This guide was written for Chinese Beginners that don’t know where to start learning Mandarin Chinese.
Mandarin Chinese is currently ranked first as the most spoken language in the world with nearly an estimated billion speakers in China, Taiwan, and other parts of the world.
The most spoken Chinese dialect is the Mandarin dialect, which is understood by a vast majority of Chinese Speakers.
Learning to read the Chinese Alphabet should be the first stop for Chinese beginners. It’s important to understand that there isn’t exactly a Chinese alphabet. Chinese uses Chinese characters to represent ideas.
Understanding how to write Chinese numbers should take very little time and effort to learn.
Chinese numbers are written from Left to Right like English numbers.
Although the Chinese symbol for zero appears above, it’s only used when it comes to money.
You write the base Chinese Number then what I call a “multiplier” if the number is above ten. Here are a couple of examples to demonstrate what I mean.
It’s actually pretty straightforward when it comes to learning how to use the Chinese number system. Pronouncing Chinese straightforward easier. Because they follow the exact same pattern in the above example.
To illustrate what I mean, here are Chinese numbers 1 to 100.
You really just need to memorize how to pronounce the base Chinese Numbers then you can easily pronounce any Chinese number. I personally choose to remember that Chinese numbers follow a “number-position” type pattern. Example of what I mean..
Understanding how to write Chinese numbers is really that easy to learn. Should only take you an hour or two to fully memorizes the Chinese number system.
The logical next step after learning the Chinese Alphabet for Chinese beginners would be to start developing your Chinese vocabulary with Chinese words and phrases. I put together two posts of Chinese vocabulary and one post of Chinese phrases for Chinese beginners to start building their knowledge of Chinese Words and Phrases.
The Chinese grammar rules you must follow and understand to properly speak the Chinese language.
Learning to understand Mandarin Chinese sentence structure isn’t simple to grasp.
To narrow it down you can say it follows a Subject-Verb-Object pattern. Chinese nouns have formal and informal ways of speaking and writing nouns and pronouns. Context plays a major role in figuring out what tense Chinese Verbs refer to. Two or more verbs can stack in Chinese Grammar, as Verbal complements(after the main verb) or as coverbs(before the main verb).
Because Chinese doesn’t have a real alphabet in the standard sense. Chinese Pinyin is a system used to teach Chinese Characters into romanized Latin script that means “spelled sound”. Each Syllable is made up of Sheng and a yun. Sheng is the consonant that begins the syllable• Yun follows the Sheng and is usually a vowel sound. It’ll take a while to learn Chinese Characters since there are more than four hundred exist in the Chinese language. And that doesn’t count the various tonal variations. The overall total of possible combinations leaves Mandarin Chinese with total of 1600(400 base combinations characters with 4 tones each) unique syllables.
The standard Chinese dialect of Mandarin Chinese has four tonal marks that radically change the meaning of the word and crucial when you learn Chinese Pinyin. Theses are indicated by marks over the vowels or by using numbers along with the Chinese Pinyin.
Pronouncing Chinese Tones
Level – This tone is pronounced high and level. Almost monotone.
Rising – This tone has a increase in pitch.
Departing – This tone sounds like it’s “dipping”. Falls and Rises again.
Entering – This tone starts out high then drops in tone.
When trying to learn Chinese Pinyin. You must pay attention to Tonal marks because they can change the word from one meaning to a whole completely different meaning. Example of how changing the tonal marks changes the meaning of the Chinese Character.
I put together a directory for you to start to learn Chinese Pinyin characters. Sorted by tone alphabetically. I also split “c”, “s”, and “z” each into separate pages to cut down on the size of the images and make it more organized.
Learn Chinese Pinyin is extremely important when it comes to learning to write and read Chinese Characters. So make sure to practice pronouncing and writing Chinese Pinyin whenever you can. As many times as you can.
The fun part of learning any language.. learning Chinese grammar rules! The rules you must follow to properly speak the Chinese language. But don’t worry about how hard learning Chinese Grammar might feel at first. Learning Chinese grammar rules is one of the most effective ways to speed up your ability to speak the Chinese language. Keep in mind this is just a basic introduction to understanding how Chinese grammar works.
Chinese Grammar Rules: Sentence Structure
• A lot of learning how to speak Mandarin is encoded in learning Chinese sentence structure. Some state Mandarin Chinese grammar is simple but it’s really not.
Chinese Grammar Rules: Nouns and Pronouns
• Context is the only way to tell if a Chinese Noun is singular or plural.
• Chinese has single pronunciations for common pronouns such as “he”, “she”, or “it”.
• The context of the sentence is very important when figuring out the “gender” in which the pronoun or noun is referring to.
• Chinese nouns have formal and informal ways of speaking and writing them.
Chinese Grammar Rules: Verbs
• Chinese Verbs have no tense. Verbs only have one form regardless of the time it’s performed.
• To indicate the time of the action such as “yesterday”, “today” and “tomorrow”. The words are added either before or after the subject.
• Conjugating and irregular have no part in Chinese.
• Two or more verbs can stack in Chinese Grammar, as Verbal complements(after the main verb) or as coverbs(before the main verb)
Chinese Grammar Rules: Adjectives
• An adverb and an adjective in combination are ordinarily treated as a phrase and written as two units. Some adverb + adjective constructions, however, undergo a change in meaning so that they express a single concept rather than two independent concepts; such transformed adverb + adjective constructions are considered single words and written as single units.
Learning Chinese grammar rules can be considered the cornerstone of the language and will take some time to learn but creates a sturdy foundation to help you completely learn Chinese in no time. Take the time to let these points soak in, then build on them as you continue your Chinese studies. Good luck, and have fun learning Chinese.
Pardon my Chinese! Learn Chinese Swear Words and Profanity
I was a little hesitant to write this article because some people might be offended and such.. but actually, it was one of the most requested things I receive in my email. It comes as no surprise really, since I’m sure most of us would admit that we always seek out the profanity when learning a new language.
Learning Chinese swear words for a variety of reasons. Most people tend to swear when they are stressed or angry. If you have a relative that knows a second language then get upset and start talking in their other language? People also tend to swear when they are hurt in some way. Studies have shown that swearing does have pain reducing element.
Remember there are a time and place for using theses Chinese Swear Words. So only use these Chinese Swear words when it’s appropriate.
Chinese vocabulary lists to help start you on your way to learning Chinese vocabulary.
Your Chinese vocabulary should begin with words you could use in your daily life and should be familiar with already. Below are some useful Chinese vocabulary and expressions for Continents, Weather, Anatomy, Home/Rooms, Vehicles, and Countries from around the world.
Depending on where you live. You are taught a little differently when it comes to continents, if you’re an American like me, you were taught 7 continents. In parts of Europe, some are taught 5-6 continents instead. Either merging Europe and Asia as Eurasia and combining North and South America as one continent.
If you are really serious about learning Chinese and want to maximize your time then you should consider using a Chinese language course to further aid you in your quest to learn French. There are several great programs out there that deliver a great language learning experience. The advantages of a language learning program is the organization and having a next step already lined up. Most break down the lessons into 30-minute intervals that can fit into any type of schedule. Flexible to retry a lesson to make sure you understand what you are learning and give you confidence in succeeding.
Examples of great Chinese language programs can be found below.