There are plenty of good reasons to learn Chinese. For one, 1.35 billion people in the world speak a form of Chinese with most of them residing in mainland China and Taiwan. In fact, it’s the most popular language on the planet.
Do you want to become a member of the world’s biggest linguistic group? If you want to learn to speak Chinese, there are plenty of language courses available. Have you considered taking night classes or going to a language school?
Maybe you’re thinking about learning Chinese on your own or by using smartphone apps and digital or online Chinese resources.
Have you made sure that you’re going to enjoy learning the language? Does the idea of learning Mandarin Chinese sound fun or does it feel more like a chore? Are you starting to get sick of looking at that Chinese grammar textbook?
These are the questions you’ll need to answer if you want to ensure that you’ll stay motivated while you learn Chinese. As you’re probably aware, you can’t learn Chinese just by clicking your fingers and it's very unlikely you'll gain fluency with boring Chinese courses.
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So why not have fun while you learn your new language? By combining work and play, you can make the most of every minute you’re studying without even realising. Don’t believe me? Let’s have a look at some ways you can enjoy learning Chinese...
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Find the Time to Learn Chinese Every Day in a Fun Way
The biggest hurdle when it comes to learning things is not enjoying it. If your Chinese classes are dull, you probably won't learn very much. Unfortunately, not everyone has the option to go to Beijing or Taiwan and use immersion to learn. Learning a new language can be frustrating at the beginning when you don’t understand anything and some students start looking for excuses not to study or try to procrastinate.
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With a bit of creativity, you’ll find the time to study Chinese without having to completely change your schedule.
1 - Learn as You Drive
Whether you’re learning German, French, Spanish, or Chinese, your daily commute is a great time to be studying a language and learning some new Chinese phrases especially given how boring driving to work in the morning can be! Throw in a few traffic jams and your daily journey to work can become unbearable.
Let’s look at things a little differently. What if your daily commute became an opportunity to study Chinese?
We recommend listening to podcasts and learning the basics of Chinese while practising your pronunciation and listening out for the four “tones”.
Who would have thought that you could learn a language in traffic?
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2 - Learn Chinese on Public Transport
If you use public transport every day to go to university or work, make the most of the time you’re usually doing nothing to learn some Chinese with fun apps on your smartphone or tablet. We’ll mention a few good apps later on in this article. Improving your Mandarin Chinese is a great way to make the most of time that would otherwise be wasted.
3 - Learn Mandarin Chinese while Doing Sport
Are you the kind of person who likes going out for runs or for a walk in the woods? Or do you like to work out in a gym or sports centre? It doesn’t really matter what exercise you’re doing. The important thing is that you can use this time to improve your Chinese. Put your headphones in and start listening to Chinese music or the radio in Chinese.
There are a number of different ways to enjoy exercising and learning a language at the same time. All you have to do is choose the method that works best for you!
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Three Ways to Enjoy Learning Chinese
There are several different ways to learn Chinese. However, some of them can be really boring. Let’s see some of the ways you can learn Chinese while having fun!
Having fun is one of the best ways to learn a language, after all. Here are three ways to make sure you’re enjoying learning Chinese as much as you can:
1 - Get a Tutor Whose Company You Enjoy
To get the most out of learning Chinese, there’s nothing better than a Chinese teacher that can make you laugh. Imagine learning Chinese with somebody that cracks you up.
Humour is one of the best ways to teach something and if you enjoy your Chinese lessons, you'll find speaking Chinese much easier. However, having a funny teacher doesn’t mean that you can avoid studying at home, though. Of course, you have to put in the effort if you want to learn how to speak Chinese.
Even if you’re really motivated, you can’t learn a foreign language just by studying for 30 to 45 minutes a day with the help of a private tutor. Learning to speak Chinese, French, German, or Italian fluently requires a lot of patience, work, and discipline on a daily basis.
However, by working hard with a quality private Chinese tutor, you’ve already done half the work.
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2 - Watch Films to Immerse Yourself in Chinese Culture
If you want to learn Chinese, you should be interested in both the Chinese language and culture. Fortunately, this is something you can teach yourself.
We’ve chosen two films that we think are enjoyable and will help you better understand the four “tones” and the spoken language as well as improve your Chinese pronunciation.
Lost In Thailand
This 2012 film tells the story of 3 Chinese people who find themselves in competition in Thailand. It's a wacky film and is full of action and comedy. You can improve your comprehension skills while laughing at the same time.
The Sorcerer and the White Snake
If you enjoy love stories against all odds and aren’t to bothered about Hollywood endings, this might be the film for you. Without saying too much, the film is about a demon who falls in love with a peasant. The problem is that the character played by Jet Li, a warrior monk, does not really believe this type of relationship is allowed. If you love action, special effects, and Chinese cinematography, this is the film for you.
There are also plenty of films you can find online. You can also find many of them subtitled in English.
3 - Learn Chinese by Listening to Songs
Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of ways to find different types of Chinese music online. In addition to listening to your favourite styles of music, you can also learn new vocabulary, listen out for the different “tones” of Chinese, and improve your listening comprehension.
Look for websites with karaoke versions of Chinese songs if you feel like singing them yourself. While listening to Chinese speaking artists won't make you fluent, it can boost your language learning and certainly improve your conversational Chinese.
Nobody said you couldn’t learn a language while dancing!
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Learn a Language with Computer Games
The internet is full of different resources to help you learn Chinese while having fun.
We bet that you’ll really enjoy these ways to learn. For example, what about an app for learning Chinese while playing a computer game?
The Ninchanese app is a game that can help you learn Chinese. It's currently available on Android and can help you learn to read, speak, understand, and write Chinese while you play. This is a great tool for improving your recognition of Chinese characters and improving your Chinese in general.
Since absolute beginners are often scared of the language, they can now play at different levels and learn progressively as they follow a baby dragon. This app is perfect for helping beginners move towards an intermediate level. It’s also very useful if you happen to be organising a trip to China in the coming months.
If you love learning about new cultures, we recommend going for the Chinese New Year. You’re guaranteed traditional celebrations, a great atmosphere, and a change of scene!
There are several ways to have fun while learning a language. However, mastering a new language means having to leave your comfort zone. While you mightn’t be too enthusiastic about speaking at first, you have to force yourself to start speaking the language as soon as you can.
Finding a good private Chinese tutor is one of the best ways to guarantee that you get speaking practice, too. If you can get one that tells good jokes and has good anecdotes, all the better. Do your best, learn each day, and keep smiling until you’ve mastered Chinese. It's important that you have fun while you learn!
Every student should also remember to take breaks and not overdo it. There are plenty of funny Chinese videos online you can watch.
Have a look around YouTube for ways to learn Chinese online. They can help you improve your Chinese comprehension and learn about the different tones, the writing system, and even the different Chinese accents.
We promise you’ll find a way to enjoy learning Chinese!
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