Learning a new language is as joyful as it can be scary. Now that you’ve decided to take up Chinese learning I’m sure you’ve encountered this:
“Woah so brave, such a difficult language, you know I’d love to speak another language, but…”
Good motivation am I right…
This kind of response can put off most learners before they even start. But still you’ve decided to take the plunge and start learning Chinese. Only to discover there is so much information out there! We call this information overload. There’s so much ‘advice’ online for the best apps, the best language, the best way to learn a new language that you might not even know where to start!
That’s why we’ve taken the opportunity to spend today’s article focusing on the most frequently asked questions in regards to Chinese learning. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog you will have noticed that we have already written extensively on these topics. To save you from having to read so many articles, we’ve consolidated it all into one. But don’t worry, we’ve linked it to our other articles should you want to expand your knowledge.
Consider this article like our Lingo Bus App, a handy consolidated Chinese learning tool.
So here’s most common Chinese learning questions answered:
What is the difference between Mandarin and Chinese?
Well this is a long question but for a simple answer here’s a quote form our longer article ‘What are the differences between Chinese and Mandarin?’:
So when we talk about learning Chinese in this article we are most commonly referring to Mandarin. This is also known as ‘Standard Chinese language’ or called “普通话”(pǔ tōng huà ), meaning “common tongue”. It is the preferred language used by the government, media, and in education and that’s why it’s important to focus on it and not other dialects.
Why learn Mandarin Chinese?
First off congratulations on deciding to learn such a wonderful language. If you read our article ‘7 Best Languages to Learn in 2019’ you will have already found the answer to this question.
Basically Chinese is the Lingua Franca in Asia, and is becoming more important worldwide. What you might not have realized is that there is a high demand for Mandarin second language speakers but not many who have this skill. More and more parents want to introduce Mandarin to their kids. Many famous parents have done this through tutors, but not everyone has that luxury. Although a higher percentage of parents want to offer Chinese classes for their kids they don’t have access to resources to do so. That is until now.
Lingo bus provides 25-minute individual or group classes with native speakers to children aged 5 to 12 years’ old. All from the convenience of your own home at whatever time is suitable for you and your child. The only thing you need is a good internet connection and a laptop, or an iPad. Each class also comes with before class preview and after class review materials. That’s not all! Each new student who signs up gets a free Demo class, that way you can see if this is the right fit for you without loosing anything. On top of it all each child is assigned a specialist educational consultant. Every child is an achiever with the right support, that’s why our education consultant will personalize a study plan to fit your child. They are also available for support during your language journey.
How to start learning Chinese?
Well you’ve already taken the first step by deciding to read this blog, it shows you have interest! You might also find this article helpful as it offers step by step “How to Learn Chinese – Ultimate Beginners Guide”.
The most important thing is to have a good steady language support, if possible from a native speaker. Since you want to make sure you are not making mistakes from the start! The best solution for this is to have an experienced native speaker guide you in your language journey. At Lingo Bus our teachers all hold a degree in foreign language teaching and have taught for a minimum of 3 years. To ensure the quality of our teachers we have very strict hiring requirements with only a 4% passing rate. We also offer training sessions to ensure our teachers are providing your child with the best Chinese education there is to offer. But that’s not all! We understand that a teacher isn’t ‘one size fits all’. Our app allows you to interchange and try new teachers, whilst keeping your 3 favorite ones on hold. What this means is you can match the best tutor for your child easily! Something that could not be done in a language school, you would simply be stuck with that teacher.
How to write Chinese characters?
If this is a topic you are worried about you might find the article ‘How to Write Chinese Characters’ an interesting read. Here’s a direct quote:
“When learning any new language, the hardest skill to pick up always seems to be reading and writing. When it comes to Chinese that becomes even more exacerbated since it is character based and not what most of the world (with exceptions) is used to, the alphabet! How to write Chinese characters, is a question that often boggles the minds of Chinese learners. Like me you might find yourself wondering where to even begin when it comes to learning 50,000 of them!”
Here’s the good news! Writing in Chinese is actually not that difficult. You might not realize it but you actually only need to know 5,000 characters to be able to write about and read 90% of content. On top of this unlike the English language Chinese characters make sense. You can look at them and most of the time guess what they are referring to. Although you might not be able to name it Chinese! The way characters are written and build up on each other also make sense. Here’s an example from ‘How to Learn Chinese Fast?”:
“The character mu4 木 means a tree or wood. If you combine two of these characters lin4林, means woods. Combine three and can you guess what it means? It makes sen1森, meaning a large forest.”
Isn’t that so easy!
We understand that learning to write characters can make you as a parent apprehensive. You might be worried that it’s too hard or that it will be too boring to teach. Not with Lingo Bus! We have writing classes designed especially for children on Chinese descent, or children of Overseas Chinese. These classes focus on reading and writing as these students often have a high speaking ability due to speaking Mandarin at home. For our normal classes characters are also introduced from day one in a fun way! To help your child to memories the characters we now have a very fun interactive feature. Our flashcard feature offers character packs that your child can review over an over again. Missed cards to ensure the best learning experience.
How to Learn Chinese Fast?
If your child is in the beginning stages of their language-learning journey, Chinese probably sounds like a stream of mumbo jumbo! At this point they might not even even be able to tell where one word ends and the next one begins. As they listen to Lingo Bus native speakers they wonder if they will ever be able to talk as eloquently as them. Time passes and you might find they are not progressing as fast as you hoped, so how to offer them help?
Well there is no fast track way to learn a language, but there are things you can do to help. Evaluate your child’s learning or have our education consultant check. A lot of the time students don’t progress as expected for two reasons:
1- Impossible goal. Aka telling yourself you will be fluent in 6 months is impossible unless if you moved to China, ate, breathed, and lived for Chinese. Even then you might not make it. So make attainable goals! Be it daily, weekly, monthly and long-term goals. At Lingo Bus our teachers help parents keep track of their child’s learning through evaluation. Where parents can see comments and a class video.
2- Stuck. Its become boring or a chore, or you’ve run out of resources. If that’s the case then I suggest the articles “15 Amazing Chinese Learning Websites”, “20 Best Chinese Language Learning Apps”, and “8 Best Ways to Learn Chinese Online Free”. Finding new ways to include the new language you are learning in your daily life is key to continued growth. That’s why Lingo Bus has extensive features.
How to learn Chinese online?
Learning a language requires a lot of time input, something not all of us have. By not having to drive to a school you are saving precious time. That’s what makes the Lingo Bus App so effective, it works around your schedule. But you already knew that!
Online learning offers a lot of resources. Videos, games, classes, apps, etc, all useful when language learning. That’s why you might enjoy joining our Lingo Bus community. We are constantly uploading Chinese culture and language videos for our users. By following our Facebook page, you can also take part in some of our language based competitions to win prizes. All of this can help students to use online resources to improve their Chinese.
We hope after reading this blog you’ve had most of you Chinese learning questions answered! If you have time why not explore our other articles to find out more. If you’ve been having classes with Lingo Bus, we hope these articles will provide extra insight and resources. After reading all our articles you will find something very interesting. All the features suggested for adults require many apps or websites, which can get annoying and expensive! But at Lingo Bus we have aggregated all these features into our app and provided them free of use for our users upon purchasing classes. So if you are only just starting to think about introducing Chinese to your children you don’t need got go any further! The Lingo Bus App has everything you need.
Copyright Notice: Everyone is welcome to forward the articles in this blog as long as the links to these articles are also included.