm levels high every time you get into a class.
- Time Spent Learning the Language
You can consider dedicating at least one hour weekly away from the class to memorize vocabulary or watch a Chinese video. This increases your chances of learning the language faster.
The time it takes to learn Chinese varies from one person to the other, and there is no specified time for one to learn the language. However, you should not be afraid of speaking Chinese if you have not yet mastered the language since people are very patient with anyone trying to learn the language. Sometimes learning the Chinese language by yourself may appear like a good idea but you may end up continuously mispronouncing some tones. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a tutor to guide you through the learning process.