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4 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Learning Mandarin

Chinese has rich connotations and usage scenarios. Learning Chinese online without teacher guidance can easily fall into misunderstandings in learning. Sinobus, as the choice of tens of millions of Chinese learners, reminds you that you must pay attention to avoid the following common misunderstandings in learning Chinese.

Common misunderstanding in madarin learning online: Paying too much attention to tones

This mistake may be a bit of a contradiction, Chinese has different tones, and different tones make different meanings. So accurate pronunciation is important, but if you put too much effort into getting it right, you'll neglect to make sentences. Even when the tone is wrong, words in context can sometimes convey the right meaning.

What you should do: Chinese people don't consider intonation when they speak, because the tone is ingrained, practice the tone first, pronounce it accurately, then talk to people naturally, try to understand people from the context they speak about.

The second common misunderstanding in madarin learning online: Neglecting the learning of Chinese characters

Many people are fascinated by Chinese at first, so they decide to learn only Pinyin. Pinyin is easier and you can free up time to practice conversations. However, the more they learn, the harder it is to distinguish homophones. Because Chinese has only about 1700 syllables, each character is monosyllable. But there are more than 80,000 Chinese characters, which means that many different Chinese characters have the same pinyin. In fact, Chinese characters are not as difficult as you think. Like we said in previous posts, we can use interesting stories and associations to learn Chinese characters.

What you should do: It is strongly recommended that as a serious Chinese learner, you'd better spend some time learning Chinese characters, at least some Chinese characters that are frequently used in your Chinese learning plan.

The third common misunderstanding in madarin learning online: rigid thinking

Learning a language is different from learning mathematics. Mathematics has rules to follow. Language involves a lot of uncertainty. For example, in Chinese, the quantifier "匹 (pǐ)" means "horse", 一匹马( yī pǐ mǎ), but it can also be used for "textile". You may be confused. Why? What horses and fabrics have in common, actually have nothing in common, it's just an idiomatic usage.

What you should do: Good language skills and a flexible mind are very important when learning a new language. Reading a short Chinese text aloud every day, watching Chinese movies or TV shows, and listening to Chinese radio programs online can help develop your language sense. Remember that there are exceptions to language learning. Always allow for flexibility and be open to uncertainty.

The fourth common misunderstanding of madarin learning online: single learning method

This is common for people just starting out. They spend most of their time in textbooks and only practice in class with the teacher. Lectures are the least efficient way to learn a language. At New Concept Mandarin, we believe in experiential learning and utilize multimedia tools to stimulate all the senses. Combined with fun Chinese video lessons, online Chinese lessons and apps, your learning outcomes will be maximized.

What you should do: First grasp the key points of the textbook. Then use other learning tools before and after class - videos, online courses, apps to preview and review what you learned in class.

In addition, Sinobus students found that making some Chinese friends to practice what they have learned, listening to a few podcasts while walking, listening to Chinese music, watching Chinese movies, etc., will help you learn Chinese quickly.

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