Thanks to the internet, it's become easier and easier to learn a new language – and you don't even have to pay a penny.
We asked one learner, Matthias Salzger, about his experience and what tips he has for beginners.
Here are Matthias' 7 tips for learning Chinese:
Set yourself a goal
Team up with other learners
Ask questions, look for people to learn alongside with.
Check out your local library or the internet (a lot of books can be found as pdf downloads). Now here comes what might seem like a bizarre tip: don't use a dictionary!
Instead, try to understand the word from its context. This might be incredibly hard in the beginning, but I promise it gets easier. You won't forget the words, as you might if you just look them up. And don't worry about getting it wrong as you'll encounter the word again and correct your mistake.
Try watching a movie or TV series. You can stream it online. If you can't do that legally, see if the movies you own have an audio track in your language of choice.
Follow your interests
As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn't read or watch it in your native language, you also shouldn't in Chinese.
If you know somebody who speaks Chinese you're learning you should definitely try to get them to talk with you.
The cost of learning a language isn't money but your time. It can take years. Don't expect a learning course to just shove the knowledge into your mouth. You have to earn it.
Please visit Chinlingo for Chinese learning.