Learning a second language takes time, effort and dedication. It is even more taxing to learn a language with many differences from your mother tongue since you have to memorise the grammatical structures as well as the letters or characters used in writing the language. One of such languages is Chinese. Chinese has many dialects, but Mandarin and Cantonese are the most widely used in most Asian countries. You will find plenty of mandarin classes in singapore since it is the official dialect accepted in the country.
Chinese has a reputation for being one of the hardest languages to learn compared to the other European languages. While this may be true for some people, millions of foreigners have succeeded in learning the language with most of them achieving high levels of mastery. However, this does not come easy. You will need the motivation to gain fluency in the language. Here are some reasons for giving your best while learning Chinese.
Chinese Uses Characters and Not Alphabetical Letters
This is the number one reason for increased commitment levels while learning Chinese. Chinese uses strokes to form tens of thousands of characters. The characters are nothing close to alphabetical letters, and you will be learning everything from scratch. There are about 80,000 Chinese characters, but you only need around 2500-3500 of them for you to read newspapers or other publications freely.
Chinese Takes Longer to Learn
Learning Mandarin takes a long time if English is your native language. The fact that the Chinese language is completely different from English with a different set of sounds and symbols makes it harder to learn compared to the other European languages. Most people are not ready to endure more than one year of learning Chinese. However, the benefits that you reap from learning the Chinese language are truly worth it.
The Different Tones
Chinese comprises of four tones; high, rising, falling and rising, and finally the falling tone. This means that one word can be pronounced in different ways to give a whole new meaning to a sentence. Anyone learning the Chinese language often encounters a challenge in mastering the different intonations to use in a particular sentence, but this gets easier after through practice.
You Have to Learn Different Skills Separately
Learning Chinese involves perfecting your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. All the four skills are easy to learn concurrently while studying European languages, but that would be a problem while studying Chinese. You have to know the shape of each stroke used while writing characters before you can pronounce it correctly. This means that it is possible to learn written Chinese and be unable to read it fluently and vice versa.
Learning Chinese should be easy once you learn the basics and commit yourself to practising how to write, read and speak every day. The language does not use verbs, genders or other complex tenses found in English. Remember that there are tens of thousands of characters in Chinese, but you do not need to know all of them to at once to perfect your writing or reading skills. Therefore, you should prioritise on building the vocabulary you need most in your daily conversations or reading.