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Do English Native Speakers Who Speak Mandarin Well Translate English to Mandarin?

We are all Chinese learners. In order to learn Chinese well, it is necessary to learn the basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. But I stress that “speaking” is the most important thing. This is a universal truth. The same is true of my study in 52ChineseLearning, and I will pay more attention to Chinese listening and speaking. Because, if you learn Chinese but can’t talk in Chinese, it will be useless. You can’t make friends with Chinese people, travel to China, or buy things. How can we improve our communication skills? Do Those learners who speak Mandarin well will think of their mother tongue first, and then translate English to Mandarin?

Chinese conversations
Chinese talk

The answer is: of course not. Learners who speak Putonghua good always think first of the Chinese-related words and sentences. The idea of using your mother, mother tongue and finding the corresponding Chinese translation is ineffective. In this way, you not only spend a lot of time talking but also infer that the Chinese learner can’t contextualize in Chinese. So, what efforts should we make in speaking Putonghua?

First, remember more new words and phrases. The more new words and phrases you can remember, the easier it will be for you to explain yourself and understand others. You can learn new vocabulary from a variety of learning materials. You can learn in articles, texts, and lyrics. If you pay more attention to documents, listen to Chinese music, and read more texts, you will remember more new words and phrases.

The second problem we often encounter is that we can’t remember the words we have learned when we speak. This is because you don’t reflect quickly enough when you speak Chinese. To improve this, you must first internalize the word. I suggest that you write down some conversations, then practice with your friends. You can also watch movies and listen to more recordings. When listening, you should not only listen to the pronunciation but also listen to how Chinese people speak. You must observe their enunciation, the movement of their lips, and the draw of breath. Every little thing contributes to fluency. You can later translate this when communicating with others. Always practice talking in Chinese so you will get used to it.

These preparations are important, but not as important as your actions. As the saying goes, “easier said than done”. If you want to improve your spoken English, you’d better talk to others more. This summer camp of 52ChineseLearning is the best opportunity for you to improve your communication skills. You can chat with teachers, friends, shop assistants, security guards, etc. Anyone can speak Chinese. The more you speak, the faster your spoken English will improve.

Last but not least, you have to believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid of grammar and pronunciation mistakes. Language learning is a journey. There is no perfect journey. After all, you can learn as much in success as you do in failure; maybe more. Mistakes can be corrected later. If you make these preparations and speak more, I believe everyone can communicate fluently in Chinese.

Therefore, Chinese learners who speak Mandarin well do not think of their native language first, then translate their thoughts into Chinese. When they want to speak, they think of Chinese expressions. This is the experience I want to share with you today. I hope it will help your Chinese learning journey a little. Thank you!

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