Is Chinese the most difficult language for the Westerners to learn? Absolutely not! Try to throw aside all your fears, excuses and imaginary obstacles and just get started, then you'll realize that Chinese is not as hard as you thought.
Now empty your mind. Just follow the five easy ways to learn Chinese language.
1. Practice with a native speaker
In learning a new language, the most direct and efficient approach is to practice speaking with a native speaker. Even a 5-minute conversation with simple greetings is better than nothing. They can easily correct any grammar or pronunciation mistakes you make and introduce you to more informal or colloquial expressions that you won't find in a textbook. If you don't have any Chinese-speaking friends nearby, don't be depressed. Try finding someone on Skype, Weibo (Chinese Twitter) or WeChat, the most popular social media in China.
2. Order a meal at the local restaurants in Chinatown
As you may know, Chinatown is a place with menus all in Chinese. Most of the patrons there are Chinese too. You can not only learn the basic vocabulary about Chinese dishes, but also enjoy tastier, more authentic foods. What a good option, isn't it?
3. Watch Chinese movies or TV shows
Learning Chinese language can be also very relaxing and entertaining. Select some Chinese movies or TV shows to get a feel for the sound and structure of the Mandarin Chinese. During watching, you need to hear the tones and the language points in the storyline, in order to fully embrace the language. If you're feeling difficult to follow it, pause the video after hearing a simple sentence and repeat what has just been said.
4. Listen to Chinese songs
Quite a few foreigners fall for the Chinese language through Chinese songs. Even if you fail to understand everything, you can try to pick out keywords to help you get some ideas about what's being said. If you are an outgoing person, try karaoke! Alternatively, download Chinese music apps or podcasts for listening when you're on the go.
5. Take a trip to China
Taking a trip to China should be the best way to immerse yourself in the Chinese language. It is also an absolutely wonderful way to experience the country itself — magnificent scenery, delicious food, hospitable people and abundant culture. If you stay there for a period, say 6 months, and blend yourself in local people, you may get an authentic Chinese accent.
With these five easy ways to learn Chinese language, do you still consider Chinese as the most difficult language in the world? Only if you want it to be!
The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer.