5 Key Steps to Learn Mandarin (for Beginners)
This is our 4th edition beginner course book for our students. It has total of 176 pages.
STEP 1 : LEARN TO PRONOUNCE HAN YU PIN YIN
Han yu means Mandarin while pin yin means spelling. There are 3 components of han yu pin yin;
- 6 vowels
- 4+1 tones
- 21 consonants
Watch the videos below to learn on how to pronounce 6 vowels, 4 tones and 21 consonants
STEP 2 : LEARN TO UNDERSTAND & MEMORISE VOCABULARY
Mandarin vocabulary is rather straight forward compared to English. For instance,
Computer 电脑 diàn nǎo
Handphone 电话 diàn huà，
Battery 电池 diàn chí
Movie 电影 diàn yǐng.
Do you notice that the first word is the same. 电 diàn = electric.
脑 nǎo = brain. 电脑 diàn nǎo literally direct translate is “electric brain”. It actually means computer.
话 huà = talk. 电话diàn huà literally direct translate is “electric talk”. It actually means telephone.
池 chí = reservoir. 电池 diàn chí literally direct translate is “electric reservoir. It actually means battery
- 影 yǐng = shadow. 电影 diàn yǐng literally direct translate is “electric shadow”. It actually means movie
Take a guess. What is 电视机 diàn shì jī ? Tips: 视 shì = view ; 机 jī = machine
Your answer : _____________
Watch the videos below to learn on pronouns & self-introduction
STEP 3 : LEARN TO CONSTRUCT SENTENCE STRUCTURE
There is one and only formula to create sentence structure. It is either STPA or TSPA.
S = Subjects (who) come at the beginning of the sentence
T = Time (when) expressions come immediately before or after the subject.
P = Place (where) where an event happened, the place expression comes before the verb.
A = Action (what) verb + object, do something.
In this sentence, the sequence is Subject, Time and Action (STA)
Princess | yesterday | went to see the doctor.
gōng zhǔ | zuó tiān | qù kàn yī shēng
You can also use other sequence, which is Time, Subject and Action (TSA)
Yesterday | princess | went to see the doctor.
zuó tiān | gōng zhǔ | qù kàn yī shēng
Now, let us include Place to the same sentence. The place is hospital.
The sequence is Subject, Time, Place and Action (STPA)
Princess | yesterday | went to the hospital | see the doctor.
gōng zhǔ | zuó tiān | qù yī yuàn | kàn yī shēng
Next sentence is Subject, Time and Place (STP).
Please note that “go supermarket” is considered as Place, instead of Action. Action should be what Ali’s mother is doing at supermarket and there is no mention in this sentence. Hence, there is no Action in this sentence.
Ali’s mother | everyday | go to supermarket
ā lǐ de mā ma | měi tiān | qù chāo jí shì chǎng
Watch the videos below to learn how to construct sentences
STEP 4 : SPEAK MANDARIN EVERYDAY
After you have learned all the pronunciation, important vocabularies and you know how to construct Mandarin sentence using STPA formula, you have to apply what you have learned and speak Mandarin everyday.
In order to speak fluent Mandarin, it is crucial for students to speak Mandarin everyday. If there is no one can speak Mandarin with you, you always can call/whatsapp/skype BBC tutor anytime. We are here to help you speak Mandarin.
Here are top 9 ways to speak fluent Mandarin.
Choose the right material & course
(we designed our course materials in house and very suitable for beginners)
Read Chinese conversations aloud
(we will read the conversations aloud together in class)
Listen to Chinese audio and repeat
(There are exercises, song lyrics, dialogues, audio, video files for every page of BBC book)
Write down conversations in pin yin
(you have to write and take note in class)
Practice with Chinese songs
(we will sing Chinese songs together)
Get a language tutor
(you will have 2 tutors, one is your offline tutor and also online tutor)
Understand & memorise the vocabulary
(we have effective way to help you understand the vocabulary)
Don’t be shy to speak with anyone
(every student has to do Mandarin presentation/dialogue in class)
- Speak Mandarin everyday
(we will speak Mandarin in class and in whatsapp group)
STEP 5 : LEARN MANDARIN CHARACTERS
After you can speak around 50% of Mandarin, you are no longer a beginner. You can now learn to read and write Chinese characters.
We don’t encourage Beginner students to learn Chinese characters at the beginning as it may not be easy for you. Most people agree that Chinese characters is the hardest language to learn. So we leave this to Step 5, only after you can speak around 50% of Mandarin.
A Chinese character contains an indication of pronunciation as well as an indication of meaning. There are more than 100,000 different Chinese characters. However, The number of useful characters that we usually use is 2,000 to 5,000. A character is not a random drawing. It is made of strokes.
There are 6 basic strokes. Some of them have several variants, and strokes can be combined to create more strokes. But the basic idea is that most characters are made from a small number of strokes. In a way, strokes are closer to the concept of letters than characters are. They are the smallest unit of Chinese writing. Stroke order is important. Characters that look very complex at first, are in fact just a familiar sequence of strokes
QUIZ : Say these 6 sentences in Mandarin, record audio / video and submit your homework
Q1: What is your name?
A1: My name is _____
Q2: How old are you?
A2: I am ____ years old
Q3: Where do you live?
A3: I live in _______