Mandarin Chinese, with over 873 million native speakers is the most spoken language in the world! No surprises there, since China has the world"s largest population. In addition to China and Taiwan, Chinese is also spoken in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Mongolia. The truth is, no matter which part of the world you live in, you are sure to find at least a few speakers of Chinese. Chinese people live all over the world!
The Chinese culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures and learning Chinese will surely be a rewarding experience. China is emerging as a world super power and this means that in the future Chinese will be must-know language in the business world. In fact, Chinese is already an important language to know, given the volume of business transactions done in the business world with Chinese people. With its rapid economic growth, China has become an attractive economic hot-spot, with many business ventures all over the world wanting to set up operations in China. This would mean that a great deal of employment opportunities will be created in China. The knowledge of Chinese could well put you ahead of the rest in securing the opportunity to work in China.
Moving away from the economic perspective, learning Chinese has its advantages in a socio-cultural sense too. In the US, the Asian community is one of the most rapidly growing communities, thus building friendships with them will be that much easier if you knew Chinese.
While it makes sense to learn Chinese, learning Chinese is certainly not easy! Chinese is probably one of the hardest languages to learn. This is mainly due to the fact that in Chinese, a word spelt the exact same way could be pronounced in four different ways, giving four completely different meanings! If that wasn"t difficult enough, just take a look at some Chinese text. The letters sure are beautiful, but it would be a laborious task when you need to write them on your own! But don"t be disheartened by any means. Despite being difficult, also remember that more people the world over know Chinese than any other language. So it"s certainly possible for you to learn it too. You just need the correct course material and the proper guidance to get you on your way.
When choosing a language course, always remember to choose a language course that is audio-based. This is absolutely vital when learning Chinese, since as mentioned earlier, the same word could have up to four completely different pronunciations! You wouldn"t grasp the pronunciation if you were to read a text-book with all the Chinese grammar and vocabulary, would you? Therefore go for a language course that will guide you on the different ways words are pronounced and how words are spoken with the true Chinese accent. When speaking of audio-based courses, the obvious reference is to online courses and not to the traditional classroom based lessons. Traditional classroom language lessons seems to have fallen out of favor, since online courses are cost effective, time-saving, interactive, convenient and overall just effective. As many language tutors themselves would accept, it becomes quite difficult to pay individual attention to each student in a class-room environment. Online courses also come at a much less price, simply because much less overheads go into the production of these courses compared to the traditional language lesson. All these factors have contributed to the popularity of online courses, but you need to be careful when selecting a course since there are just too many scam courses out there. Always look out for reviews and testimonials of previous users before you make a commitment to purchasing any course.
When learning Chinese, there are some basic techniques you could use to speed up your learning. These are techniques that are applicable to any language you wish to learn, so do use them for your advantage. One technique is to surround yourself with as much Chinese as possible, so that learning becomes inevitable. This would mean watching Chinese movies, TV shows, listening to Chinese radio, reading simple Chinese stories and listening to Chinese music. Labeling the household items with their respective Chinese meanings is another great way to learn new vocabulary. You could even use flash cards to memorize new words. Simply write words that are difficult to memorize onto flash cards and take them wherever you go. You could go through these cards whenever you have a few minutes to spare such as when waiting in line at the bank, at the bus stop, while waiting for your dentist etc. Remember that to learn new vocabulary, you need to constantly feed those words into your memory until they stick and become permanently engrained into your memory. These techniques will certainly help you with memorizing new words.
You could also find a Chinese friend with whom you could practice speaking Chinese with. After all, there really is no substitute for real life practice. Speaking a language is the fastest way of mastering any language. If you live in a community where there are Chinese speaking people, then you"re in luck! Go ahead and try to chat them up. You would learn so much of the native Chinese accent. If there aren"t any Chinese in your community, don"t be disheartened. There are many internet sites that you could use to find chat buddies that you could practice your Chinese with.
These are the many different ways you could complement your learning of Chinese. But it becomes vital that you choose a language course that will set the base to your learning. Ideally, it should be audio-based, interactive and taught by a native speaker. For a great Chinese course that is interactive, audio-based, taught by a native speaker, fun and interesting, check out the link below. Best of luck in learning Chinese!
Source by Mark D. Nicholas