There are many different ways to learn Mandarin in Singapore. In this island nation, natives are fluent in both English and their native tongue. This native tongue is made up of either Chinese Mandarin, Malay or Tamil. With Mandarin so widely used here, you do not have to be afraid of running out of learning resources. In fact, with the bilingual practice in this country, Singapore is one of the best places to learn Mandarin! The best way to learn Mandarin is to find your own secret learning recipe. Find out what type of learning works for you and spend a set amount of time per day learning Mandarin.
To aid your learning, we have come up with a list of resources you can use to learn Mandarin in Singapore:
This is a great starting point for anyone who has just begun their Mandarin learning journey. For those at the beginner level, Chinese newspapers may be too challenging for you. You should have a go at reading comics as they provide a lighter reading and are much more fun to read. Another option for you is to try reading children’s fairy tales written completely in Chinese like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. There are plenty of libraries located all over Singapore, you will be spoilt for choices when you look at the amount of Chinese books you get to choose from. Take your pick!
Talk to Chinese people in Singapore
Another fantastic resource is to get language exchange partners or simply make friends with people who speak Chinese in Singapore. This is where you can practise having a conversation in Mandarin with your fellow Mandarin speakers and have them correct you whenever necessary. It is also an amazing way to improve your pronunciation and build your vocabulary bank. You will get exposed to the way the language is used in daily conversations, allowing you to build a conversation of your own in the future.
Many Chinese classes are available when you are looking to learn Mandarin in Singapore. You can choose from a choice of online or classroom-based courses. There are classes to suit every need – one to one, private, group or Skype based. Furthermore, Singaporeans get to enjoy attending these courses at a subsidised rate. You can make use of your SkillsFuture credits to learn Mandarin regardless of whether you are in the beginner, intermediate or advanced level. You can even pick up Business Chinese! Find a course that will suit your budget. You can even get your friends to join you in learning Mandarin, it will be a great experience.
Order Food & Shopping in Chinese
In Singapore, you will find Chinese speakers running hawker stalls. Start to order your food in Chinese instead of English. Even placing your order with the food item number is a start. Your reward is a tasty meal to satisfy your taste buds. The same can be said when shopping in Singapore, try your best and do everything in Chinese!
Using Mobile Applications for Learning
For some, writing and reviewing Chinese characters can take up a lot of time. A great idea is to download or purchase Chinese learning applications on your mobile so that you have a handy resource with you every time you are on the go. You can simply look at the application while waiting for your bus, queuing for your food or when you are waiting for someone. Make use of your spare time to revise! Spend a few minutes every day on your phone to review your characters.
When learning Mandarin in Singapore, choose your own activities, create a learning style for yourself and set aside time to attend mandarin classes. With sufficient practice, you will be able to pick up Mandarin in no time!