Eyes to the East, everyone, today's blog post is all about Chinese learning! I'm not yet trying my hand (and brain) with this approach, so to help you guys if you're interested in Chinese, I brought in an expert in the form of language blogger Teddy Nee. You might remember him from his previous article on Fluent, comparing English to Chinese on the world stage.
Today Teddy will be sharing his top 5 Resources for Learning Chinese. Enjoy his recommendations:
“China” is a word that we frequently see or hear, for example in newspaper, TV, books, etc. There might be Chinese people living in your neighborhood, your country, or doing business with you. I am also certain that you can see Chinese people almost everywhere you go, from Africa to Europe, America to Australia.
And of course, chances are you're using “Made in China” product today. China’s economic growth is massive. It is huge and powerful, so much so it cannot be ignored. China can lay claim to being world’s fastest growing major economy, a global hub for manufacturing, and the largest exporter of goods in the world.
These facts motivate many learners to learn the official language of China, which is Chinese Mandarin, or simply called Chinese. Keep in mind that there are also many dialects spoken throughout China, and spoken by Chinese descents around the world, such as Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, etc.
5 Top Resources I Used For Learning Chinese
Chinese was a mandatory course in the school I attended. It is my second foreign language and to be honest, I found it challenging to learn. I have spent many years learning it and I am staying in Taiwan at the moment, so Chinese is my daily language now. Here I want to share with you five Chinese learning resources that have helped me so much in the progress.
1. Peggy Teaches Chinese
Peggy Lee, an experienced Chinese instructor, has so many things about Chinese language and culture to share with you in her blog “Peggy Teaches Chinese”, and her YouTube channel. She offers free online video lessons and also private tutoring.
She began her teaching career in 2008. Today, Peggy Lee’s YouTube channel has gained over 13,000 subscribers, and she has taught students from all over the world. She received Fulbright Fellowship scholarships to teach Chinese at the University of Arkansas and she is pursuing her graduate studies in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language graduate program in National Taiwan Normal University.
Her teaching style professional and interactive, so Peggy (my old university buddy, by the way) and her channel are guaranteed to bring you up to date quickly.
2. Practical Audio-Visual Chinese
Taiwan is one of many popular places to learn Mandarin. I had a chance to be part of a big student community in Mandarin Training Center (MTC) of National Taiwan Normal University in Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei city.
We used Practical Audio-Visual Chinese, which is available from level 1 – 5. This learning material covers daily conversations followed by grammar notes. Students don’t only learn about the language, but also the culture.
Many learning centers in Taiwan use Practical Audio-Visual Chinese series as teaching material. You can also purchase them at Amazon.
I like reading very much, it is one of my methods to learn languages. As for Chinese, it may be troublesome and time-consuming to draw characters stroke by stroke, and it can be more difficult if you don’t know the stroke order. Writing Chinese character strokes starts from left to right, top to bottom, and inside out.
In order to save time checking words in the dictionary, I installed a plugin in Google Chrome called Zhongwen: A Chinese-English Popup Dictionary. It works just like the name suggests: An explanation box will pop up whenever you highlight the Chinese characters you want to understand. Zhongwen also detects whether more than one characters form a word. I am very satisfied with the service. I still use it until today, so you should definitely grab this plugin if you are a Google Chrome user.
If you want to learn by having language exchange, you can find your language partners in italki, a language learning website based in Shanghai. By having headquarters in China, italki is accessible by China’s huge population. Founded by American and Chinese entrepreneurs in 2007, italki is officially registered in Hong Kong.
Besides finding language partner, you also can take classes and read articles about Chinese language. There are 85 Professional Teachers and 188 Community Tutors at the time I'm writing this.
I like italki because it offers hassle-free payment process and I like the way the information is arranged on its website. Everything can be done with several clicks on your mouse. I also like its Language Challenge program, where participants learn any languages within the given period of time.
5. Hacking Chinese
Hacking Chinese is a blog run by Olle Linge from Sweden, offering language coaching, lecturing and teaching, as well as consulting and analyzing to students.
Olle covers everything about Chinese language and culture in his posts. Despite knowing Chinese as a foreign language, he is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language in a university in Taipei.
Besides Olle’s articles, you can also find abundant resources about learning Chinese, such as reviews on some Chinese learning platforms, podcasts, and many more. There are also Hacking Chinese Challenges to help you learn by building language skills through daily practice and friendly competition.
Have You Tried These Chinese Resources Yet?