What is the most effective way to learn Mandarin Chinese?
Find a native speaker
As Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, pronunciation is key if you want to be correctly understood. BiCortex Mandarin Chinese courses are always conducted by a native speaker. You can be sure to hear words as they should be pronounced. Should you opt for lessons online, BiCortex’s virtual classroom has the option of recording lessons, so that you can re-listen to words and phrases as many times as necessary.
Learn a few Chinese characters a week
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Chinese language is its writing system. In fact, there is no Chinese alphabet; rather, words are represented by one or several characters. Since the total number of Chinese characters is in the tens of thousands, knowing every character may be an impossible feat. Instead, aim to learn three to four thousand characters to place you on par with university-educated native Chinese speakers.
Watch Chinese films
Much investment has been made in recent years into Chinese cinema, which generated nine billion U.S dollars in box office revenue in 2018 and now ranks as the second-largest film market in the world, rivalling Hollywood. Chinese films not only assist with language learning, they are also entertaining and offer a glimpse into Chinese culture. Try to expand your Chinese cinematographic knowledge with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which is considered to be among the best films produced in the country.
Make Chinese learning a daily routine
Famed for being diligent students, on average Chinese pupils spend three hours per day on homework. While extreme studying habits may be excessive, devoting a large amount of time to studying certainly will reap rewards. With online Chinese classes, you can learn Mandarin from anywhere, allowing lessons to work around your schedule.
Why is Mandarin Chinese so important to learn and take courses?
An emerging superpower
China is considered an emerging global superpower, with significant technology, economy, diplomacy and military influence. Many economists predict that China’s exponential growth in recent decades will only continue. Moreover, with the largest population in the world, China offers a wealth of opportunity you would be ill-advised to miss out on. As an expat in China, being unable to speak the language will also limit your options significantly, particularly with regard to work and social activities.
It is a unique, challenging language
Given its complexity, mastering Mandarin Chinese is a highly satisfying endeavour that also makes you highly employable. Mandarin Chinese has four tones, meaning four different pronunciations of one word can lead to four different meanings. If your native language is from a different linguistic family, Mandarin also presents difficulties given it has few cognates that allow you to guess the meaning.