That’s Really Jen and I went live yesterday on her YouTube channel to talk about tips and tricks of learning Chinese and also answering your questions.
In the Live Q&A we covered these questions:
- Why do you learn Chinese?
- How to tell if a Chinese speaker is speaking in standard Mandarin?
- How do you acquire a more “native” accent?
- Is it good to watch Chinese dramas too?
- How many hours do you study Mandarin?
- Struggles with the correct tone management in sentences
- Struggles with grammar + characters
- Should I learn characters first or focus only on developing my speaking and understanding skills?
- 着 vs 在
- Favorite websites + videos to help practice Chinese?
Watch the video to find out our responses to your questions.
If you have any other questions you’d like answering, leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post + I’ll be sure to get back to you.
The Elementary Chinese origin story
First, I’ll give you a little introduction to why and how I got interested in Chinese language and culture. I was in Paris and went on a date with a French girl who was talking about this African guy, whose girlfriend was Chinese, and therefore he spoke fluent Chinese. She was amazed by him. One thing led to another, and my 19-year-old single brain thought it would be a great way to impress the French ladies. I bought a Chinese book, went back to work, and started studying whilst I was working.
I went back to the University of Washington and immediately signed up for Chinese class. I studied for a year in the US of A, and then two years abroad in Beijing, China. The rest is history, I lived in China for over 10 years.
Frustrations with learning Chinese
The thing that frustrated me the most was studying abroad in China, and not being able to communicate within my daily life. I had to work so hard at learning Chinese.
There was a huge gap between what I was learning in the classroom and what being communicated outside.
Now, I’m dedicated to helping people study the right way. And learn the most efficient way, from the beginning so you don’t make the mistakes I did, and have to backtrack and rewire the learning process.
Teaching was a natural process for me. When my first daughter was born, and I wanted to migrate to spending more time at home, I decided to turn all these questions I was being asked about how to learn Chinese, into a business.
How do you acquire a more “native” accent?
The easiest way, and this is something I advise people inside the DIY Chinese Community. It’s also something I’ll be teaching on my Webinar on Sunday July 27 at 8pm New York time. If you’d like to save yourself a seat click here.
I can only really speak from experience, and how I’ve coached people already. But, this is the way I mastered speaking with the correct tones and accent.
I listened to audio repetitively.
If you already have a textbook, download the audio to go with it. What’s the hardest to master is getting your tones correct within phrases. If you are practicing phrases you’ll be working on your intonation.
This will help you to be understandable to Chinese folks.
For more strategies on how to learn Chinese fluently and natively with banging tones register for my Webinar on Sunday.
Learn Chinese The Best Way & Always Make Progress Webinar
Have you been “studying” Chinese, but haven’t made much progress? Don’t know how to improve your Chinese? Feel stuck? Losing motivation? Finally, make progress!👇🏾
The Great Firewall of China
Want to use the VPN I use for a stable, quick connection in China? I depend on it to upload more than six videos a week and live-stream on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. And here’s my second choice for a VPN. Plus, when you download from either link, they share some of the cost with me, so I can keep creating the videos you love.
A quick and important disclosure:
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful.