How to Teach Yourself Chinese

Posted by Mollan Mo on 30/01/2016 12:07 AM 725

When it comes to learn Chinese, the most common reaction people get would be Chinese is incredibly difficult to learn. And it's really a tough work for many people. However, that could be wrong. Chinese writing system may look difficult, but here are the good news: Chinese has no cases, no tences, no gender and simplistic grammer structure. So, with commitment and daily practice it is certainly possible to successfully master Chinese language. In this article, we will introduce 4 steps to help you teach yourself Chinese.

Step 1. Learn Pinyin: Chinese Phonetics

Different from English, the Chinese is a hieroglyph. Many people are confused that how we can pronounce with hieroglyphs. In fact, the Chinese is composed of Pinyin (phonetic system) and character. Pinyin is the basic foundation of learning the Chinese language.

Pinyin consists of 3 parts: initials, finals and tones.

Same as English, initials and finals in Chinese are also composed of 26 latin alphabet (a-z), but the pronunciation is quite different. (For more information, please refer to the a-z letters pronunciation in Chinese).

Chinese is a tonal language, which means that different tones of one syllable can change the meaning of a word, even if the pronunciation and spelling are otherwise the same. In total, in Chinese we have 4 tons. It is essential to learn the different tones if you wish to speak Chinese correctly. So I suggest you to listen more and practice more to master the pronunciation skill.

Do remember that:

The first tone is high, flat .

The second tone is rising.

The third tone is dipping.

The fourth tone is from the top to the bottom.

Step 2. Learn some useful vocabularies

Having mastered Pinyin, you can move forward to learn some vocabularies. Vocabulary pays an important role in learning Mandarin Chinese. A good mastery of some useful vocabularies can help you improve your Chinese reading, listening and writing skills.


Name, job, nation, hobby, age, etc

Numbers in Chinese:


Food and Clothes Vocabularies:

All kinds of foods

Measure, style and color of clothes

Asking for Direction

Direction, location.

Vocabulary of time

Date, day, time

Step 3. Learn some useful structures and practice more

For example:

Nihao ( hello) 你好 Hello

Wo jiao+name. 我叫 My name is +Name

Wo shi+nation/job. 我是美国/法国/德国人 I'm German

Wo xihuang+hobby. 我喜欢+爱好 I love hiking

Wo tingbudong. 我听不懂 Sorry, I don't understand.

Check more More common phrases and sentences.

Step 4. Practice with native speakers.

One of the best ways to improve your language skills is to practice with a native speaker. They would correct your grammar or pronunciation errors you did not realize before. Thanks to the Internet, now we can communicate with people from all corner of the world. So it's not difficult to find a native speaker through Internet. And usually, the Chinese is very enthusiastic to talk with you. Or you can help them in English as exchange.

But please be noted that QQ, Wechat are the most popular instant messaging tools in China. If you could not find someone, you could also join some Chinese learning group, you may find a language partner. Some Wechat official account also gives you the option to practice your Chinese language. For example: Hanbridge Mandarin account. Wechat ID: Hanbridgemandarin, or you can scan the QR code below.

Teach yourself Chinese

Step 5. Learn Chinese in other relaxing and entertaining method

You can read Chinese book, watch Chinese TV, or even go to travel in China. When watching the videos, it's a quite practical method to repeat, and then you would find you really made a great progress in your oral Chinese.

Even though you have so many methods to learn Chinese on your own, learning by yourself is tough work. Because you don't know if you are right when we speak, nobody can tell. At this stage, it's necessary to find a teacher and find the motivation to learn Chiense. Learning in the formal system way is to find a native and professional Chinese tutor.

What's more, learning by following a teacher will be more systematize which is very important in your future study. A good teacher can give you useful suggestion in your Chinese studying and make it more efficient. Hanbridge Mandarin is a professional training institution to form Chinese for more than 10 years. With more than 30 experienced teachers, you will enjoy our best Chinese language tutoring service.

Still got questions? Take a free 1-on-1 live Mandarin lesson with our qualified and experienced Chinese teacher now.

About The Author

Mollan Mo

Mollan holds a bachelor’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Experienced and skilled, she utilizes a variety of activities and methods to keep her classes lively. She loves her job and her passion to share her language and culture with others drives her to help her students succeed. Learn Chinese online with Mollan Mo >>