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Lina ElShafie

what is the best way to learn Chinese/ self study

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Lina ElShafie

Hello everyone

 

Hope you are all ok and safe

 

I decided couple of weeks ago to start learning Chinese as it will be very beneficial for my work as I work in hospitality industry and I really would like to relocate to a Chinese speaking country and develop my career path as well as making new friends from the other side of the world

I need an advise or a best way of self study Chinese language I am really confused and I don't know where to start

Appreciate your support

 

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大块头

Hello and welcome to the forum! You'll find many helpful and knowledgeable people here.

 

I personally recommend reading Olle Linge's book if you want to learn about good strategies for learning Chinese.

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calibre2001

Chinese pronunciation is known to be awfully difficult, for that reason it's worth at least trying out a class. With self-studying there's a tendency to ignore it.

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7800

Welcome to the forum ^^

At first, focus on pronunciation and pinyin, that is, learn to differentiate the sounds, to replicate them, and to write/read them. There's a lot of content about that on YouTube, and some of it is actually good. Have in mind that:
1) A good pronunciation is the most important asset you can have when speaking, if your pronunciation is bad nothing will make up for it. Try to make your pronunciation of initials and finals as perfect as possible. I personally believe that this part is not difficult, you just need time to get used to how the language sounds, and avoid trying to become "good enough" only.
2)The tones are hard, you won't master them anytime soon (if ever), but you still have to try your best. The tone is as important as the rest of the word. In my opinion, the best way for learning how to pronounce the tones correctly is to find a native private tutor, but if that's not possible for you, try Tandem or Hello Talk (and clearly state that you want to be corrected as strictly as possible).
3)Get used to pinyin, you'll keep using it forever to learn new words, but don't get attached to it. Pinyin is not written Chinese: it's useless in real life, and it only makes reading more difficult once you're not a beginner. As soon as you finish learning how the phonology of Chinese works, start writing characters.

On average this should keep you busy for a few weeks, you might feel discouraged to learn Chinese as you'll have to spend half a month learning this "pre-Chinese" stuff before actually learning vocabulary and grammar, but it's a must. Chinese and English are too different from each other, so you'll have to do some things that wouldn't be necessary had you chosen to learn some other language.

After this first step, you'll have a solid foundation to build your Chinese upon. This will save you time later on, and it'll make your learning process a lot easier. Buy yourself good book, download Pleco, check the Chinese Grammar Wiki, and print some characters writing sheets.

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Flickserve

Agree that you need to focus on the sounds very  early on as they are very different. 
 

I frequently get tones wrong but I had a recent mock assessment and the assessor actually said my pronunciation was quite good. What I had done early on when learning chinese was get some lessons as everybody normally does. Then I felt to myself my pronunciation really was awful. When you read around on the internet, it’s even a common problem even for University students who learn Chinese formally and then go to China and can’t be understood.
 

After realising that, I dropped lessons on learning sentences and purely focussed on good pronunciation. You have to have some tenacity - I think I did 15-20 hours on it and it can be frustrating. However, later on, when you hear some other Chinese learners speak, you will realise the pain was worth it. 

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889

"However, later on, when you hear some other Chinese learners speak, you will realise the pain was worth it."

 

Otherwise known as the "OMG, I don't sound like that, do I?" reflex.

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Lina ElShafie

Thank you so much for all the advises.

I am 2 weeks not with my self study trying to get vocab as much as i can along with pronunciation as it is very critical and i need to practice all the time 

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