A guide to effective Chinese self-study from A - Z

More and more people are interested in learning Chinese.

A guide to effective Chinese self-study from A - Z

Self-study Chinese Trung brings great benefits. You will have a great advantage when studying abroad or working abroad if you know Chinese. So is Chinese difficult to learn? How to effectively self-study Chinese? Let's find out through this article!


Why should you learn Chinese by yourself?

Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world

Many people are surprised to know that Chinese, not English, is the language most spoken by indigenous people in the world (more than 1.39 billion people). Recognizing the popularity and importance of Chinese, many schools and educational institutions in countries around the world have begun to include this language in teaching. Therefore, when learning Chinese, there will be many doors of opportunity open to you in both career and life.
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Help you expand your knowledge

Chinese is spoken not only in China but also in many other countries and regions around the world. Chinese-speaking countries in Asia include Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, and Macao. This means that, when you learn Chinese and become fluent, you will have the opportunity to approach many cultures of different countries. Thanks to that, the amount of knowledge and experience you get will also be more.

Job opportunities are wide open

Chinese companies have an extremely large business scale, most countries in the world have the presence of enterprises and corporations with investment capital from China. Vietnam is no exception when many Chinese companies are located in our country. The recruitment demand of Chinese companies and enterprises is very large, so if you are fluent in Chinese, your chances of finding a job are very high.
Besides, due to the increasing demand for learning Chinese, if you are fluent in Chinese, you can become a teacher or interpreter. Currently, in Vietnam, there is still a shortage of teachers and interpreters who are fluent in Chinese. Therefore, if you love this language and intend to study seriously, it will be a very potential decision.

Methods of learning Chinese

Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world

To study abroad or to work abroad

Go study abroad or labor export is often the main reason for people learning Chinese. This is absolutely right and necessary because if you study abroad in countries like Taiwan, Singapore or China without knowing Chinese, you will face a lot of difficulties in study and life. In particular, for those who go to work abroad to work in Chinese-speaking countries without the ability to use this language, the chances of exiting are extremely low.

To learn about Chinese culture and country

If you have a passion for history, human culture in general and China in particular, learning Chinese is an effective solution to support your passion. China's history spans thousands of years and has always been a topic of interest to cultural and historical researchers. Knowing Chinese also gives you the opportunity to explore the country more deeply.

Is learning Chinese difficult?

Currently, many people still think that Chinese is very difficult. The reasons why some Vietnamese people are afraid to learn Chinese can be mentioned as:

  • Hieroglyphs are different from the onomatopoeia that Vietnamese people use.
  • Chinese writing is made up of many complex strokes.
  • Chinese pronunciation is somewhat difficult for Vietnamese people.

However, the above difficulties will be completely overcome if you know how to grasp the following notes when learning Chinese:

When learning to listen

In general, Chinese has many different timbres, the speaking speed of Chinese people is also quite fast compared to Vietnamese people. In addition, the sounds are quite similar which makes listening to Chinese difficult for beginners.
However, you should not worry too much because listening is the easiest skill to learn among the 4 foreign language skills. You can improve your listening by listening to music, watching Chinese movies. You can also use Chinese learning apps to practice your listening skills.

When learning to speak

Speaking is a relatively difficult skill when learning a new language. You need to learn Chinese pronunciation with pinyin (pinyin). Pinyin is the transliteration of Chinese according to Latin letters so that foreigners can learn this language. Speaking skills can be improved with daily practice. You can find a friend to practice with. If you are a native speaker, your Chinese speaking ability will be greatly improved.
The secret to learning to speak Chinese effectively is not to feel shy. At first, you may not be able to pronounce correctly, but with regular practice, you will get the reflexes quickly. From there, it became easier to talk in Chinese.

When learning to read

Vietnamese people often find it difficult to read Chinese when they have to come into contact with hieroglyphs. However, many studies have shown that pictograms help you memorize vocabulary easily if you know how to learn the right way. You can even find similar writing from pictures.
When learning to read Chinese, you should learn with pictures to get the most out of it. Make a plan to learn vocabulary for yourself. Don't be too impatient, just learn new words, review old vocabulary, and practice reading Chinese. After a while, you will find that reading Chinese is not so difficult anymore.

When learning to write

Writing skill is considered the most difficult skill when learning Chinese, especially Chinese writing is more complicated than other languages. However, you can completely conquer Chinese writing skills if you know how to self-study. Handwriting may not be beautiful at first, but with regular practice, you can improve your writing skills.
You should practice writing Chinese regularly, combined with practicing other skills, you will feel that writing Chinese becomes more natural and easier.
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Learn Simplified or Traditional Chinese

Many of you when you first start learning Chinese often wonder whether to choose Simplified or Traditional Chinese. Here's some analysis showing the benefits and drawbacks if you learn either Simplified or Traditional Chinese.

Simplified Chinese characters

Used in communication and daily life: Simplified is a simplified way of writing traditional. Therefore, you can easily learn Simplified Chinese by yourself in many different ways because the characters are less. It's quite difficult to practice writing Chinese at first, so if you only use it in daily life, you can use simplified.
Learn Chinese with self-study textbooks: Nowadays, you can learn Simplified Chinese in many different ways. Articles, videos, music and pictures can all help you learn Simplified Chinese effectively. Besides, traditional Chinese materials are also quite rare because most countries use simplified Chinese in teaching.

Traditional Chinese characters

Administrative use: Chinese administrative documents all use traditional instead of simplified, even in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Only Singapore is a country that uses both English and Chinese, so simplified is used more. Therefore, if you work with Chinese administrative documents, you should learn traditional.
If you are a student of Chinese language or want to learn the meaning of Chinese characters, you should learn traditional. Traditional Chinese contains many meanings in each written word. Therefore, only when you learn traditional, will you be able to understand and feel these meanings.
Besides, depending on the purpose and region, you should consider learning Traditional or Simplified Chinese. If you go to Taiwan to work abroad, you should learn Traditional Chinese because up to 95% of the characters here are written in traditional.
If you want to work abroad in Taiwan, you should learn Traditional Chinese because almost 95% of all writing is in Traditional Chinese. In case you just want to travel to China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, you can learn simplified.

Steps to Learn Chinese for Beginners

Before doing something, we should make a plan to achieve the goal more quickly and efficiently. Learning Chinese is the same, if you have a specific plan and follow what you have planned, learning will become a lot easier. Here are the steps to self-study Chinese for beginners:

Step 1: Find the textbook source giáo

There are many Chinese language textbooks on the market today. The titles that are used by many people and give good reviews include the following:

  • Chinese language course: This is considered the most famous book series consisting of 6 books arranged in ascending level. To learn all 6 books, it will take you a lot of time. Learning the first 3 books is enough for you to listen, speak, read and write basic. This is also a set of standard textbooks used in teaching that is very suitable for you to learn Chinese.
  • HSK Syllabus: Similar to the Chinese language textbook, the HSK curriculum also has 6 books. This is an academic and intensive course. Those who want to take the exam should follow this textbook.
  • Syllabus 301: This is a set of textbooks designed for learners who are short on time. The course includes 301 conversational sentences in Chinese to help you learn to listen and speak quickly.
  • Boya Syllabus: This course focuses on grammar with lots of practice exercises. This textbook is like a tool to synthesize and encapsulate a lot of knowledge, so the content is relatively heavy.

There are also many Chinese textbooks such as Developing Chinese, Accelerated Chinese Listening Practice, etc. However, if you are a beginner to self-study Chinese, you should use the textbooks introduced above.

Chinese language textbooks are widely used in teaching.

Chinese language textbooks are widely used in teaching.

Step 2: Learn the rules of speaking

Tone is the most basic part of Chinese. You should start learning the language by focusing on Phonetics.

Phonetics = Vowels + Consonants + Marks (Operation Model + Vowel + Tone)

When learning Chinese transliteration, you will find it quite similar to Vietnamese. The time for you to get used to the phonetic transcription should be 1-2 weeks.

Step 3: Learn the writing system

After you've learned the phonetic transcription, you need to master the writing system. Chinese writing consists of 8 basic strokes, following 8 main rules. You need to follow these 8 rules when writing Chinese.
Thus, with the above 3 steps, you have started to get acquainted with Chinese. In the next step of learning Chinese, you need to learn the defense. Can learn 50 basic defense or 214 full defense.

Step 4: Build vocabulary

Once you have mastered the basic elements of Chinese such as pronunciation and writing, you need to focus on building your vocabulary. The more vocabulary you know, the more advantage you have. You can learn vocabulary from a textbook or learn the most commonly used words.
Besides vocabulary, you should also learn commonly used key phrases.
Phrases are usually conversational sentences, daily communication.
For example, “Hello” (Nǐ hǎo – 你 好) or “See you soon” (huí tóu jiàn – 回 头 ).
Once you have a decent vocabulary as well as a grasp of common phrases, communicating in Chinese will become much easier and more enjoyable. At this point, you have started to go part of the way to learning Chinese.

Step 5: Make friends with locals

The final step to becoming fluent in Chinese is to use it. To be able to do that, you should have a friend who is a native speaker. This is relatively difficult, however, you can overcome it by using the internet, social networks. For example, you can sign up for a Wechat account to get acquainted with Chinese friends. With a community of over 1 billion users, this is the best app for you to practice Chinese.
In addition, you can also join Chinese groups on facebook, zalo to exchange knowledge when learning Chinese by yourself.
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Mistakes when learning Chinese

Through the article, it can be seen that Chinese is not a difficult language to learn. However, in the learning process, many people often make basic mistakes that make learning ineffective. The following are common mistakes when self-studying Chinese that you need to keep in mind.

learning chinese is difficult

Chinese is not a difficult language to learn.

Do not learn the correct pronunciation from the beginning

Many of you self-study Chinese for the purpose of communication, so you don't want to study methodically but only learn the "boi" language. Learning in this way usually only requires writing Chinese according to Vietnamese reading or transcription. However, this is the biggest mistake when learning Chinese by yourself. Standard pronunciation is a basic and important factor when learning Chinese. Only with standard pronunciation, you can listen and speak when communicating in Chinese.

Learning too many words at the same time, learning not by topic

This is a common mistake many people make when learning a new language, not just Chinese. The fact has proven that, as long as you know 1.500 - 2.000 words, you can communicate well in a language. Chinese is no exception. You just need to learn the number of words above to be able to use Chinese.
However, in order to memorize and use the basic words of communication, you need to sequence and learn Chinese by topic. Avoid cramming too many words at once. You can remember when you just learned, but after a day or two you will forget. You should study by topic, phrase to make it easier to remember. Examples of vocabulary on the topic of clothing: 裙子 (skirt), 毛衣 (sweater), 裤子 (pants), 牛仔裤 (jeans)…
Too much emphasis on grammar
“Learn languages ​​like a child” – this is the most effective method of learning a foreign language today. When learning a language, you should not focus too much on grammar. This will make you feel shy when communicating, making the practice ineffective.
The secret here is that you should practice listening and speaking a lot so that your Chinese communication becomes more natural. This way helps you learn the language quickly without having to focus too much on learning grammar.

Lazy to speak, afraid to speak

Speaking is the most effective way to practice when learning a language. If you only listen, read, and write, you will not be able to progress. In addition, in everyday communication, speaking is the most important skill. If possible, you should participate in exchanges and extracurriculars with fellow Chinese learners. Or you can also learn to speak by yourself by standing in front of a mirror, practicing speaking, expressing, and giving presentations on a certain topic in Chinese.

The goal is not clearly defined

Many of you, when self-studying Chinese, do not have a clear goal, but only study for interest and inspiration, so it is easy to get discouraged. Without a clear goal, you won't be motivated to master the language. That leads to neglect, inconsistent study time.
Learning is a process that cannot be rushed. You need to persevere in learning a little bit every day. After a while, you will be surprised with your Chinese level!

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