Press CC for English subs! Hi friends! Another video requested via Tumblr. I hope this is helpful to you! I'm copying my blog post here for those who prefer to read. Good luck with your studies; I'm supporting you! 加油！
[Blog post transcript]
Where to start when learning Mandarin Chinese?
1. Learn basic Hanzi (Chinese characters)
Learn some basic Chinese characters. It’s a good idea to learn the stroke order from the start so you get used to writing them correctly and that you don’t suffer down the line. Start on the right foot. I suggest you learn the 100 most common Chinese characters as a start. Keep in mind the tips for stroke order, like left to right, left vertical stroke (usually) before top horizontal stroke etc (source).
2. Learn basic grammar structures
Chinese grammar is remarkably simple and similar to English. Learn grammar online or from textbooks and write down the grammar structures with as many different words as you can.
3. Get a textbook and dictionary
My favorite dictionary app is Pleco. It’s great! A paper dictionary is good too, especially if you have to look up radicals. A good textbook I can recommend is New Practical Chinese Reader. Integrated Chinese is good too. I also used Berlitz Basic Mandarin Chinese but it’s quite basic and slow, but the audio is great. If you can’t afford a textbook, there are many free resources online. Memrise is great for learning vocabulary quickly. The BBC also has online lessons.
4. Up your vocab by translating songs
You can check the pinyin and translation of song lyrics (if you have the Chinese original) on a website like Purple Culture. I like translating songs because the lyrics stick in my memory, so I remember them better. Writing the song down in a notebook and writing the meanings above the words is also a good way to learn. You can also replace words in sentences if you learn new words, as long as you keep the grammar correct. If you need lists of Chinese singers, feel free to ask me or just conduct a Youtube search for most popular songs in China or Taiwan :)
5. Watch movies and TV shows in Chinese with subtitles.
You can learn new words from the subtitles and you’ll be exposed to a natural accent a lot. Listening is excellent practice. You can repeat the words too to test your pronunciation. Speaking of, if you don’t know if you’re saying something right, Forvo is a fantastic site to hear natural pronunciations of stuff.
6. Get a language partner
Make sure to find someone who is serious about pracrticing and will fix your mistakes and teach you. You can find a partner on mylanguageexchange, interpals or HelloTalk app.
7. Download apps to practice
HiNative: Ask questions and get quick answers from natives
iTalki: Write a diary entry and get corrections
LingoDeer: Excellent app for learning Mandarin Chinese from scratch
HelloTalk: Good to meet native speakers with and practice
WeChat: Chinese chatting app where you can meet people and chat, but not specific to language learning
Chinese Skill, etc. Tons of apps in the app store!
8. Keep track of your progress
Write a diary, even if your sentences are basic. It will force you to look up and learn new words, and you’ll be using the language and learning without actually studying. Tracking your progress will keep you motivated, too!
More language videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GntDYJx8JA&list=PLRCVN94KILKWHui4QMe1OD5aKWHzPWDBT
Korean videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kb3Hx9dPJI&list=PLRCVN94KILKXHdOjseNLtTTDbkmbO-h5_
Japanese videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9TD0oI9OEQ&list=PLRCVN94KILKW2qLbuXPEoShnmJDkAZNfa
My Afrikaans learning channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIedNl4r7Hd8SnXiEjXMbKg
Did you know you can contribute subtitles in any language?
한국어 자막을 만들어 줄 수 있는지 아세용?
JOIN THE FUN
Would you like to be featured in an interview? Do you have language tips to share? I'd love to invite you to be in a video. Just email me! (email link in about page)
I love talking to you guys on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, in the comments and via email, but sometimes I receive a lot of messages and it's too much to reply to - so it might take me a while to get back to you. Please be patient and know that I do care about you and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible!