Sound Like a Native Chinese Speaker With These 4 Tips
Sounding like a native Chinese speaker isn’t easy. Often, those who take online Mandarin classes still find that they are not speaking the language fluently when compared to a native speaker. Their pronunciation may sound awkward and forced when they are talking in their second language.
After making an effort to learn a new language, you would want to sound as authentic as possible when speaking Mandarin. Thankfully, there are various ways you can sound like a native speaker. Let us share four practical tips with you so that you can speak with the fluidity of a native Chinese speaker.
1. Keep it simple
It can be tempting to impress others by stringing together complicated words and phrases. However, you should avoid doing that. Instead, stick to shorter expressions and focus on coherence. The more you focus on being understood by native Chinese speakers, the more you’ll learn how to speak like one.
If someone does not understand you, they are unlikely to continue their conversation with you. Summarising your thoughts and succinctly expressing them is a great way to keep the conversation flowing. The more you converse with native speakers, the better your new language skills get.
2. Be confident and speak calmly
There are times when we have an idea of what to say, only for the words to be completely wrong because we speak in a hurry. Doubly so if we are speaking in a language that we are less adept at. Therefore, it is vital to process the words in your mind carefully before speaking calmly.
Doing so can also benefit you in other ways. Not only do you give off the appearance of someone who thinks before they speak, but you can also avoid making embarrassing mistakes when chatting with a native Chinese speaker.
3. Learn and use Chinese idioms
Every language has its idioms, and native speakers like to incorporate them in their day-to-day conversations. Utilising idioms gives others the impression that you understand Chinese culture on a deeper level. It also makes you sound more authentic and fluent in the language.
4. Be mindful of the tones
Each Chinese character comes with its build-in tone, but those can be dropped when spoken as part of a natural dialogue. Depending on the context, specific words are less emphasised during a conversation, which leads to selective dropping of tone for these words.
There is no hard and fast rule to determine which words to highlight when you are speaking Mandarin. Even native speakers struggle to get their tones right all the time. It is advisable to listen attentively to native Chinese speakers and emulate the way they speak. The more you hear, the better you grasp the language, and your tones will start to improve as well.
At the end of the day, it is crucial for you to not be so hard on yourself. It is admirable for someone to learn Mandarin and strive to sound like a native speaker. Achieving such results require time and practice. With the proper guidance and sufficient training, you can communicate in as authentic a manner as a native Chinese speaker