Chinese, spoken by nearly 1.3 billion people worldwide, is one of the most complex languages to learn and master. Despite its popularity, the language is challenging because of its peculiar characters, the existence of many different language variations, and the fact that it’s tonal. Nevertheless, anyone can learn Chinese.
It takes about 2200 hours on average to learn Chinese. Chinese is one of the most challenging languages to grasp if you’re a native English speaker; it requires self-discipline and consistent practice. However, you can learn the language in that time if you devote yourself to it.
Chinese is considered “super-hard” by the United States Department of State but can be learned using a variety of platforms. Although enrolling in a language class might be the most practical approach to learning Chinese, you can learn the language using other media. Read on to learn more about studying the Chinese language.
How To Learn Chinese
Online platforms like Coursera and Duolingo have revolutionized learning and made the mastery of any language, including Chinese, as easy as tapping a few buttons on the screen of your smartphone. However, there are a few general tips and tricks to follow if you plan on becoming adept at Chinese.
The following is a beginner-friendly guide to learning the Chinese language today:
- Research if the Chinese language is worth the effort. Becoming proficient in Chinese requires devoting a significant amount of time and resources to study and practice. Try taking a free online class on Coursera to check if the language is a good fit for you.
- Obtain Chinese learning materials. You can learn Chinese using online courses, podcasts, audiobooks, YouTube, or traditional books. Your choice of learning resources will determine how long it’ll take for you to learn the Chinese language.
- Learn Hanyu Pinyin. Pinyin is a Chinese writing system based on the Latin alphabet. Learning Pinyin will make your learning experience easier and more enjoyable.
- Practice speaking Chinese. Regardless of your skill level, learning to pronounce Chinese will benefit your education. Consider having conversations with native Chinese speakers to build your vocabulary and pronunciation.
- Listen to Chinese as often as you can. Podcasts and Chinese audiobooks are essential resources in learning Chinese. It’s a great idea to build your command of the language by listening to it often.
- Learn Chinese characters. Once you have a good command of Pinyin, learning to write Chinese traditionally is logical. However, this may take longer to master.
- Practice every day. As with any skill, consistency will help you become a true master. Be careful to be disciplined in your studies and practice the Chinese language as often as possible.
Regardless of the method, you can only become a master if you’re consistent with the learning process. It’s also a good idea to diversify your learning journey by using podcasts, movies, and even songs to learn.
It takes 2200 hours for most native English speakers to learn Chinese. This duration is because of the complex nature of the Chinese language. However, learning Chinese takes a great deal of discipline and practice.
There are a lot of resources to get started with learning Chinese, but be sure that the language is worth the effort and a good fit for you before starting.