This is a step by step guide for Beginners who are just starting to learn Mandarin
We will answer all your burning questions:
– What is mandarin all about compare to English and Malay?
– Is Mandarin easy or difficult to learn?
– How to learn Mandarin in a simple and easy way?
– What are the steps to learn Mandarin?
– How long it takes to be able to speak Mandarin?
STEP 1 : PRONOUNCIATION : HAN YU PIN YIN (85% similar to Malay)
Han yu means Mandarin, while pin yin means spelling.
There are 3 components of han yu pin yin which are:
– 6 vowels
– 21 consonants
– 5 tones
After you can pronounce all these 21 pinyin in the table above, you should be able to pronounce 95% of all the pinyin (there are over 1000 pinyin). It usually takes 2-3 sessions for students to speak Mandarin words with 80% accuracy. Watch the videos below to learn the pronunciation:
STEP 2 : UNDERSTAND & MEMORISE VOCABULARY (15% similar to Malay)
If you want to be fluent, you need to have at least 1500 – 3000 vocabularies. How long it takes to understand and memorise 1500 vocabularies? Set your goal to learn 60 vocabularies per week. After 24 weeks, you will have around 1500 vocabularies.
There are many ways you can improve your memory retention, watch the video to learn number 1 to 10
STEP 3 : SENTENCE STRUCTURE (85% similar to Malay)
The formula to construct long sentence is using STPA / TSPA
S = Subjects (who) come at the beginning of the sentence
T = Time (when) come immediately before or after subject
P = Place (where) where an event happened
A = Action (what) verb + object, do something.
My mother everyday go to supermarket buy fruits
Wǒ de māmā měitiān qù chāojí shìchǎng mǎi shuǐguǒ
For short sentence, you can think in Malay, Watch this video to learn how to say “Awak di mana”?
STEP 4 : SPEAK MANDARIN EVERYDAY
After you have learned all the steps : pronunciation, important vocabularies and sentence structure, many new learners still can’t speak fluent Mandarin. Why?
Because he/she does not practice enough. The most important element to master Mandarin is to speak, speak & speak! Practice makes perfect! You have to speak Mandarin everyday and revise the lessons until you’re fully understood. It takes at least 100 hours of speaking Mandarin to be well-versed in Mandarin. (if 30 minutes a day, it will take 6 months)
Here are top 9 ways to practice Mandarin:
1. Choose the right study material & course (we designed our course materials in house and very suitable for beginners)
2. Read Chinese conversations aloud (we will read the conversations aloud together in class)
3. Listen to Mandarin audio and repeat (there are audio, video files for every page of BBC book)
4. Write down conversations in pin yin (you have to write and take note in class)
5. Practice with Chinese songs (we sing Mandarin songs together)
6. Get a language tutor (you will have 2 tutors, offline tutor + online tutor)
7. Understand & memorise the vocabulary (we have effective way to help you understand the vocabulary)
8. Don’t be shy to speak with anyone (every student has to do Mandarin presentation/dialogue in class)
9. Speak Mandarin everyday (we speak Mandarin in class and in whatsapp group)
STEP 5 : MANDARIN CHARACTERS
We don’t encourage Beginner students to learn Mandarin characters at the beginning as it may not be easy for you. Most people agree that Chinese characters is the hardest language to learn.
If you are just starting to learn Mandarin, we encourage you to focus on conversational Mandarin. After you can speak Mandarin fluently with 1500 vocabularies, you can start to learn Mandarin characters.