The Most Common Mistakes New Chinese Language Learners Make
Learning how to read, write, and speak in a different language isn’t easy, especially if it’s something like the Chinese language.
When you’re learning the Chinese language, you’re bound to make some mistakes. But, while most mistakes are easy to notice, some are much harder to spot.
That’s why we decided to make your journey to learning a new language easier.
Listed below, we took the time to round up some of the most common mistakes new Chinese language learners make.
1. Not taking the time to learn and study the Chinese characters
You may be able to learn a couple of phrases or even sentences without learning the Chinese characters. However, learning Chinese requires you to put in time and effort to study the characters. If you are taking up Mandarin classes, make sure to allocate time for revision after each class.
If you don’t, then you won’t even begin to understand the 400 possible syllables in Chinese, nor the 1600 possible words of the language.
To achieve fluency in Mandarin, you need to know the characters, and how they’re used to express your thoughts in sentences and written form.
2. Wrong tone and pronunciation
Pronunciation is key to proper communication in Mandarin.
Unfortunately, most new Chinese language learners don’t bother to do this. The result? They might know the words and syllables, but they don’t know how to pronounce it correctly. This means that they effectively lose out on any possibility of communicating verbally properly in Chinese.
Luckily, there’s a way to get pronunciation right – practice.
Constant practice, preferably with a native Chinese speaker, can help you correct your pronunciation even when he or she is not actively teaching you. You can also get your tutor from Mandarin classes to assist you. After this, you can move on to learning the different tones and making sure that you understand them enough to minimize if not prevent any possible misunderstandings.
3. Thinking that Chinese is similar to English
Never assume that Chinese and English are similar, especially phonetically, because they’re not.
You can’t use your familiarity with the English language to take a shortcut and learn Chinese faster.
The key to learning the Chinese language is accepting that you need to start from the very bottom and work yourself up from there.
4. Failure to immerse themselves in Chinese
You can’t learn Chinese if you don’t fully embrace Chinese.
That’s a fact.
Learning Chinese, or any other language for that matter, requires you to learn more about that language’s country of origin, as well as that country’s tradition and culture. In doing so, you’re able to gain a better appreciation of the language.
But, immersing yourself in a language means much more than just that.
If you want to immerse yourself fully in Chinese, you have to think like a native Chinese speaker.
You can start by switching your phone’s language settings to Mandarin. Once you’re more familiar with it, go to places where most of the people around you are Chinese and speak the language. Other things that you can do include consuming Chinese media, as well as reading Chinese books.
Learning a new language like Chinese certainly isn’t easy. However, you will surely improve significantly if you try not to make the same mistakes repeatedly.