Needless to say, Chinese (Mandarin) is the most spoken language in the world, approximately 14% of the world population is native Mandarin speakers. Take a simple calculation, if you are able to speak Mandarin, you can easily communicate with one among seven people on Earth.
For me, there are two main reasons to motivate me to study Mandarin. The first one is because my own interests in Hànyǔ Pīnyīn and Chinese music. The second is because I have many friends who can speak Mandarin, learning Chinese could be the easiest way to gain better understanding in between us.
My journey of learning Mandarin has been filled with joys and happiness. In fact, I learn, stop learning, and re-learn no less than 5 times. Until now, my Mandarin level is around pre-intermediate. Yes, it is far from my goal of speaking Mandarin fluently. But I am very committed to my learning journey.
I would love to share with you some platforms and materials which can help your Mandarin path more joyful!
Books & Websites
I highly recommend you buy the books to keep systematically with essential words, pronunciation, & grammar. Learning with a book also gives you a direct and clear plan based on your studying pace. You can learn 1-2 lessons/week. After Boya I, you can buy Boya II and other advanced Boya books.
For websites, I highly recommend using mandarinbean to leverage your Chinese reading ability. Reading Chinese character can be a daunting task with many unknown characters. Honestly, reading and writing the Chinese characters are my worst skills. However, I soon realized that your language capability wouldn’t go the higher level without balancing all the skills. Using mandarinbean would assist you to familiarize with both the characters & pronunciation. So why not give it a try?
While using Book helps you stay away from all digital distractions, you may find it boring sometimes. Therefore, since I reached elementary level, I have spent more hours watching Mandarin video than learnt from paper-based materials. Among thousands of Chinese channels, I have found these ones most useful and address my needs ranging from basic to advance level.
- Introduction to Perfect Chinese Pronunciation
- Chinese Class 101
- Chinese Lessons Basic (Originally from https://www.edx.org/)
- Shuoshuo Chinese
- Mandarin Essentials
- ChinesePod (5 stars for all the dedicated content)
Again among various Apps, here are the main applications that I have used and found helpful.
- HelloChinese Accommodate you with daily and conversational topics. With the interactive designs lessons, plus various lessons, the app can bring many options and hardly get bored.
- Pleco It is kinda Chinese Dictionary. You can use different approaches to check a new words either drawing strokes, using the sound, or type in Pinyin.
- Hskonline I am gonna take the test very soon. So this app is a must tool. The lesson is designed to prepare you with the test. You can start by taking the test to position your Mandarin level, then leverage your skills from there.
- Translator X or other apps that provides you with object recognization/detection when it comes to a language having ideographic writing. It would be a live-saver for you.
One last thought here, using digital tools are very helpful and accommodating your learnings. Still, theses things can be very distractive. What I have done is setting a fixed time to focus on Apps studying. Also, you should tell your friends your plan that you are learning Chinese which may cause some delays in response. Some stricter trick that I have done is deleting my Instagram App to commit to my learning (only download when need it and delete immediately), which does a wonder for my learning.
Do you recommend any channels or movies in Mandarin that you want to share with me? I would love to try on new stuffs either fun or educational in Mandarin.
Beside Chinese, I am also interested in other languages. Check out my other articles regarding how to progress in your English Pronunciation trinhthai.com/my-3-tips-to-speak-english-with-confidence/.
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I wish all the best with your language advancement.