Top 5 Tips
Mandarin has its reputation for being a difficult language, but as with any language, as long as you have a good strategy, you can boost your mandarin speaking and listening skills in just a few short months.
At the very beginning of learning Mandarin, most learners don't know what they were doing and that makes the progress extremely slow. However, as soon as you follow the tips we're about to share, it can be smooth and fun!
5. Vocabulary is everything
"Chasing word accounts" is the first step in language learning, regardless of what language you're trying to master. The Chinese language is believed to be made out of a total of 500,000 words, while "2500 words" is estimated to be the minimum amount needed to be viewed as a fluent speaker. Before polishing your Mandarin speaking and listening skills, make sure you get familiar with those vocabularies! Use tool books to build up a solid vocabulary!
Useful tool books:
HSK Full Vocabulary Guide
Practical Audio-Visual Chinese
4. Pronunciation matters a lot
One of the biggest struggles to improve Mandarin speaking and listening skills can be our pronunciation! To understand what you hear, the first step is to understand how it's pronounced.
If you can`t recognize the tone and pronunciation, it can be very difficult to figure out what Chinese people said. In the Mandarin language, each Chinese character has its own pinyin syllable and the sound is associated with one tone syllable. In order to learn Pinyin and the sounds of Mandarin, I suggest that you look at the Pinyin Chart tool below. Try to learn to pronounce all of the different sounds and practice with all 4 different tones.
Mandarin Pinyin Chart
No matter what level you are at, trying your best to master pronunciation is always the goal! Don't let upcoming similar vocabularies get you down!!
3. Listen to Mandarin every day
Enough practice on your ears is crucial, even though the beginning may be tough and tedious. A solid foundation of Mandarin can be built after going through this essential part.
One useful tip for listening is that when parsing a sentence in Mandarin, try to listen to the big picture instead of getting stuck on specific words you don't understand.
Some traits you can pick up:
The main idea: It's about how the conversation begins and the connections between two speakers. By understanding the situation, you'll probably know what you're gonna hear.
Specific tones: Imagine Mandarin speaking as a melody, you can practice listening purely to every syllable, pause and rhythm (etc. words start with "ch").
Spoken habits: Focus on certain sounds inserted or deleted when Mandarin is spoken. For instance, “What are you going to do?” becomes “Whaddya gonna do?
If you’re a new Mandarin learner, don’t dive into the sea of Chinese movies, Cartoons may be a good start as a shallow pond!
Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf (喜羊羊與灰太狼)
An anime-influenced series aimed at children, while multiple hidden grown-up jokes make it as entertaining for adults.
Podcasts for learning Chinese are also great material, with options ideally suited for every level from beginner, to intermediate and advanced.
The Best Podcasts for Learning Chinese by Lzzy Sealey
2. Mimicking the content
Mimicking is a technique when you identify the paragraph in all kinds of materials (Podcasts, radio, youtube videos, music, movies etc.), and then try to repeat them out loud or imitate the accent!
To make your speaking sound more native, try to mimic what you hear!
Language Reactor is a learning tool embedded in Netflix, allowing you to watch Chinese movies with double subtitles. It is a powerful toolbox that helps you to discover, understand, and learn from native materials. Studying Mandarin will become more effective and enjoyable!
1. Make your own language environment
Knowing a language is not about how many vocabulary items you can memorize, it's about whether you can actually communicate naturally with people in real life.
You may want to...
Try to think in Mandarin and use sentences & words you've learned
to describe your surrounding and situations!!
Practice with a language buddy either by texting or having a conversation!
Top Language Exchange Apps in 2023:
HelloTalk: Established in China and Hongkong, Hello has over 30 million users worldwide. It features built-in translation, pronunciation, transliteration, and corrections for voice-text and text-text. You can also share your "Moments" with all native speakers of your target language and look for any feedback!
Speaky: On Speaky, you can filter users through interests and passions to find your perfect Mandarin exchange partner across over 180 countries. And most importantly, it's
super user-friendly for beginners!
Meetup: Meetup is known as the best app for in-person parties. Events are happening every day on about any topic you can imagine. Let's make some new friends through Meetup by simply searching for Mandarin learning/ conversation groups and getting involved!
Start your study at a Language school
LingoClass adopt a communicative approach to teaching, building confidence in students from day 1 and encouraging them to use the language as much as possible in real-life situations. Many cultural activities such as calligraphy, paper cutting and traditional dress-up are offered as part of their courses and are incredibly popular with the students. Come and check us out today and bolster your Mandarin speaking and listening skills!