What You Need to Know Before Learning Chinese

What You Need to Know Before Learning Chinese

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Learning Chinese can be a hard subject to study but also one of the most rewarding to your personal and career life. If you are looking to learn Chinese, there are a few things that you need to know before you begin.


1. Recognise the characters first

Learning to recognise the characters can be a huge step-up to learning Chinese. Majority of the words that you will encounter are comprised of the most common 2000 characters or so. If you can recognise the characters, you will immediately pick up any new Chinese vocabulary. Check out this resource link for learning the characters. Push yourself to make character meaning, sound and recognition as part of your daily study until you can recognise the majority of the characters. Depending on your pacing, it would take a year or two to complete. If you are looking for an additional Chinese language learning aid with web browser on your phone, check out “Chinese Browser by Hanyou” to make your learning more effective.


2. Practicing the tones and pronunciation

Learning tones is equally as important as learning the language itself. If your pronunciation isn’t perfectly conveyed, it would easily lead to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. It would be best to start practising your tone while learning the language. It would be significantly harder to fix mispronunciation if it becomes a habit from the beginning. The basic way to practice Chinese tones is to learn through hearing tones on one syllable.



Every person that speaks in Chinese has their own pronunciancing tones, the more exposure you get by listening from various people, the better your chances of grasping the message conveyed by the next person you hear. Try to get yourself a Mandarin speaking partner that can help provide feedback on your pronunciation. If you can’t find a partner to help you with, look for recordings of a native Mandarin speaker instead. Record your own practices so that you can compare it to the native tone so that you can get a feel whether or not you’re improving. Place more emphasis in learning your vocabulary acquisition since it’s the biggest challenge when it comes to speaking in Chinese.


3. Graded Readers and Pleco Document 

Knowing characters is not enough when it comes to learning Chinese, you will still have to read it. For beginners, there are two things that can help you significantly, graded readers and Pleco’s document reader. Pleco allows you to open files and by clicking on words that you are not familiar with, the reader will automatically translate it for you. It’s very useful as it saves you time from trying to copy and paste characters. The document is great for translating anything you open on web pages as well. Starting with graded readers is incredibly useful as it will help you read through them more comfortably without the need to look up every second word. Some of the best-graded reader series include Mandarin Companion’s Graded Readers, Tales and Traditions as well as Graded Chinese Reader.


4. Watching movies dubbed in Chinese

A good way to learn a new language is to watch previously watched shows in English, dubbed into Chinese. Rewatching shows can help you follow the story while picking up new vocabulary. Once you are getting used to watching Chinese dubbed shows, you can start branching out towards new movies and television series.


Do you have any tips that deserve to be mention in this article? Leave us your thoughts on the comment sections below. Head over to Jobstore.com and unveil your next job opportunity.

You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.

Reach me at youjing@jobstore.com

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