Learning a new language is like starting a new journey. You’re not exactly sure what you are going to find but you know that something there is waiting for you. However, undertaking the journey to learn a new language is hard and requires a lot of preparation and hopefully this guide is going to clear the way for you!
What motivation is better than using your new language knowledge to find job opportunities? Learning Chinese will immensely increase you chance of finding a job in China.
But before you start, remember that it’s entirely possible that you will lose motivation at some point during the journey, so be prepared for that as well and always keep track of motivational standpoints.
Set Learning Goals
Do you really need to think of good reasons to start learning a new language?
Well… to be honest there are countless but putting them down on paper will help you stick with them.
As with anything, having goals is key to success and this is not of less value when learning a new language. Goals help you to keep your motivation high and break doubts.
So, ask yourself: why are you learning a new language? Perhaps because you want to find a job abroad? Or maybe just to read a book or listen to a movie in original language? The reasons can be multiple and varied, therefore you should always keep them in mind when studying or practicing, they will be responsible for giving you the needed boost through those hard times.
Find a Partner
After all, the fundamental reason for learning a new language is communication, whether it’s written or spoken. Having someone to practice your language with will have a tremendous impact on your daily practice, without any doubt it’s going to speed up the process. It will help you keep your motivation strong, keep a schedule and will make you engage in creative ways with the language. Eventually you could also decide to make a competition with the other person out of the learning process, think how impactful this could be on your learning curve!
Having a partner will definitely help you with the pronunciation, especially if you find a native who is willing to help you. There’s plenty of Chinese students across universities in Europe and America, make some friends! Speaking the language is not necessarily easy when you’re on your own, but it can actually be really good for memorizing and improving spoken communication.
One of the most important parts of learning a new language is to keep you entertained. This also easily translates in challenging yourself, such an important way of learning new things. It can happen in a number of different ways: it could be as easy as listening to music in that language and making an effort to recognize words, at first, and then you’ll see that eventually you’ll start to understand what the song is talking about!
Just like recognizing words, learning numbers is one of the first steps when assimilating a new language. They are crucial to remember, and you should become natural with them very soon so you won’t have to think about them when you’ll need them.
Next time you take a shower, make the active effort of counting to ten, then the next time count to twenty, then fifty and so on, until they become part of you.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
yī èr sān sì wǔ lìu qī bā jiǔ shí
Use The Language
Use it or lose it! Speak it whether with someone or on your own, and write it too!
If you struggle to do this by yourself there’s plenty of ways to fix this: for example, you could start by writing your shopping list in the desired language, then get to the shop and see if you remember what all of it means. This will help you a lot with common words, the everyday needs like food, clothing and tools.
You could also find a penfriend online: a lot of people in the world are willing to learn YOUR language or maybe just know more about your country and its culture. Finding a penfriend will help you immensely in your learning process, because you will actually use the language with someone who speaks it every day, and they will also help you understand your own mistakes.
Don’t Underestimate Grammar
If you are serious about thoroughly learning the language, then you should know how vital it is to
understand the grammatical differences with your mother tongue.
After all, grammatical structures are the foundation of language, and different languages have different grammatical structures. Before starting to learn the language take a moment to understand the grammatical differences with your mother tongue. It will help you immensely in the long run.
However, studying grammar is not easy, can be boring and requires a lot of focus, but you don’t have to do it all at once, if you spend even just a fraction of your time trying to understand grammatical structures, all the rest will come flowing with incredible ease!
Visit the Country
No matter how obvious this may sound, visit the country! It doesn’t even need to be a full month, as long as you make the active effort of practicing the language while you’re there. A well-spent week in China should be enough to grant you a solid learning reward, and when you’ll be at the end of it you will feel like you’re a native mandarin speaker. Your motivation for practice will increase and you will get satisfaction for all the learnings that you’ve made so far.
Visiting a country can be incredibly helpful, it’s important that you don’t get discouraged by the difficulty in understanding natives, this is a normal process and everyone must go through it, so brace yourself!
Understand the Culture
It’s crazy how important the understanding of a culture can have an impact if you want to learn a new language. Think about idioms and phrases, but also about history, tradition and social interactions. Think about the foods and always, always wonder why. The more research you do, the more you will become truly immersed into the culture, which will undoubtedly boost your motivation in learning to speak the language.
There’s plenty of resources online to learn about Chinese culture.
Plus, this will also prevent you from making poor social mistakes when visiting the country, for example when making gifts.
In the end, it all comes back to you. If you have a good reason to learn a new language, follow these essential tips and eventually you will learn it fluently! If you are looking for a job, visit our comprehensive job platform that offers working opportunities to over 5k Chinese companies and thousands of job opportunities.