One of the fairest questions we get from Chinese learners is, ‘How long does it take to learn Mandarin?’ That’s a very important question, right?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this one! To become fluent, Gladwell, an expert explains the 10,000-Hour Rule. If you put the rest of your life on hold and focused only on your Chinese studies- spending 20 hours of work a week, it would take you 10 years. Mastering Mandarin Chinese can indeed take a long time, but getting to a very useful intermediate level is well within the reach of most people. The time it takes to learn Chinese varies from one person to the other, and there is no time limit for one to learn a language. This is because some people can quickly grasp a new language while others may take a little longer to learn the same language.
If you’re thinking about learning Mandarin Chinese, these tips will help you do it faster! There’s no magic solution to suddenly understanding a new language, but patience and persistence will help you to get there sooner. Some great tips on how to learn Mandarin effectively?
Factors Influencing Mandarin Chinese Learning Speed
Many factors influence the amount of time taken to grasp Chinese language. Time is money, we would all love to have limitless time to improve our language skills. Here are some of important factors to include:
What is your mother tongue?
Native language can affect the way the brain processes words in a second language. Cues at the beginning and ending of words can differ from language to language. An example is the Chinese intonation, that are harder to master and are more likely to be influenced by a speaker’s native language.
Research shows that when languages share more similarities but still have slight differences, it can be harder for second language learners to use the correct pronounce to identify words.
Generally, if you are a Japanese, it’s easier to learn Chinese. Japanese Kanji are derived from Chinese characters. The characters and grammar structures between these 2 languages are very similar.
How you are learning?
You need to find effective ways that relate to your personal hobbies. The internet gives you an endless wealth of information at your fingertips. If you google ‘How to learn Chinese’ on the Internet, you will find many useful tips. These are the main tips that you may need to apply to your studies:
- Speak a lot
- Read as much as possible
- Devote time to memorizing characters
- Learn the tones
The 4 tips above are based on critical aspects for you to master Mandarin Chinese. The key to successful language learning programs is your commitment. If you are a crazy movie fan, you can learn a lot by watching Chinese movies or TV shows. It is one of the best ways to continually hear Chinese being spoken.
How well do you need to able to speak/read, etc.?
To get high-level linguistic skills in any language takes exposure. Conversing with everyday speech will peak at no more than upper-intermediate level of Chinese is sufficient to deal with most basic necessities of living, travel, make new friends and have interesting conversations entirely in Chinese.
If you need to reach a very decent level of Chinese in a short time, you may have to make a plan and work at it everyday.
How much time can you commit a week?
Once you decide to study Mandarin Chinese, work at them every day. Use whatever method you want, but make a proper plan and devote at least 1 hour a day just on learning characters. That plan should mark what’s necessary and what’s important. Over time, learning characters becomes easier because so many components repeat in other characters. All the experts at anything were once a beginner, so begin to learn it now. You will be proficient in Mandarin Chinese if you refuse to give up.
Let me know any problems that you meet when learning Mandarin Chinese in the comments below. We will try our best to answer your questions.
By learning a foreign language as a child, you have a lifetime to benefit from cross-cultural friendships, broader career opportunities, exciting travel adventures and deeper insights into how others see the world. Want to know how to raise a global child? Why Chinese is getting more and more popular worldwide and why you should choose Lingo Bus for your kids to start learning Chinese?
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