Learning any new language is hard, more so Chinese, which is certainly one of the more difficult languages in the word. With that said, many non-natives are able to learn and master the language, and so can you. All you need is loads of determination and regular practice.
There’s no substitute for regular practice if you want to learn Chinese in Singapore. You can become fluent in Chinese only if you practice diligently over a long period of time. Mark Zuckerberg’s case is an ideal example of this.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, astonished everybody when he delivered a 20-minute speech in Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2015. He later revealed that he started learning Chinese in 2010 and prior to his now-famous speech he practiced Chinese an hour or more daily for over 4.5 years.
Yup, that’s the kind of hard work one needs to put in to learn Chinese! But that’s not all—hard work alone might not prove sufficient. You have to be organized in your approach to learning Chinese.
The following tips help you get most of your practice and ensure you become fluent in Chinese as soon as possible:
Improve your vocabulary
You can’t become fluent in Chinese unless you bring your vocabulary to a certain level. Every day you must learn new words and phrases in Chinese. Here’s a fun way to improve Chinese vocabulary.
Use vocabulary trees. This is the easiest way to improve your vocabulary. Pick a subject that interests you. For instance, you can choose traveling as a subject if you love to travel. Write this as the main subject on the center of a large sheet and then draw several branches (subtopics) from the central word. For example, you can create different sub-topics like rail, airplane, hill stations, sea beaches, etc. as sub-topic. Further, extend your vocabulary by adding sub-branches to branches. Whenever you come across a new word, check its meaning in a dictionary. Theme-based vocabulary lists help you pick up new words fast and also make it easier to revise what you’ve learned so far.
Improve your listening skills
Chinese, as you might already know, is a tonal language. The same word can have different meanings when spoken differently. By practicing listening Chinese you can pick up different tones.
Pick appropriate listening materials, those which are neither too hard nor too easy. You will learn faster if you pick something interesting. Another thing you must keep in mind is to listen to audio clips of real people as much as possible. After all, you will be speaking to real people in Chinese, so it makes sense to hone your listening skills by listening to them speaking Chinese.
Practice speaking Chinese
Lastly, don’t let any day go by in which you don’t practice speaking Chinese. If you are taking Mandarin classes Singapore, achieving this is not difficult at all. Form a language group with other non-natives in your class and meet regularly. Make it a rule to speak only in Chinese when you all are together. You can also speak Chinese aloud when you are alone. For example, when doing household chores, describe aloud in Chinese what you are doing. Similarly, voice your thoughts aloud in Chinese.