The Joy and Challenge of Learning Chinese

Imagine to be able to speak a language that is in existence for thousands of years and will allow you to converse with greater than a billion people instantly. Imagine yourself as somebody who can speak a language that requires a great departure from your own. Learning Chinese is a very rewarding experience because Chinese isn’t just one of many official languages of the United Nations, it is just a language that bridges cultures from the Vietnam to Japan.

Did you know that the Japanese and Korean writing systems derive from the Chinese writing system of characters? learn Chinese pdf is actually a family of languages that includes several dialects, some of which are unintelligible one to the other because of the phonetics and tones of Chinese. Nevertheless, today Chinese has achieved a form of standardization and most Chinese and foreigners use the Chinese dialect, Mandarin, to communicate effectively in every walks of life.

Apart from Mandarin, other dialects stay in popular use today such as Cantonese which can often be heard in the Chinatowns across the world. Mandarin though, will last best in learning Chinese because of its prevalence and adoption as the standard form of Chinese. Today, Mandarin is spoken by about 850 million in China while the Wu dialect is spoken by nearly 90 million followed closely by Cantonese (70 million).

Learning Chinese will prove challenging for those who are learning it as another language. The task of speaking Chinese is that it requires quite a departure from the phonetics of Western languages. With Chinese the tone and inflection of syllables, vowels, and all manner of sounds can create whole new meanings for a word. Invest some time learning Chinese. It really is fun and remember that challenges are windows of opportunity.

But first, know that there are three aspects of the Chinese language that you will need in order to be well on the way to mastering the language. They are:

1.Tones

2.Characters

3.Sentence Order

Tones – Focus your time and energy most on learning the tones of the Chinese language. Believe it or not the tones are the fundamental facet of learning Chinese. Learning the tones often means the difference between attempting to kiss someone or asking them a question. The Chinese family of languages is distinguished by its “tonal” element. Remember that tones are super important. Why? Did you know that Mandarin speaking Chinese folks are nearly unintelligible to Cantonese speaking people because of the variance in tones?

Characters – There are thousands of character for the Chinese language. Find out which ones come in use today and focus on those. The older characters are best learned as stepping stones to a complete understanding of Chinese. Nevertheless, your time and effort will be best spent o learning the characters which are in use today.

Sentence order – Chinese is really a pretty flexible language. Yet, the order of sentence construction is still important. One of the noticeable mistakes that learners make is placing numeric values such as time in the incorrect order in their sentences. Remember that Chinese is primarily spoken by native speakers so they are used to hearing a particular order within a sentence. Practice makes perfect.

Have fun learning Chinese. Know what you want to escape the language. Why do you wish to learn Chinese? Do you wish to learn Chinese to speak to a friend, for business or even to master one of the world’s great languages?

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