Books I've used and
Far-East 3000 Chinese Character
This is my ultimate Chinese learning bible. It has both simplified and
traditional characters that are arranged alphabetically according to
their pinyin. Each stroke used for writing characters is clearly
illustrated. Each character's meaning plus meanings when combined with
other characters plus an idiom containing the character is shown.
I especially like the frequency table in the back. I used this to learn
the most frequent used characters first. Also has ZhuYin FuHao
(bopomo - used in Taiwan) with Radical and Stroke number indexes.
Far-East English Chinese Pinyin
My very first Chinese Mandarin Book! Very hand indeed.
Can easily fit in your backpack. Word are indexed alphabetically
according to pinyin spelling. There are phrases in the back that are
Tuttle - Leaning Chinese Characters
Definitely one of my favorites! They offer a fun and
effective way to remember a character's meaning, pronunciation and
tone. If you are a memory buff you will like this book! It uses
visualizations and stories to link to the characters. Once you've
mastered a few basic characters they are used again to build up more
complicated characters! I also like the fun and humor they use to
motivate and encourage you as you work through the book. They show
progress bars and provide interested tid-bits all the way. The pictures
and stories are very well illustrated. Mostly simplified characters but
also shows traditional. Appropriate for HSK level A learners.
The Practical Audio Visual series
is the absolute benchmark for learning Chinese in Taiwan. It contains
all the grammar and vocabulary you will need for a solid foundation.
The MP3's are clear, and the grammar is explained very well. Once
you've worked through all the books you will be able to have
conversations over a very wide range of topics. Also give you insight
into Taiwanese culture. Workbooks also
and tips for learning Mandarin Chinese
know and understand 10 words confidently, than to partially know 50
It takes time to study and to make progress.
If you take time to study, there WILL be progress.
REVIEW is of utmost importance.
learns different, but most people follow the same path and have the
same thoughts, ideas, breakthroughs and problems.
10 minutes of active studying is much better than 10 minutes of
complaining about studying.
" I will pick up the language " ok...sure....whatever.....go for it!
" I will pick up a few common words" ...yes...you will!
30 minutes of studying a day makes a big difference.
Set a clear goal before you even start learning...do you only want to
learn a few words?..a few sentences?..or do you want to makes proper
sentences and have a conversation.
"I only want to learn the basics"...ok..good. Make a list of the
"basics" you want to learn, otherwise how will you know if you learned
Most important: Your attitude towards learning.
If you didn't practice saying a sentence/word fluent and clearly with
your teacher/classmate/mirror at least 10 times how can you expect to
be able to do it in public? think about it. Say the word/ sentence 100
times!! It only takes about two minutes.
Your time in class or with your teacher/tutor should only make up about
35% of you total learning time. Another 35% for total, intensive self
review/preview and the 30% should be
attentively watching TV, listening to radio, youtube , listening to
podcasts, reading stories, cartoons and attempting to converse
with the locals.
you decide to study Mandarin seriously, it should become a
habit/routine to have a set "study time" on a daily or weekly basis.
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Method for a hardcore 30minutes Chinese study session:
This is when using a textbook with new vocabulary and
Study new vocabulary and sentences quickly
Read the words/ sentences aloud (don't worry about 100% pronunciation,
it must be aloud and with confidence)
Read aloud with CD/MP3 while also looking in the book.
Close the book, and read aloud with the CD/MP3 again.
Read dialog with CD/MP3.
Close the book and listen to the CD/MP3.
Review the previous lesson.
If you study in 30minutes sessions at a time, it's more effective than
1 or 2 hour
x 30minutes study sessions in a day would be ideal.
to focus on fluency, and make proper sentences.
Learn and Earn
paid for reading practice in your target language
Money motivates most people
important to motivate yourself in creative ways when you are learning a
new language. We've all heard the phrase "money makes the world go
round" and even though it is considered evil by some, even a small
reward can motivate you to learn. I found a nice little trick to
motivate me by taking Paid online
Surveys in my target language.
quite a few web sites available that offer Paid Online Surveys and once
you've filtered through all the scams you'll eventually find some worth
signing up for. I'm using surveyhead.com.
When signing up there'll be a language option where you can state all
the languages you are proficient in (choose the language you are
learning). According to your profile you'll then be sent surveys as
they become available. The surveys can cover anything from online
shopping to mobile phones or TV channels.
Repetition, tenses and time
What's great about surveys is
that they'll keep repeating the "key words". So you'll get
adequate practice in reading sentences that are content related.
It'll also help you to review useful sentences about your family,
working environment, educational background etc. which are the topics
most people talk about when first meeting somebody new. Surveys also
ask about your past, current and future opinions about their product or
service, so you'll get practice in reading different tenses. There is
usually a minimum time you have to spend on a survey before getting
paid. This helps you to pace yourself because you'll roughly know how
long it will take to complete.
Method and money.
This method is probably suited
best for intermediate level learners which already have a vocabulary of
a few thousand words. It may be too frustrating for beginners as there
will be too many unfamiliar words and sentence structures. When you
encounter unfamiliar words you can copy and paste them into an online
dictionary to quickly get the meaning. You can also use software that
will show a popup of the definition if you hover your mouse cursor over
the word. For Mandarin (also available for Japanese and Korean) you can
money isn't much, only a few dollars, but you'll be rewarded for your
effort and be motivated to keep on pushing yourself.
and study method (click for bigger image)
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