Beginner in Chinese?

Sign up to get a free basic Chinese course complete with MP3 audio, 
plus learning tips and video lessons! 
 
 

The Basic Strokes Used in All Chinese Characters

Types of Strokes This post is the first in a new series about how to learn to write Chinese characters. I’m not concentrating on simplified or traditional characters here, I’m just talking about the basic principles. Let’s start right from the beginning. Each Chinese character is made up of different strokes. A stroke means a […]

Continue reading...

Anki – An Easy Way to Learn Vocabulary in a Foreign Language

Readers of this blog will know that I have studied multiple foreign languages, and one of the key concepts behind my approach to using language is utilising technology. One of the biggest ways I use technology during my language learning is by using flashcard software to get vocabulary to stick. The piece of software I […]

Continue reading...

How long does it take to learn to speak fluent Chinese?

‘How long does it take to learn to speak fluent Chinese?’ As somebody who has been studying Chinese for more than six years, this is a question that I am often asked. People often expect the answer to be ‘a lot longer than for European languages’, as Chinese is often perceived as a more ‘difficult […]

Continue reading...

How to Learn to Speak Fluent Mandarin Chinese – Step 3

Moving from the Beginner/Lower Intermediate Stage to a More Advanced Level In Parts 1 and 2 of my guide to how to teach yourself to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, I talk about learning pronunciation and building a solid foundation in the language. I mentioned how it is important not to work too fast at the […]

Continue reading...

Why did I make a ‘British Westerner Speaking Fluent Mandarin Chinese’ video?

Why did I post a video of myself speaking ‘fluent Chinese’? Some people will say I wanted to show off, some people will say I wanted people to pay attention, some people will be impressed, and as always there will be naysayers and critics. The video is far from perfect, there are going to be […]

Continue reading...

Making Your Foreign Language Study Effective: Active Not Passive Learning

I studied Spanish at school, by which I mean I took classes in Spanish, and I got good marks in all the exams as well, but I never really thought I could speak Spanish well, even after a year or so of taking classes. Amazingly, it took me a few years to figure out why […]

Continue reading...

How to Look Up Chinese Characters or Words Using a Smartphone App

This is a great little tip that I want to share with everybody. Smartphones are becoming great tools for organisation, learning and study. There are many different applications available for learning languages and many for Chinese. Pleco, however, is one of the best tools available for Chinese learners. It is a dictionary, a text reader […]

Continue reading...

How To Read Chinese Texts Easily Using Software

Reading Chinese texts is a significant obstacle for any Chinese learner. Beginners will often have worked through a textbook that has introduced some characters, and they may be able to recognise or read a few. They may also have looked through flashcards to get to grips with basic characters. However, learners of any language often […]

Continue reading...

How to Type in Chinese Using Sogou Pinyin

Learning to type in Chinese is an important part of any Chinese learner’s to do list. Although of course it takes a long time to get round Chinese grammar and expression, there are a couple of reasons why it is good to learn to type in Chinese early on: 1) By using the Pinyin to […]

Continue reading...

Review of Beginner Mandarin Chinese Courses

I have mentioned that different courses are suitable for different people, and suit different study methods. I am developing my own course, Survive in Chinese, an intensive course for the independent language learner to gain a rapid foundation in Mandarin, however I often like to work through several beginners courses in detail, in order to build […]

Continue reading...