There are a number of languages that have gained a reputation for being hard to learn, but if you were to ask the average person, chances are that their first choice would likely be Chinese. The language has been so frequently associated with the notion that it is difficult to learn that many hoping to learn the language decide to give up, or not attempt to learn it altogether. If you are also learning Chinese at the moment – do not give up. Chinese can become very easy once you get the hang of it, and here are some tips to help you get to that point:
- Decide which form of the language you want to learn – most people having a passing knowledge of Chinese will likely know that there are two forms of the language, namely Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. To elaborate on the distinction, the former was introduced in mainland China in an effort to make learning the language easier: Simplified Chinese has fewer strokes for most characters and is generally easier to learn. However, you should understand from this that Simplified Chinese, whilst being the common form of the language taught in most advanced Chinese course HK, is not used everywhere. A few prominent examples include Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, who still stick to the traditional form. Decide early on whether you wish to learn the traditional or simplified form – generally, unless you plan to visit one of the aforementioned places, learning the simplified form is recommended.
- Start with an intensive course – unlike your average Business English course, which you can easily understand with even one class per week, building your Chinese foundation with weekly classes is likely to be impossible. This is because Chinese is very different from English and other languages: in the beginning, you won’t have any familiar words or sounds to rely on, making the initial process of getting used to the language difficult. Thus, most instructors will recommend you to start with an intensive course that will teach you the basics of the language. Once you have your foundation built, you can then transfer to a less intensive course. You can read more about this here http://bili.com.hk/courses.html.
- Watch and listen to Chinese media – whether it is a news program, a teledrama you are interested in or even the latest single of a boy band that intrigues you, make it a point to follow some form of Chinese media. This can greatly help you fix your pronunciation and also understand words as other people speak them (because, as you will realize, learning words in a classroom and trying to distinguish them when someone is talking rapidly are two different things!).