How To Learn Chinese

By OptiLingo

Acquiring a new language is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. The ability to write in a new language is even more impressive and can introduce you to worlds that you never knew existed. Chinese is a language that many people would like to learn how to speak and write. Many historians believe that the Chinese writing system was invented during the Shang Dynasty between 1500-950 B.C. In fact archaeologist have discovered bones and shells engraved with Chinese characters that were likely used in rituals. In the middle of the 20th century, the Chinese government simplified the Chinese characters. Prior to this time, the characters had more strokes and therefore greater complexity. The government simplified the language in an attempt to encourage literacy in the Chinese population.

Learning How to Speak and Write in Chinese

Many people hesitate to learn this language because they think it will be impossible. Chineseclass101 has developed a system of simple steps that assist people in learning the Chinese language. The most important step in acquiring the Chinese language is learning the alphabet. At first glance Chinese characters appear to be complex, they are actually just a mixture of pictographs and ideographs placed in various combinations to form words. Once you understand the meaning of the characters you are one step closer to mastering the Chinese language.

The majority of the characters in the Chinese language are pictophonetic and contain both radical and phonetic parts. The radical element involves defining the character while the phonetic indicates how the character should be pronounced. If you want to have the ability to write in Chinese you have to understand the basic radicals. Radicals are found on the left or bottom of a Chinese character. Once you can identify radicals you will have the capacity to determine the meaning of new characters.

Understanding the phonetics of the Chinese language comes with practice that involves memorizing pronunciations. Studying is the only way to master the pronunciation of Chinese characters. Many other language learning systems insist that learning the alphabet is not necessary, however, this is a misleading assertion. The alphabet is the foundation of any language and not learning it will be detrimental to your ability to speak and write the language fluently and efficiently.

The Benefits of Using PDF to Learn the Chinese Alphabet

The Chinese alphabet chart can be acquired online in PDF format. You will also need PDF worksheets to assist you in learning the alphabet. Using PDF documents to learn Chinese is beneficial because once you download the appropriate documents you can study the alphabet regardless of whether or not you have internet access. In addition, if you are using a smartphone to learn Chinese, utilizing alphabet charts and worksheets in PDF form decreases the amount of data plan minutes you will require.

Although using video and audio instruction to learn Chinese is also encouraged, utilizing PDF is believed to greatly increase retention. This is due, in part, to spaced repetition which involves revisiting learned materials in intervals over time. This repetition assist the brain in quickly and effectively retaining information.

How Can I Learn Chinese Alphabet

Sing the Alphabet Song

The first step to learning the Chinese alphabet is the same as any language: learn and memorize the Chinese Alphabet song. Every language has some variation of an alphabet song. Learning this song will assist you in committing the characters to memory so that you can easily retrieve them when writing or speaking Chinese.

Focus on Learning a Few Characters Each Week

Every week choose three or four characters to learn. If you attempt to learn too many characters at one time you will be overwhelmed. Make sure that you’re completely comfortable with the radical and phonetic elements of each character before you move on to learning any new characters. The ChineseClass101 system will also allow you to ask instructors questions during the process of learning the alphabet.

Hand Write the Letters of the Alphabet

Purchase a notebook and write down the letter for each week at least once a day. You should designate some time each day towards this endeavor. You can also do this during any spare time. You should try to do as many repetitions as possible, 20 is the recommended repetition for each character. Writing the Chinese alphabet by hand is the most effective ways of getting the characters embedded into your brain which results in being able to recognize the characters right away. This recognition will ultimately allow you to read and write in Chinese fluently.

Utilize Word Association to Learn the Alphabet

Using word association simplifies the process of learning the Chinese alphabet. You should choose a word in your native language that sounds like the character you are learning in the Chinese alphabet. This will increase the pace at which you learn the Chinese alphabet. This will also assist you in mastering the pronunciation of the Chinese alphabet.

Use all of Your Senses to Memorize the Alphabet

People learn best when they use as many senses as possible to learn new information. As it relates to learning Chinese, you can write large Chinese characters on the ground using chalk and then stand up and trace the characters with your feet. In doing this several of your senses will become familiar with the characters and retention will increase. This strategy is also beneficial because it increases your ability to memorize and understand intricate characters.

Try to Write Words

Once you’ve memorized the characters in the alphabet you can begin to write words. Try writing words from your native language using Chinese characters. You can ask ChineseClass101 teachers if what you’ve written is correct. Once you begin to write words that you recognize you will feel a great deal of satisfaction in what you’ve accomplished.

Obviously, learning a new language is not easy but it can be fun and rewarding. Learning the Chinese Alphabet is the first step in mastering the Chinese language. If you’ve ever wondered “how can I learn Chinese alphabet”, using the aforementioned memorization tools and strategies can make learning the Chinese alphabet and language a simple and enjoyable experience. If you remember to have fun, you will master the Chinese alphabet in a short amount of time.