The Best Way to Learn Chinese for Beginners

Posted by Lilian Li on Mar 4, 2016


learn chinese for beginners

Everything is hard in the beginning. For the Chinese learning beginners, how to start to learn Chinese efficiently? Today, let's talk about the correct ways to learn Chinese for beginners.

1. Set a goal

When you decide to learn Chinese, a clear goal is necessary and important. What's your goal to learn Chinese, for daily communication, for business or for HSK test? Which level are you going to reach, primary, intermediate or master? Make your learning goals clear and make a detailed study plan for it.

2. Learn Chinese four Tones

The Tones are very important in Chinese Pinyin. If you want to learn spoken Chinese well, you must master the four Chinese tones. Tones are the most difficult part of the Chinese learners. As a beginner, learning the "four tones" of Mandarin as much as you can is the top priority. There are many resources on the web that teach about the four tones. Search Google for "tones of Mandarin Chinese". Do not be too concerned if you cannot get it right, it can be very hard. A bit of "foreign" tone makes you sound interesting.

learn chinese four tones

3. Learn some basic Chinese words, phrases and sentences

After you learning Pinyin, you could learn some basic Chinese characters, start with some easy and common used words. Some basic Chinese greeting phrases or sentences will be the best choice. Here are the topics you could learn: greeting, self-introduction, numbers and money, times and dates, take a taxi… If you could finish all these topic, you could use Chinese to communicate in some daily occasions with no problem.

learn chinese four tones

4. Expand Your Vocabulary and Learn the Chinese Characters

Vocabulary is the basis of learning a new language. As a Chinese learning beginner, expand your vocabulary is an essential part of learning Chinese. If you want to understand the Chinese newspaper, you need to master 3000 Chinese characters. It sounds very hard, but please don't lose your confidence and just start to learn right now. Here are some tips for you to remember Chinese vocabulary and characters:

Firstly, learn two words a day about one topic. You could pick the topic according to your learning needs, as long as the topic is useful for your learning, you can choose it. The main point is to focus what you learn and keep practicing. Secondly, let the topic flow. For example, learn how to introduce yourself or your family. Talk about your favorite hobby, then learn how to describe your favorite hobby. Learn the new words about the topics, rather than just picking random words to remember. Thirdly, form your own sentences. After some days of accumulation the new words, you will be able to form your own sentences by using the new words. If you learned about numbers this week, perhaps you could form the sentence, "我的电话号码是888666". Next week, when you learn how to talk about them, you could expand on the sentence and say. "现在是下午6点钟". It won't be very long before you can have a smooth dialogue with Chinese native speakers.

About Chinese characters, you had better learn it with professional Chinese teachers. It is recognized as the most difficult part of Chinese learning. You could take a Chinese characters online lesson if you are interested in learning Chinese character. You will learn how to write Chinese characters and how to remember them more efficiently.

5. Learn Chinese from textbooks

Someone may think, learn Chinese from a textbook is an old way of learning. However, textbooks offer a really solid foundation to your Chinese learning-especially good for you to learn how to write Chinese characters.

6. Learn Chinese from storybooks

Read Chinese storybooks are also a good way to learn. For Chinese learning beginners, it is better for you to pick up the children's book. It is easier for you to read and understand.

7. Make friends with Chinese people

Make friends with Chinese people. If you live in China, try to make friends with Chinese people. Nothing communication is better than face to face conversation. Talk to your Chinese friends as much as you can, at first you may feel it is hard, but after a few days practice, you will find that you can chat with your Chinese friends more smoothly.

8. Watch Chinese TV

There are many good Chinese TV series you can watch to improve your Chinese speaking and listening. As a Chinese learning beginner, you can watch some Chinese cartoons or Chinese sitcom, which is easy to understand. Here are some good Chinese TV shows recommended:

动画片 西游记 (Animation: Journey to the West)

情景喜剧 家有儿女 (Sitcom: Home with Kids)

9. Listen to the Chinese audio

There are many Chinese audio materials online. You can find some to practice your Chinese listening. For beginners, you could start with some easy Chinese sentences or conversation. Here you could find the best Chinese audio materials: Learn Chinese with Audio.

10. Learn Chinese with professional Chinese teacher online

If you want to learn Chinese systematically online, you could try to take a Chinese class online. You could learn it with the professional Chinese teacher online, also anytime and anywhere. You can choose different classes according to your specific learning needs. It is much more efficient than you pick up scattered Chinese learning resources online.

No matter how many ways of learning Chinese have been introduced to you, the most important thing is to keep practicing. Let's start our journey to learn Chinese right now!

About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian Li has a master's degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France.

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