Learning Chinese will not come to you without practice. You need to fully commit to it. Many people struggle at the beginning because they don’t know how to approach the Chinese language. There must be a sequence that you have to follow to learn a new language. For example; to learn English you first have to learn each letter, its sound and then how to combine them. However, in the Chinese language, there is no alphabets, so the question that might be stuck in your mind is, ‘how do you learn the Chinese language without alphabets?’
But, you don’t need to worry, because now you can learn Chinese using English. This system is called as pinyin.
So, what is pinyin?
Pinyin is an English transcription of Chinese words. You can use English to learn Chinese characters. Although, yes, you’ve to learn what pinyin goes with which character.
However, don’t get too excited.
So, here’s how you can pronounce the words in a correct manner.
You should know that there are several different sounds that exist only in Chinese, and pinyin only is a close approximation of that. So, before you start, you should be learning how to pronounce pinyin, as it might have some slight differences from enunciations in English.
Different Tones in Pinyin
Have you ever noticed different lines above the pinyin words? Do you know what they are? They are actually tone makers, that tell you which of the four Chinese tones that you must use when speaking or reading the word. Thus, pinyin actually plays a dual role of making the language readable as well as maintain the tonal integrity of the language.
As mentioned earlier, there are 4 Chinese tones. Therefore, it is not a difficult task to get hold of them. However, if you are planning to learn Chinese, then the best method is to hear these tones from a professional who might as well be your teacher.
History of the Chinese Pinyin
Before the 1950s, a different, yet similar system of romanising Chinese was used to teach the language to foreigners and Chinese alike. After 1950, however, pinyin was invented, and by 1980 it was official.
If you are planning on learning the Chinese language, you should dedicate at least 6-months of your time and energy before you can expect to speak fluently. This will help you to ask for directions, make appointments, orders food, and a bargain at the malls and make reservations at the hotel easily. Learning a new language is always useful, and why not start by learning the Chinese language? Look for an institute that offers professional linguistics courses near your area and enroll as soon as you can.