How long to learn to speak mandarin, or how long does it take to be fluent in speaking mandarin, it a question that has been asked for thousands of times by foreigners.
Some are planning to do things in China, so they are eager to acquire Chinese in a certain period of time. While some want to study in China, so they have to pass HSK in several months or years.
Everyone learns a foreign language with a specific purpose. If you use it properly, the purpose will be you Big Dipper to guide you forward.
How well can you pick up a new language? If you have already grasped an Asian language before, then learning Chinese would be a bit easier for you. Although languages are different from each other, the ways to learn them are similar, especially those ways that can be really beneficial.
To make it clearly, I’d like to ask you: can you hear clearly and differentiate the five tons of standard mandarin? This is a fundamental and significant way of learning mandarin. It matters a lot about how long to learn to speak mandarin.
If you have prior experience with a tonal language, it would be quicker for you to learn mandarin tones. While if you do not, it may take you months or years to be adept. Don’t be afraid of this. For this step, how hardworking you are determining how fast you acquire mandarin tones.
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Need to Learn Tones:
As is known to all that mandarin is the only language that has tones, and the tones are a part of Pinyin. So, you need to be adept in Pinyin. Chinese people use it to learn the pronunciation of many tens of thousands of Chinese characters that comprise the Chinese language.
Never neglect it, since it is the base of Chinese. As you are questioning how long to learn to speak mandarin, you are sure eager to learn mandarin, hoping to be able to speak mandarin freely one day. So initiative is the most precious moral quality that you cannot afford to lose.
Write down those you think is demanding, and practice over and over again if you want to start speaking right away. Although it looks intimidating at first (Initial? Final? What are they?), I promise you that learning and getting Pinyin right would save you much time for your later learning.
Tones, or Pinyin, is so significant that you have to spare some time to learn and to practice, even when your mandarin proficiency is good enough. While getting up in the morning or going to bed in the evening, you can take out your tablet your phone and turn to an online Pinyin course.
You can find free ones on YouTube or other platforms. Thirty minutes a day would be suitable for you. Of course, if you encounter difficulties during your learning process or if you want to check whether your tones are correct, you could consult your Chinese friends on WeChat.
Chinese people are willing to help those who interested in learning Chinese.
Read More: How long to learn 8,000 Chinese characters?
Need to Learn Hanzi (Chinese characters):
While you are learning to speak mandarin, it would be helpful if you learn Hanzi (Chinese characters) at the same time. There are so many homonyms in mandarin. Having them in mind helps you a lot in different context.
You will find it easier to get the meaning of others if you know how to write and how to read as well as differentiate Hanzi. Hanzi is another mountain that must be climbed. For foreigners, it is like a painting, irregular and sophisticated.
Also, it is not like English or French, it is a hieroglyph that focus on meaning instead of sounds. I can still remember that one day I taught my friend Jack to write Hanzi. I asked him whether he finished writing, while his answer surprised me a lot. He said he had finished drawing. It is a step that would take you for months or years.
Here I would share some basic Chinese characters with you:
- 一(yì) 二(èr) 三(sān) 四(sì) 五(wǔ) 六(liù) 七(qī) 八(bā) 九(jiǔ) 十(shí)
- 阿(ā) 哎(ài) 吧(bɑ) 呵(hē) 吃(chī) 唱(chànɡ) 吵(chǎo) 嘻(xī) 呜(wū) 哦(ò)
- 爸(bà) 把(bǎ) 拿(ná) 那(nà) 低(dī) 地(dì) 高(ɡāo) 稿(ɡǎo) 星(xīnɡ) 兴(xīnɡ)
First of all, you need to know the actual meanings of Hanzi in certain contexts. In order to be able to speak mandarin freely in daily life, you have to master about 2,000 Chinese characters.
It is necessary, or you have to take out your phone and turn to the online translation APP for help whenever you don’t understand what others are talking about.
Secondly, you might as well spend 60 minutes a day to practice Hanzi. How long to learn to speak mandarin? You need to consider how long to learn to grasp Hanzi, or Chinese characters.
It is a painstaking process for foreigners, while as long as you insist on learning, all the hardworking would pay off in the end.
How to speak mandarin fluently?
It is understandable that people who are learning a foreign language are eager to know the correct ways to avoid making unnecessary mistakes. For the very beginning, you need to speak intelligibly.
When you turn on the TV or computer, you would find many bilingual hosts or hostess who translate a language to another language freely and fluently. Amazed at his or her mandarin proficiency, you need to think about how to improve your speaking skills.
Find a native-speaking friend to practice how to speak Chinese mandarin. If there is a short cut, then it is. Only those native-speaking people know what your problems are and can correct them.
Chinese people are all willing to help those who are fond of learning Chinese mandarin. During the process of communicating with them, you can also have fun together: share a Chinese song, watch a Chinese movie or play games in Chinese. Who can refuse an interesting and helpful friend?
If possible, stay in China to learn how to speak Chinese mandarin, for several months or for several years. According to your staying plans, you can arrange your activities in China in a detail way.
As long as you live in China, you will know how desperate you are to learn to speak Chinese mandarin. Living without Chinese will hinder you from doing various things, though in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai you can live with English.
If you are going to stay and work / study in China, then the answer to the question of how long to learn to speak mandarin might be 1 year. While the premise is that you study hard for it.
Never forget to practice every day. Once you acquired a skill, you need to repeat it over and over again to make sure you are adept enough. Or you may forget easily and give up for not receiving enough positive feedback.
It is never easy to learn how to speak Chinese mandarin. You need to bear on mind that it is a foreign language, not your mother tongue. You will gradually lose the skill in a non-Chinese speaking language environment.
So, if you ask me how long to learn to speak mandarin. I can’t give you a fixed answer since it really varies from person to person. Whether you are hardworking or not determines how long you can be able to speak mandarin.
Whether you have similar language learning experience also determines how long you will adapt to the process of learning to speak mandarin.
No matter what your purpose is, once you start learning to speak mandarin, you must insist on. Never give up halfway.
Trust yourself. You can make it!