Where to begin learning Chinese! | 你想学习汉语吗? By Lindie Botes

Where to start when learning Mandarin Chinese?

1. Learn Chinese characters

Learn the stroke order from the start so you get used to writing them correctly and that you don’t suffer down the line. 

2. Learn basic grammar structures.

Chinese grammar is remarkably simple and similar to English. 

3. Get a textbook and dictionary.

My favorite dictionary app is Pleco. It’s great! 

4. Up your vocab by translating songs

You can check the pinyin and translation of song lyrics (if you have the Chinese original) on a website like Purple Culture. I like translating songs because the lyrics stick in my memory, so I remember them better. 

5. Watch movies and TV shows in Chinese with subtitles.Y

You can learn new words from the subtitles and you’ll be exposed to a natural accent a lot. Listening is excellent practice. 

6. Get a language partner.

Make sure to find someone who is serious about practicing and will fix your mistakes and teach you. You can find a partner on mylanguageexchange, interpals or HelloTalk app.

7. Download apps to practice. 

Ask questions and get quick answers from nativesiTalki:
Write a diary entry and get corrections LingoDeer:
Excellent app for learning Mandarin Chinese from scratch. HelloTalk:
Good to meet native speakers with and practice We Chat:
Chinese chatting app where you can meet people and chat, but not specific to language learning Chinese Skill, etc. Tons of apps in the app store!

8. Keep track of your progress.

Write a diary, even if your sentences are basic. It will force you to look up and learn new words, and you’ll be using the language and learning without actually studying. Tracking your progress will keep you motivated, too!