Many people may have experienced the difficulties of learning a new language as second language, especially for learning Chinese language, because it doesn’t look like any western languages.
My discovery is that learning Chinese language can be easier if you know the rules. The difficult part is to be persistent in memorizing what you have learned. For practical use of higher chinese tuition language in everyday live, all you need is 2,000 characters for a start. While in English, this amount of words to master before a person can practically use the language in everyday live can easily go up to 10,000 words. Does it take any commitments for learning a new language? Yes and of course. It takes tremendous discipline, dedication and years of practices for completely mastering a new language, and able to communicate fluently with another person using that language. However, if you apply some specific techniques to a dedicated purpose of using the language, such as for short term travelling, you can achieve your goal within a certain time frame.
During my practice of teaching Chinese, I realized the hardest part to learn Chinese language is to remember the Chinese characters and their pronunciation. Once you have known enough Chinese characters, able to pronounce them and understand how to put them into meaningful words, things become much easier for you. All you need to do is only one thing: keep using the Chinese characters until you are familiar with how to put them into words and sentences, and learn more characters at the same time. Therefore, to find the easiest way for remembering the Chinese characters is a key step to master the language in the fastest way.
To master the Chinese characters, writing is the hardest part. Luckily a student can choose to learn the pronunciations first, without learning the writing. This is usually an advantage for foreign students learning Chinese as their 2nd language, because it greatly shortens the time to master the vocal skills for everyday conversation using Chinese. So my recommendation is that if you don’t need the skill of writing Chinese characters you can leave it at the beginning.
Now do you find learning Chinese language is much easier than what you think? I suppose the answers to must of people are: “Yes, but still not easy enough, the pronunciation parts are still difficult.” Let me tell you some hints just to make it easier. First of all, the alpha bits for pronunciations are represented by Latin letters, as long as you can remember how the English letters are pronounced in Latin, you can pronounce each and every Chinese character. Second, there are 4 tones in the pronunciation of Chinese characters, and each character pronounces 1 or 2 of the 4 tones. In a specific sentence, each character has only 1 pronunciation with a specific tone, based on the context of the sentence.
My best advice to learn Chinese language is that you start from learning 1 sentence at a time. For each sentence you learn, aim to remember each Chinese character: what does it look like, how does it pronounce with the tone, and what does it mean. And then aim to practice this sentence whenever you can. Accumulatively if you learn 1 sentence of 7 characters each day, for a year you can master over 2000 characters, which is enough for basic discussions in everyday live.