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The Secret to Learning to Speak Chinese

One of the most common questions asked of Chinese teachers is the duration of learning. They often have questions like: “Teacher, is it difficult to learn Chinese?” “How long does it take to learn to speak Chinese?” In order to make students from all over the world learn Chinese easily and efficiently, international Chinese teachers keep pace with the times and constantly innovate teaching methods and forms. Today, let’s first look at the views of Chinese teachers in China on Chinese learning.

Each of us is more comfortable in our mother tongue. After all, language is an identity. A person’s cultural background is closely related to their mother tongue. However, that is not usually the case. For example, when a Chinese grows up in a foreign country and initially learns the language of that country they will naturally assume that the language of that country is their other tongue. If it is English, then his cultural level has a lot to do with his English level.

Chinese Classics
Chinese Classics

Chinese has two characteristics, spoken and written. Chinese is a complex language. The most common problem of foreigners is Pinyin. People consider this, the most difficult thing for foreigners. Learning Pinyin is equivalent to learning another language. Consequently, popularizing Pinyin is incredibly difficult.

The advantage is that although it functions like a dialect. While it is complicated, the characters are unified. Unlike India, since every state has its own characters, it still has to use English as its official language. Since we are Chinese, speaking is no longer a problem. Learning culture is from literacy to correct reading and writing. Being able to read and write correctly, and how many words and phrases are used, becomes an important standard to measure the basic education level.

Another feature is that idioms and allusions are particularly rich. They are essentially primeval dialects that endured to modern times. They have been integrated into everyday discourse, almost inexhaustible. This is the charm of the Chinese and the accumulation of thousands of years of civilization. The use of idioms and allusions has become a great art in writing articles.

Of course, we can’t ask everyone to be a master of writing, but the basic Chinese education should at least reflect this rich aspect of the Chinese language. There should be certain requirements. In my opinion, the graduates of a qualified primary school should be able to write fluent vernacular with few typos. When you graduate from junior high school, you should master common idioms and allusions with mastery. You also should be able to read general literary works fluently, and self-study literature. This is quite imperative. I can help you regardless of your cultural foundation and no major you study in the future.,.  However, there’s no pressure in learning these. At the end of the day, it remains a personal choice.

I am by no means advocating that today’s primary school students spend a lot of time studying ancient Chinese, let alone reading classics. What I am stressing is that this form of learning is a throwback to our cultural heritage. It is an edification, not a practical tool. With or without this edification, it is different from people’s ideological depth and aesthetic taste. Then, when accepting foreign cultural history, your taste will be different between choices, and Chinese characters and literature are so rich and beautiful. As a Chinese, it would be a pity to forgo learning these things.  

Of course, I must first declare that I advocate learning Chinese well, which is by no means the opposite of foreign languages.  It has nothing to do with the resistance of traditional culture to the so-called “westernization”. What’s more, I don’t agree with the practice of making children wear ancient costumes to read Disciples’ Rules and Three-Character Classics, which won’t be the secret to learn to speak Chinese.

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