The Difficulty of Teaching Yourself Chinese
posted at  2012-03-15 01:46  Praveen Sequira
Sure, the spirit may be willing, but the reality involved in teaching yourself Chinese is a little more complicated. The Chinese language is one that is produced by a variety of tones and sounds that are very unfamiliar to American speech patterns. The desire to speak Chinese, or to learn the Chinese language and writing style is an admirable endeavor for many. However, anyone wanting to learn how to speak Chinese Mandarin should be prepared to purchase a wide variety of books, CD-ROMs, and other formats that may help you along the way.

Of course, there are a wealth of basic courses on beginner’s Chinese, and let’s not forget a massive number of Chinese phrases and Chinese language dictionaries. The problem with these is that many of the books fail to produce a format that is user-friendly enough and inexpensive enough to be of adequate value.

Every book on how to learn Chinese offers its own method for doing so. Authors explain terms like high, middle high, middle, middle low, and low tones. They offer warnings that tone can drastically alter the meaning of a word. For example, one comment Chinese word can mean mother, hemp, scold, or horse, depending on the tone that is used. Thereafter, the race is on to understand what all this means, and how to apply it to a self-taught study of the language.

Chinese language lessons often contain a word that describes the pinyin system, which is a term used to describe the romanticized (translated ’readable’) Chinese language to facilitate English-speaking people who wish to learn Chinese. Unfortunately, many different Chinese language-learning books offer their own spelling versions of many common words.

Beyond that, many CD-ROMs and audio materials that help facilitate self-teaching the Chinese language utilize native Chinese speakers who speak too fast or in over-long sentences that are almost impossible to wrap the tongue around. Many books and audios proclaim ease-of-use, steady pace, and confidence building language exercises; however the reality that is found between the pages is more than a little intimidating.

Many people who have spent hundreds of dollars on multiple Chinese language learning materials often wish they could utilize the services and expertise of a private tutor to help them grasp the many nuances and rules involved in speaking Chinese. Many people think that private language tutors are way beyond their budgets. In addition, some wishing to learn to speak Chinese live in rural areas, where Chinese language tutors are not to be found.

Searching online resources is one way to get around this, but finding an excellent online learning environment for learning to speak Chinese Mandarin dialects is also a little more difficult than one would think. The ideal way to learn any language is to be able to communicate with someone who speaks that language. Mando Mandarin is an online, one-on-one tutoring program that helps students learn Chinese from native Chinese language speakers.

Finally, that box of books can be put away, along with the audiotapes and CD-ROMs, after a brief experience with the experienced experts and teachers that are found on the Mando Mandarin website. Live lessons offer the best one-on-one language learning method than many other methods out there today.