Learning Chinese is not as easy as most European languages. Languages such as Germany and Spanish, for instance, share a common ancestry with English hence are easier. Unlike English which has 26 letters, there are more than 50,000 Chinese characters. Neither is the language phonetic but pictorial where memorizing is not easy. Despite these challenges, millions of people succeed in learning Chinese as a foreign language.
Chinese has the reputation of being highly structured. Consequently, learning it requires succession in small bits. Chinese for beginners introduces learners to the basic characters that look like objects. Items in this category include characters for man, moon, rain, mountain, and grain among others. Participants learn how to write character strokes, with emphasis on direction and order. With dedication and practice, learning these characters proves easy and interesting.
Also included in the introductory package are Chinese greetings and introductions. Participants learn how to introduce themselves and speak about their families. General expressions to use when talking about age and place of residence are also taught. The syllabus also introduces concepts such as ordering food and drinks in cafes. Learners also get to know the expressions to use when ordering taxes or paying for buses.
While it is possible to learn most other lessons through listening to the radio or watching television, it may not be so with Chinese. To communicate well in Chinese, you have to learn at least 8,000 characters. Learning these without structured guidance may take someone years of regular practice and in immersive environments. In contrast, taking this introductory lessons reduces this to a couple of weeks.
Chinese also differs in English in that it is mostly a tonal language. In addition to learning the numerous characters, one has to memorize the different intonations to pronounce words well. A little mistake with the tones may lead to a completely different meaning than the intended one. The best way to get through this is to speak and listen. Recorded lessons also prove helpful if one cannot access native speakers with whom to practice.
If you can pronounce a word in English, you can easily guess its meaning based on previous use. Better still, you can easily look it up in a dictionary and understand its meaning. Unfortunately, this is not an option for Chinese. One can easily speak a Chinese word without ever guessing how it is written. Even if one knew how to write it, looking up characters in the Chinese dictionary requires some level of skill.
Learning Chinese is not easy like with most other languages. However, this is possible as long as one is determined. Chinese for beginners takes away the difficulties by introducing all the necessary basics.