How To Learn Chinese And How Long It Takes

By OptiLingo

How long will it take to learn Chinese? Most people say that you could devote five hours a day for 88 years before you get it completely. However, you do not have that kind of time. You need to know how to learn Chinese in a year so that you can be functional as a speaker, and you need to know how many years will it take to learn Chinese so that you can do business with your partners.

What Is The Long Story?

You have to decide between Mandarin and Cantonese when you learn Chinese. Many people do not realize this, but you speak Mandarin is you are in a place like Beijing. However, Cantonese is spoken in places like Guangzhou and Macau. That river delta alone accounts for almost 100 million people, and they all speak that dialect of Chinese. Choose the dialect that your friends speak or that your business partners speak. You could learn both, but they are so different that you could get confused very easily.

One in seven people is speaking Chinese right now, and you would be in line with people who use it as their every day language, to talk to family, or to communicate with friends. You could learn how to speak this language so that you can learn something fun, or you might want to learn because it is a natural extension of your own curiosity. Remember that it is a very good idea to at least have a basic grasp of Chinese just to greet people in the business world. They will like hearing “ni hao” just because they often run into those who do not speak Chinese.

How long will it take to learn Chinese language? It could take you a few years to get very good at it, but you could learn the basics in just a couple months. You need to have a goal so that you are not so fixated on questions like, “how long can it take to learn Chinese?” You need to be focused on how long will it take to learn Chinese as it relates to your goals. If you want to be personable, you could come off as friendly in a short period of time. If you want to learn technical terms, it will take longer. The characters can be confusing, and you must get out of your mind the way that English works. Chinese has characters that can mean whole phrases. They have more than mere letters.

The Characters

The characters that are used in Chinese are a combination of brush strokes that have evolved over many centuries. This culture is one of the oldest in the world, and it has adapted to the times. You will see some very simple characters that are almost benign, but there are others that have very intricate details and could stand for a whole sentence or a paragraph’s worth of thought.

You must learn handwriting at the same time as reading and speaking so that you can be functional in the language in every way. Someone who is trying to improve their Chinese must do all three as they study. How many years will it take to learn Chinese? You could learn the most essential characters in a year while you are learning the most common characters to use in basic writing.


Grammar in Chinese is very different from English, and the grammar could change your idea of “how long will it take to learn Chinese?” You should be careful to study grammar with some diligence, and you should do as much as you can on a daily basis to better understand grammar. You must learn sentence structure, and you should learn the transliteration of the language so that you can see how it comes out once it has been written.

Grammar could be a stumbling block if you are changing between dialects, and it makes more sense to pick one and stick with it. Most Chinese speakers speak one dialect because that is all they need. You can get your grammar in shape if you have practiced this every day, stuck with the dialect, and ensured that you are thoughtful about how the language sounds. Once you have learned how the language sounds, you can go back to listening to more audio and video so that you can learn more than you knew before. You must be sure that you have found a place to go that will progress through different ability levels that will help you progress.

You need to be sure that you have measured yourself on all five levels of proficiency to see where you are. This is the way that you can judge your language learning if you are trying to get a job with any sort of governmental agency. You could use the State Department guide to see where your employees should fall, and you need to get the guide online so that you can pass it on to people in your office who need to study.

Minimum professional proficiency is the third level where most business people need to be. You should get the people in your office to this level so that you can do work with the overseas clients that you have. There are a lot of people who are trying to expand their businesses, and they could start learning Chinese so that they can reach out to clients that might want to work with them.

Anyone who is on the fifth level is at the highest level, and they are speaking like a native speaker. There are so many people who need to get to this level because they have federal jobs or act as executives.

How Long Can It Take To Learn Chinese? (Start Now)

So many people who are learning how long it take to learn Chinese are trying to see if they can learn faster and get to their work. These people are hoping to work with the Chinese, and they need to know how to learn Chinese in a year so that they can be effective.

The best way to learn is to begin right now by doing the practice that is needed. These practice sessions will make it easier for them to learn, and they will discover that they speak to people who need to hear their native tongue in a place where it might not be spoken very much.

You also need to learn Chinese in a way that makes it easier for you to do your work. Everyone who wants to know how long will it take to learn Chinese language can begin to join the one in seven people who speak is.