15 Feb Tips for Learning Chinese from Home
So you want to learn Chinese?
It may seem intimidating at first, since the sounds are very different to English and it has its own alphabet, but anyone can master Chinese with the right tools. You’ll find an abundance of resources across the web that will help you to achieve your goals.
If you want to learn Chinese but classrooms and structured lessons aren’t really your thing, then here are some useful tips for learning Chinese from home:
One of the best ways to learn Chinese is to get a tutor, but you don’t necessarily have to visit a classroom in order to have lessons. A site called Preply.com let’s you find chinese tutors online by connecting you with foreign tutors and native speakers. All you have to do is use the search filters to find tutors fitting your budget and location, send a request and then schedule your first lesson over Skype.
WeChat is an app that is huge in China. It’s a bit like the Chinese answer to WhatsApp in that it allows text messaging, voice messaging, broadcast messaging and sharing of photographs and videos. Download the app to your phone and try to read people’s WeChat moments translating the language – it’s a great way to build your vocabulary.
Find a conversation partner
Once you’ve started to master some Chinese with lessons you’ll want to keep practicing with a friend who speaks Mandarin. If you live in a big city you could make friends with a Chinese university student or visit your local Chinese restaurant. In return for teaching them English, you can learn Chinese – a win/win for both!
Watch shows with Subtitles
Another great way to learn any language is by watching TV shows or movies, or listening to Chinese songs. Not only do you start to pick up the language, but you’re also entertained too! Next time you decide to watch a movie, instead of choosing something in English, pick a Chinese movie and switch on the subtitles.
Download Chinese language learning apps
Anyone who is learning Chinese should download Pleco, which is the #1 English & Chinese Dictionary app. You can look up words you don’t know using your device’s camera, tap-lookup words in a still image, or draw them using your fingers on the screen. The app also features a flashcard system and recordings from two different native speakers for 34,000 Mandarin words.
Practice makes perfect, and the key to learning any language is simply by repetition. Stick with it and you could be fluent in no time!