Chinese is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and it’s an increasingly crucial language for the business world. Indeed, nearly 1.3 billion people speak some variation of Chinese as their first language. Many more speak at least some Chinese for teaching or professional opportunities.
If you want to learn this fascinating and complex language, there are lots of ways to get started and maximize your progress.
Listen to Chinese on YouTube or Teaching Videos
The Internet is truly a valuable resource, and YouTube or other teaching video sites offer a plethora of Chinese learning videos that you can check out. Of course, if you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to find content that explains and teaches the fundamentals and basics first.
Specifically, you should try to find teaching videos to learn Chinese that break down pinyin and the five tones of Chinese. These form some of the most fundamental elements of this language, and they are some of the most important to grasp if you speak English or another Latin-based language as your first tongue.
Depending on how well you can pace yourself as an independent learner, YouTube or teaching videos could be all you need to at least learn enough Chinese to get by when you visit Chinese-speaking countries or regions or when you speak to a Chinese peer.
Read a Chinese Language Learning Book
Of course, there are also plenty of self-teaching Chinese language learning books you can purchase on Amazon or elsewhere. Many of the best Chinese language learning books have direct comparisons between English and Chinese, so you can see how a sentence might be translated between both languages.
In addition, there are some Chinese dictionaries you can bring with you if you plan to travel to a Chinese- speaking country for tourism or other reasons. At the bare minimum, these will allow you to get by and ask for services or directions without resorting to English or embarrassing yourself! Just keep in mind that many Chinese language learning books require you to teach yourself, which can be difficult if you have a tough time grasping new languages.
Take a Chinese Language Program Online
If the above methods haven’t stuck, or if you need a more personalized learning solution, you can try taking a Chinese language program online instead. Chinese language programs are essentially one-on-one or small class-based teaching programs where you’re directly taught by someone who knows the language inside and out. The teaching style and curriculum of each program can vary, so you need to pick the right program for your needs.
For children, LingoAce is one of the best tools to learn Chinese, plain and simple. It takes a modern approach to teaching young learners ages 3-15 this complex language online. The curriculum is gamified and play-based and, more importantly, it is taught one-on-one by certified Chinese teachers. By starting their langauge learning journey early, kids have a better chance to learn Chinese accurately and rapidly.
Get a Tutor
Some people work better if they have a dedicated tutor teaching them in person. If you belong to this group, that’s okay! Chinese tutors are readily available in America and elsewhere. If you have the money, you can pay a Chinese tutor to break down the language and help guide you to fluency in a matter of weeks, months, or even years.
It all depends on how much time you want to dedicate to learning the language. Getting a tutor could be a great way to learn Chinese if you want to make sure that your pronunciation is perfect. With an in-person tutor guiding you through the language, they can critique your pronunciation and make sure you don’t accidentally misspeak something when you try to communicate.
This might be the best way to get started learning Chinese if you need to learn it for a business context (i.e., you plan to do deals with Chinese business people in the near future and don’t want to make a critical mistake!).
Spend Time with Chinese People
Lastly, don’t hesitate to spend time with Chinese people who speak a version of Chinese as their first language. Experts always say that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it – if all you hear is Chinese, your brain will automatically start to pick up the language and its intricacies in no time.
Ultimately, you can learn Chinese in many different ways. Consider your learning style, how you prefer to learn new languages, and how quickly you need to become fluent in Chinese – then just pick your teaching method and get started today!