Since the Chinese language getting popular, many language learners have been arguing that the Chinese language being a hard language to learn. However, learning the Chinese language can be a challenge, but it is not impossible.
In today’s post, we will analyze what makes people think it is hard to learn Chinese Mandarin and what solution you could have to conquer these tricky problems.
It’s said that Chinese has no grammar or a vague grammar structure, and this feature makes the Chinese language not easy to learn. But that’s not true. Every language has its grammar. Nevertheless, Chinese grammar can be pretty simple compared to some others.
Chinese has no changes in word form (morphology) like English does — for example, “have” and “had.” Comparing to Spanish or Germany, for example, English is also relatively simple in this regard. Its verb conjugations exist apparently only to discourage language learners and prevent them from sustaining the motivation for learning.
Besides the morphology, the Chinese grammar structure is similar to English grammar. The most basic and simple Chinese sentence structure is SOV, which consists of a subject, a predicate, and an object. For example, “I go to the party” in Chinese is 我（I）参加（go to）派对（the party）.
Another feature of the Chinese language is that it applies a lot of measure words in Chinese. Objects of the same kind or with similar characteristics use the same measure words.
Though there is a difference between the Chinese language and other languages, this gap can be bridged.
The Chinese language is built up by the combination of single Chinese characters. It is an ideographic language rather than the alphabetic and phonetic writing system used by most European languages. The ideographic system of Chinese characters works differently. The only alphabet letter you would see in the Chinese language is PINYIN. The PINYIN is a Romanization system for the Chinese. It conveys the pronunciation of Chinese characters in Latin letters.
Unlike the pronunciation of the English word, PINYIN is consistent. Once you have learned its rules, you will always pronounce words properly when you read them in PINYIN. This feature also contributes to making Mandarin learning an easy task.
For Mandarin beginners, thousands of various Chinese characters may scare them off. However, it is not as hard as you imagine. To lay a solid foundation for your future Chinese learning and launch on your learning journey, you only need to get familiar with the most commonly used 500 Chinese characters.
You will observe the basic rules of Chinese character formation by learning these 500 most commonly used Chinese characters. A Chinese character consists of radicals, parts, and strokes. By adding in or taking out these components, you can form different Chinese characters. Based on this, once you mastered the basic Chinese characters that are most commonly used, you would learn more and more Chinese characters.
That’s also the reason why you cannot skip out the learning Chinese character if you’re serious about your Mandarin learning for the long term.
As we mentioned previously, the answer would be no.
Chinese character is the smallest meaningful element in the Chinese writing system. It can be seen as equal to the concept of “word” in the English language. The most important character component is radical, for it can indicate the potential meaning and pronunciation of a specific character. Only through learning the Chinese character can you obtain the Chinese language sense.
Besides, you will miss all the real precious parts of Chinese culture if you skip out on learning its characters. Chinese poems, water-ink paintings, and calligraphy work to the modern entertainment industry like movies, frictions, and dramas. To better appreciate and enjoy all these events, the ability to read and watching them in their original language is a must skill. The translation is available, but important nuances will be missed inevitably.
There are a bunch of methods to help you conquer the difficulty of learning Chinese characters. Firstly, you should learn to recognize these Chinese characters before you learn to write them. Secondly, using decomposition to help you better remember the structure of the character. Thirdly, you should try to practice how to write the character in proper stroke order, especially those easily written in the wrong order. Last, using flashcards to facilitate learning progress. Checking out WHY KEATS USES FLASHCARDS IN CLASS.
As an experienced Mandarin teacher and a bilingual Chinese-English language speaker, I still believe that Chinese Mandarin is a valuable language skill worthy of your investment of time and attention. Maybe it can’t pay off in the short term, but your future life and career could be benefited greatly. This widely spoken language will open up a new world of opportunities for you.
It’s not only limited to the employment market but also your personal life. The profound culture carried by this language must inspire you from a different point of view. The language will ease your tension during your trip to China too, both of business trip or holiday. You can bridge a true connection with Chinese culture. And the different ways of thinking and philosophy of this language can boost your brainpower too. Read more about the 10 BENEFITS OF LEARNING CHINESE AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.
Learning the Chinese language is actually simpler than you think. Chinese language study is easy to pick up once you get started though it comes with a lot of hard-working. Finally, the Chinese language is a precious skill, and it is not that difficult to study once you find the right way to do it.
I’ve been at Keats school and Kunming now for one month doing the one-on-one Chinese lessons with two different teachers. I really enjoy it. Both of my teachers are very friendly and patient. They really helped me to improve my Chinese, both of my reading and speaking. I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming as well. This city is really beautiful and the weather is nice, the air is clean. It’s one of the best cities in China to study Chinese.
Kunming is a fantastic city. The weather here is great. The school is excellent. The instructors are very helpful, very friendly. I strongly recommend that anybody who is looking for a Chinese language school in China come here to study. Kunming and Keats school are much better than any other place.
My teachers are all excellent. They trained the teachers so professionally. I feel like I learn very quickly with my teacher. They are very serious about their students and I know every teacher is like this. I would highly recommend that you come to Keats if you are looking for the best Chinese school in China.
I really enjoy coming here because it is like kind of a home for me. It is a great environment to learn Mandarin Chinese in China and meet great people from all over the world. Everyone here is extremely friendly. Kunming has a really nice climate. It is a very good mix of the modern city and also a lot of historic Chinese culture. Probably got the cleanest air in China and possibly the cleanest water too. I invite you to come to study Chinese in Kunming.
Before I came to Keats School, I had no confidence in my Chinese proficiency. I did not have the confidence to speak Mandarin Chinese and chat with Chinese people. However, after 4 months of study at Keats, I become more and more confident in speaking Chinese now. Studying Chinese in China at Keats School has been the best decision I have ever made. There are many games in the class, and my teacher’s teaching methods are also very interesting. My experience at Keats School has changed my view of China and Chinese people.
I come to Kunming because I think the environment in Kunming is better and I heard that Keats School is better. I like the small group Chinese class because my classmates study hard and our teachers are very good. I like the teaching method of Keats because I like the activities at Keats. I think Yunnan is a particularly beautiful Chinese province.
This is my second time coming. Last year, I also came for about 12 weeks. This time I came for 13 weeks of a summer program in China. The reason why I particularly want to come to this school was because of the one-on-one classes. I was able to increase my level and learn Chinese more quickly than in group classes. If I have a chance again to come next year, I certainly will.
My name is Sarah Fish. I am 81. I knew very little Chinese when I arrived. How was I going to survive 2 weeks of intensive Chinese course? I have to laugh when I think of that now. What a positive experience this has been! I really wish we could be here a little longer. The teachers are extremely encouraging, evaluating first how much someone knows, and then starting from there.