Learning Chinese before you travel to China does not have to be difficult. Mandarin is widely spoken around the world and more people are being encouraged to learn the language. Tutoring sessions, practicing regularly and speaking to people who have mastered the language are some of the ways to improve your fluency in Chinese faster.
One of the key steps towards learning any new language is to get familiar with basic vocabulary. This involves memorizing simple and important words. If you are planning to travel to China, you need to begin practicing such words as soon as you can. Sentence structures and the rules of grammar will only make sense if your basic vocabulary is developed.
Learn basic words such as how to say hello, goodbye, yes, no, body parts and food. Find out how different words are pronounced and spend more time listening to native speakers. Chinese is distinctly different from languages such as English and you need to master accurate pronunciations.
Along with basic vocabulary, you need to learn key phrases. Building up your vocabulary will pave the way for learning basic expressions and commonly used phrases. These will make it much easier for you to engage in conversations. Some of the phrases include greetings and their responses, asking people their names, thank you and sorry.
The tonal nature of the Chinese language means that words can have different meanings according to the tone that is used. This applies to words that have similar pronunciations and spellings. Most English speakers would find this challenging but you need to understand the tones in order for you to be able to speak the language properly.
The four categories of tones include the flat, rising, dipping and falling tone. There is also what is referred to as the neutral tone that neither rises nor falls. It features a flat tone that is similar to the first tone which is higher.
After learning to pronounce different tones correctly and practicing consistently, you need to use them in actual words. This is important because one word can mean something else depending on the type of tone that is used.
When you learn Chinese vocabulary before your trip, learn both the pronunciation and proper tone. This will prevent you from using words incorrectly and being misunderstood. A god way to improve your pronunciation is to hire a tutor or speak to native speakers. Your tutor will let you know when you are right or wrong.
Grammar and Sentences
While some people may think that Chinese has no grammar system, the truth is that it has its own grammar rules which differ from those of other languages. When you start learning basic Chinese you do not have to learn the complex rules.
Chinese is straightforward in many ways and the similarities it shares with the English language in terms of sentence structure makes it simpler for English speakers to learn. This also makes it easer for you to translate different words form one language to another and become used to speaking Chinese over a period of time. Taking a trip to China will further improve your ability to speak the language.
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