Problems with school, difficulty memorising words – I was not supposed to learn languages. Now speaking four, I know it was simply the lack of a good method. One that would give me the confidence over the building blocks of the language, making learning exciting and rewarding. In this post I am sharing my experience for those interested in finding their own best way to start learning Mandarin Chinese online!
You must have heard that to learn Chinese, you should do everything to speak, listen, write and read the language. And if you haven’t heard that yet, you probably should have. While it’s obviously true, just knowing that is totally useless!
If it would be so easy, we all would be speaking Chinese by now. But most people don’t have the talent for picking up the language as they go. We don’t learn unconsciously like children, fearless of making mistakes and instantly excited about everything. Now we have a stubborn mind that needs to be taken care of first.
My journey with Mandarin Chinese started with the discovery of the “Michel Thomas Method” which is a revolutionary online audio book course. It was an instant realisation about what language learning really is.
I learned that it is the work of the teacher, to make you understand the language. And if you don’t understand, it is the fault of the teaching, not the student!
You know you have understood, when you are able to speak and construct sentences by yourself. And when you understand something, you will automatically remember it without any pressure on memorisation. A good teacher will explain the language in a way that is rewarding you constantly, by giving you the control over the language.
- No tedious memorisation or word lists
- No taking notes
- Learn in a relaxed environment
- Learn fast to produce sentences and feel rewarded immediately
- Understand the language without boring grammar
For Mandarin Chinese there is the Introductory Course, Foundation Course all the way up to the Advanced Course. You can check them out over here on iTunes, or it is also available on Amazon under this link.
That feeling of excitement, when you become able to communicate and interact through a totally new language is what makes learning fast and enjoyable. Something that is lost with conventional teaching methods that make you think learning is hard work. Old ways are just working the wrong way around.
Instead of trying to memorise grammar or words, I find a relaxed place to listen to the audio book without a notebook or desk. In between I simply pause the tape to practice what I had understood. It is remarkable how fast one can get a vital understanding of the core basics of the language. That you can put to use immediately.
It’s only the start of the journey, but it is the most important step. After which everything is a natural process thriven by your motivation, which grows the more you learn. From there everyone has their own best way to practice the language, which can be found by answering a few simple questions like:
- How do you want to use Chinese language?
- When and where do you have the opportunity to practice it?
- How proficient do you want to become?
- What is my best ideal result you want to reach within the next six months?
Anything is possible, with the help of an excellent teacher of course!
I haven’t found any better online course, than the Michel Thomas Method. It gave me the how to and the confidence to start speaking daily, which was simply a natural outcome of having that grasp of the basics of Chinese.
Try it. It just might change your life.
Still, many people insist on doing it the hard way. And to that all I can say is go ahead. One must have their own way!
Please let me know what you think in the comments.
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