How to start learning Chinese and keep it going


The first step to learning Chinese, and any other foreign language, is getting yourself in the right state of mind. This is actually half of the learning process. You will be doing yourself more harm than good if you start being worried whether you will ever become fluent. You know, as they say, the mind has great power in the outcome of our actions.

If you really want to become fluent in Chinese, invest time writing, listening and speaking the language, have fun while at it and have faith in yourself. Do not be lied to that Chinese is harder to learn compared to other languages. This is so not true! In fact, this is one of the most logical languages you will ever learn.

These tips might be helpful for you, whatever your level of learning:

Avoid using words that are completely separate to refer to related concepts. Instead, use a single character to represent the concept and this will manifest in many other multiple syllable words.

With absence of conjugations, tenses, plurals, cases and gender, you will not have much memorizing.

Avoid any long words.

Tones are naturally learned after extensive and continuous listening.


Invest in quality learning materials such as textbooks, eBooks or listen to recorded conversations. You can also access free apps such as Anki, Memrise and Duolingo.

Dedicate at least an hour everyday reading and listening to Chinese. This way, the language will get less and less foreign to you with time.

Fit the language into all the dead time of your day. For instance time spent waiting in lines or while in the bus. This is key to making rapid progress in the learning process.

Set a goal of learning at least two new words a day and advance this with time.

Do not stress over characters during the first one month. After that though, it will be important to spend at least 15 minutes per day mastering them.

Try making sentences with the words learnt and confirm their correctness from textbooks.

Stay disciplined and never give up no matter what!