If you are here, you are looking at the exact answer to your question: how to learn Chinese?
First of all, we have to admit and accept that Chinese is hard. Yes, it is. The key point is how to overcome the difficulties and learn it anyway.
The advice on how to learn it is simple though: you have to acquire an automatic habit of using it.
This should be your primary goal: to use the language (speak, listen and read) automatically focusing on the meaning, not on the tool (language) itself.
Now when we have a goal, we have to set the tasks, which would be the essential steps in achieving our goal.
You have 4 spheres where you should be good at if you want to know Chinese (or any other language): Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
So keeping that in mind, we have the followingtasks:
- Train every day. Your training should contain speaking + any other exercise (read or listen). Speaking in Chinese is important, and you should definitely train this “muscle” every day.
- Think in Chinese. When you see a table, say to yourself: and not “this is a table.” This will help you to use Chinese more actively.
- Use any opportunity to speak Chinese. Make friends with Chinese online for example on ItalkI, HelloPal or similar. Try to talk with Chinese once you see tourists – offer them your help. FIND opportunities.
- When you go to China, speak Chinese! Even if you make mistakes, you learn. Use phrases from our website to help you to start and lead a conversation.
- Make notes for yourself in Chinese. It may be the shopping list or some thoughts of today. This advice also has another advantage: other people can’t read what you wrote if they don’t know Chinese, so the information stays private.
- Learn words only in use. There is no need to make the lists of words and learn them by heart. Make sentences and use them in everyday life.
Treat learning how to write Chinese characters as a hobby. Actually to speak the language you need to know 3 spheres of Listening, Speaking and Reading. Writing by hand(Calligraphy) is a separate science. Since most of the task we do today are online, you may acquire only the knowledge of how to type Chinese characters (read here: http://shichinese.com/how-to-type-chinese-characters/). It may suffice you and significantly will help to cut your time in learning Chinese.
- Find opportunities to use Chinese. It may be a better job (once you speak Chinese), watching Chinese movies or finding valuable information on the internet in Chinese. You will undoubtedly enrich your life by this mean.
On the way to your goal, you will need different tools.
So your tools will be audiobooks, newspapers, online radio stations, teaching courses as Pimsleur and Rosetta stone (and similar), books, online dictionaries, Android and iPhone learning apps, Google Typing tool, Phone Chinese keyboard (with handwriting), online Chinese free lessons, websites to find mates: italki, lang8, livemocha, Duolingo online courses, and so on.