A Look At Learning Chinese As A Second Language

by erin on December 28, 2010

There are many people who travel to China for business, vacation and simply for the sake of traveling to different places but do not learn Mandarin. You may have always wanted to learn and thought that it would take too much time. If you found out it could take you less time than you thought, would you take the lessons?

To learn Chinese is not as hard as you would think. With proper lessons and practice on a regular basis, learning the language could be quite easy and not take long. For advanced learners, a month is required for speaking whole sentences and understanding sentences spoken. For normal learners, a week is required to speak an entire sentence from memory.

These are only for those wanting to learn to speak the language and not to write or read it. In order to read and write the language, fluency in speaking is not required. Grammatical lessons and learning about the type of words and phrases used commonly in written form however is very important and can take time. A person of average learning speed could expect to learn the alphabet inside of a week, reading and writing it completely.

Chinese is considered a sinitic language, meaning that it is in a family of other languages that are unintelligible between one another in different aspects. Almost one fifth of the world speaks some type of Chinese. There are different variations of this language based on the tone used when speaking it as well as the area.

There are thirteen main types of Chinese based on classifications, with Mandarin being the most commonly used and Cantonese being the second most popular. Standard Mandarin is the main language used for the People’s Republic of China as well as Beijing. Many other areas including Singapore and even the United Nations use it as one of the 6 they speak.

Other areas that Chinese is spoken in include but are not limited to the Philippines, Indonesia, Peru, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Speaking the language and learning it will depend on the area in which you decide to visit and the dialect used there. Writing or reading the characters will also depend on these instances.

In order to learn how to speak it, many people and businesses use home lessons. This could include CDs with spoken lessons for pronunciation, books and readers as well as individual practice time daily. Other lessons can be taken privately through tutors and even the military offers some courses. Deciding how you will learn best will help you cut down the time required to learn. If you learn best by repeating, the CD lessons or private lessons could be best for you.

However if you have a general grasp of the concept and need a little guidance, the readers could be best. To find out more information about how to learn Chinese and who offers these grammar lessons near your home, talk to your local librarian. He or she may have free information in the library for you to check out or a list of providers in the area.

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