Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Learning without speaking and does learning another language first help?


Weird
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • New Members

I have been mentally flipping between wanting to learn German and wanting to learn Chinese/Mandarin.  My main concern was that I don't (currently) have someone to practice speaking with.  I know someone who is a native speaker, but have been hesitant to ask him, for numerous reasons.  (That mainly boil down to procrastination and timidity on my part, I think.  Also, talking to people is hard.)

I also would appreciate some input from others on if learning another language before trying to learn Chinese/Mandarin would be a better idea than just trying to learn Chinese/Mandarin straight from only knowing English.  (The only other language I've ever tried was school-mandated classes in French, and that put me off language learning for two decades.)

[Side note: I am confused as to why the word "Chinese language" is used when it would appear to apply to numerous languages, from what I've found.  I vaguely recall reading that the word "dialect" was used incorrectly in one descriptor of a historic text, and it stuck ever since.  Kind of like how natives of North America are referred to as "Indians," despite not being from India.  Ontological inertia with the human mind is odd.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

If you want to learn Chinese, start learning it today. Don't interpose artificial hurdles that delay the project indefinitely, probably forever. That is nuts. "After I master calculus and astronomy and become fluent in Finnish and Bengali, and get the time down to a respectable number on my hundred-yard dash, I will tackle Mandarin." 

 

About learning a new language without learning to speak it: It helps a lot to converse with native speakers, even if it's via the internet. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/1/2022 at 12:19 AM, Weird said:

My main concern was that I don't (currently) have someone to practice speaking with.

See the Matt vs Japan YouTube channel for reasons why you shouldn't care about speaking at the beginning anyway: https://www.youtube.com/@mattvsjapan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not start with Finnish? 🤔 It will help you learn Chinese about as much as German will! 😂

 

Learning a language is about as natural a process as there can be for a human being. We are hardwired from birth to learn languages! I just watched a video by Steve Kaufmann yesterday, which I believe applies here. What he says is pretty much my own experience in language learning too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIX5k7acSe4

 

Basically, don't worry about speaking until later and especially, don't try to force it. Don't obsess about grammar unless you like to for some reason. Just find an elementary text book, an online chinese course, or whatever and start following it every day for 15 minutes. If you're motivated, keep going when the 15 minutes is up, but the point is to do it every day consistently to build a habit. Then you can go find music, podcasts, etc. to listen to passively when commuting or exercising. You will need massive amounts of listening to get started and the 15 minutes a day following a course is just to build the habit and to get going.

 

Some good resources to get started off the top of my head: Paul Noble's audio course, duolingo, Chinesepod 101, Linq mini stories, etc.

 



 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it is possible to learn without speaking. In fact, many people learn through reading and writing, without necessarily speaking the language out loud. This is often the case for people who are learning a language on their own, or who are learning through written materials such as books or online courses.

 

As for whether learning another language first can help, it can certainly have some benefits. For example, if you already know one language, you may have a better understanding of how languages work in general, which can make it easier to learn a new language. Additionally, knowing more than one language can help with language acquisition in general, as it can improve your ability to learn new languages in the future.


In terms of whether learning another language first can help with learning Chinese, it can certainly have some benefits. For example, if you already know another language, you may have a better understanding of how languages work in general, which can make it easier to learn Chinese. Additionally, knowing more than one language can improve your language-learning abilities overall, which can make it easier to learn Chinese and other languages in the future.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...