Chinese language has been classified as an exceptionally difficult language.
The fact that Chinese language uses characters instead of alphabet only increases the level of complexity. Chinese characters represent ideas not sounds. They are divided into two categories: simplified and traditional.
Simplified characters are used in Mainland China; traditional characters are used in Taiwan, Honk Kong and Macau. Chinese government in order to increase literacy has introduced simplified characters. The latest list of that contains 2244 simplified characters was published in 1986. The 2244 characters are the most common; once you know them you are capable of reading newspaper, book or magazine. If you are thinking of exploring Chinese language and decoding the characters please read the tips.
(1) Flash Cards: create your own set of flash cards. Keep those cards with you every time and everywhere you go. Flash cards can be also found in a bookstore as well as online. Always make sure that you collect flash cards with the same set of characters either simplified or traditional. Most of the cards included character, pinyin, picture and English translation.
(2) Test yourself: this can be done by covering up the translation of the flash card, however it would be a much better if someone else a family member or friend will be able to give you a test. Each of the tests should involve scoring. This will help you to measure your improvements. Finally this process will provide unique competence over that language and at the same time will increase learner’s confidence.
(3) Have Goals: it’s been proven that setting goals helps to achieve what was planned. Having a challenge is going to motivate you. Start with memorizing five characters a day, and gradually increase the number. If this is to easy or to overwhelming you can always adjust your goals and methods of achieving them. Make sure that they are realistic but at the same time challenging enough.
(4) Conversation practice: nothing is better than practice. Using skills in a real life situation will help you to remember the vocabulary. Look for language meet-up groups in your town, most of them have Beginner Chinese language learners, if not you can start your own. Go to Chinese grocery stores and try to practice. Internet also opens a new realm of possibilities, visit language exchange site, find a partner to converse with and have fun interacting.
(5) Labeling Home: It’s a very old but effective process of acquiring more and more vocabulary. In this process, you have to label the furniture and objects in home with Chinese characters. Every time you will use those things, you will encounter the words and characters that you trying to remember.
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