There are many reasons to learn a new language. Some believe in today’s multilingual world, proficiency in other languages is vital because it allows you to engage with other people in a more meaningful way. Others focus on the fact that being bilingual helps to stave off mental aging and cognitive decline. However, there are also people who learn a new language without seeking a specific benefit but simply just an interest in the language itself.
If you’re thinking of learning a second language, think of Mandarin Chinese, the second most spoken language in the world. In today’s article, we’ll introduce some reasons why you should start learning Mandarin Chinese and compile four ways you can learn Chinese right at your home.
Why should you learn Mandarin Chinese?
Culture and history
With 5000 years of history, China is among the oldest countries on this planet. Along with its history, Chinese people have also developed numerous traditions and customs, many of which still exist in this modern time. That explains why a large population of people around the globe is taking a special interest in its rich culture and history.
Chinese language is a part of its culture and is truly a piece of art. As you start learning the Chinese language, you’ll be amazed at how the characters were formed using different strategies or how each and every character relates to a particular object.
For example, a few characters were originally pictograms (such as 日 rì “sun” or 月 yue “moon), which depict a representational symbol of a physical object to communicate a word or phrase. Other characters are ideograms, which are similar to pictograms ( 上 shàng “up” and 下 xià “down”), but depict the concept rather than a physical object.
Learning the language will allow you to untangle the various mysteries of Chinese tradition. Once you get a glimpse of it, you’ll definitely want to keep on unraveling those mysteries.
Study and work
China has a population of 1.4 billion people. Still, the rate of Chinese who can speak English is as low as 1%, with less than 10 million people. As a result, if you want to enter this country to enroll at a university, work, or even establish a business, you must first learn Chinese.
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Four ways to learn Chinese at home
Use music videos
Learning a language through music is fun and interesting. It’s considered one of the best methods to get familiar with another language. But you should use music videos instead of just simply paying attention to Chinese tunes and scripts.
Music videos visualize the content of the song; thus, you can have a better grasp of the song’s meaning. But the biggest advantage is that you’ll be able to preview the Chinese characters and apply them along with the lyrics.
The more you watch and sing along with music videos, the more your pronunciation can be improved because intonation gets sharper over time with more exposure. So choose the genre that best suits your taste and start learning Chinese right at home!
Use Chinese social media platforms
Social media platforms are playgrounds for networking, staying up-to-date with the news and current events, and filling up your spare time. But do you know that people also use social media sites to learn languages?
Language learners use such social media channels as Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram to brush up on their language skills with free lessons and courses. If you want to improve your Chinese skills right at home, you can give social media platforms a try.
There are Chinese social media sites such as WeChat, Sina Weibo, or DouYin where you can find a great source of free lessons. Besides, suppose you’re interested in informal Chinese; these sites are perfect because they are playgrounds for the younger generations of Chinese. As a result, you can be exposed to more acronyms, slang, and jargon than anywhere else.
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Find a language buddy
If you think learning Chinese through music videos or social media platforms is somewhat not interactive enough because you’re unable to access your level, find a language buddy.
A language buddy, either another Chinese learner or ideally a Chinese native, can help you level up your Chinese skills by practicing Chinese together. More importantly, they will help to point out your strengths and weaknesses, for example, if you have pronunciation issues or need to improve on tones and more. A 30-minute daily practice with your language buddy is enough to help you build a solid knowledge of Chinese.
What’s more, it’s not difficult to find a language buddy at all. There are many online Chinese groups on Facebook or any Chinese social media channels, and you can find them after a few searches. Be straightforward in your post about looking for a language buddy. There are always people like you searching for a language buddy, and you can be sure you’ll find one that matches you!
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Use a learning app
Learning a language with an app seems to be popular these days. In fact, more and more language learners choose to start their language journey with an app rather than using music videos or a language buddy. So, what exactly set learning with an app apart from other options to make it the first choice of so many people?
A language app allows learners to set their goals and choose a personal learning plan. For example, you can choose between a 5-minute and 20-minute lesson or if you want to spend more time with vocabulary than pronunciation lessons, check the boxes that suit you. The app will make personalized lessons out of it for you accordingly. Learners, therefore, have full control over their learning path.
Another plus point for learning languages with an app is that apps always feature metrics to calculate your learning progress. Thanks to this, learners know where they are in their learning journey and what areas they should spend time in to improve.
Online apps that offer personalized plans, calculated progress, and predictable improvement prove themselves useful tools for any language learner. That explains why language apps are becoming dominant.
If you’re finding an app to start learning Chinese right at your home, check out Pandanese. Pandanese is an online Chinese teaching platform that is committed to helping you learn Chinese and build vocabulary the easiest way using Chinese mnemonics flashcards. Mnemonics is the method of connecting something you already know to something you’re trying to learn. Thus, you can easily pin a new piece of information to your long-term memory.
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The bottom line
Regardless of your motivation to learn Chinese, you’ll never be able to master this difficult language without the right method. We hope that after reading this post, you can find a method that fits you and it can make learning Chinese right at your home enjoyable.