Learn Chinese
  • My Experiences Learning Mandarin

    When learning to speak Mandarin you have start from the b, p,m and f in pinyin. You should practice them each morning in class, and when you don't understand something you should ask your classmates. Learning to speak Mandarin has its ups and downs. The hard part is when you can't pronounce a syllable right no matter how u many times you try; the fun bit is when you get past no-one being able to understand a word you're saying. First, learn pinyin and master the place of articulation, practicing over and over until you have each one just right. Secondly, read lots of texts where the pinyin is printed underneath, so that you can practice what it feels like to speak Mandarin. Or, after you see a character, quietly recite its standard pronunciation, pay attention to the correlation with your dialect and strive to learn by analogy. Thirdly, if you don't understand something, look it up. Dictionaries are great teachers, so be sure to look up anything you're not clear about until you understand it fully. Pay particular attention to characters that have multiple sounds and meanings. Fourthly, and this is purely from my personal experience, read a dictionary: open up a modern dictionary page and recite every character, every word, every sentence, every page. It's extremely effective and has been really beneficial to me. Fifthly, be sure to have a conversation in Mandarin every day. People say that language depends on environment. In an environment in which everyone speaks Mandarin, your language skills will improve without you even noticing. Though you may have a strong accent, you will gradually pick up other people's pronunciation. If we all work hard together, we'll be sure to learn to speak Mandarin well, and it will truly become the standard language that everyone uses to communicate in China.