Learn Mandarin using BBC 5 Step Process

As we all know, learning Mandarin language offers many benefits to personal and professional growth. But how to get started in learning Mandarin?

That’s why we are here to show you how to learn Mandarin easily in just 5 simple steps. You will be able to speak some Mandarin words after this (even if you start with zero basic knowledge of Mandarin)

STEP 1: Learn Mandarin Pronunciation (Han Yu Pin Yin)

The first step is to learn how to pronounce Mandarin words. We will pronounce Mandarin words by reading the han yu pin yin. Han yu 汉语 means Mandarin,  while pin yin 拼音 means spelling / ejaan in Malay.

Pinyin (eg: xué zhōng wén) is how Chinese words are pronounced, whereas Chinese characters (eg: 学中文) are how they are seen in textbooks, newspapers, books, etc. Pinyin is an essential tool for you to type characters by using qwerty keyboard on your laptop, tablet and phone.

There are 3 components of han yu pin yin 汉语拼音 which are:
– 6 vowels
– 4 + 1 tones

– 21 consonants

You will be able to pronounce almost 95% of all Mandarin words if you know how to pronounce the pinyin in the table below. Let’s learn how to pronounce 6 vowels, 4 + 1 tones and 21 consonants by watching the videos.

How to pronounce every word accurately?

This is one of the main hurdles of learn Mandarin that throws new learners off. However, tones are rather simple once you understand how they work. Here’s an example of the word ma with 5 different tones (different tones, different meanings) :

妈 (mā) — mother
麻 (má) — numb
骂 (mà) — scold
马 (mǎ) — horse
吗 (ma) — a question mark (?)

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STEP 2 : Learn Mandarin words

How to memorise new vocabulary efficiently?

This is actually the most difficult part in learning new language. We may quickly forget the new vocabulary we have learned. We understand the difficulties of memorising so many vocabularies.

Many teachers out there would just translate English to Mandarin to teach their students. This makes us different from other teachers. In BBC, we apply long-term memory methods to make sure students can remember the words forever.

Method #1 Slow Motion Technique
We will explain the logic of Mandarin and bridge the gap between English, Malay and Mandarin thinking. There are strong correlation among Malay, Mandarin and English languages. Slow Motion Technique will show you the logic of Mandarin and explain the meaning behind every word.

Method #2 Mnemonic / Homophonic
Method #3 Use body language / Do the action
Method #4 Make a sentence with emotion




Pronounce like Malay















Air Liur











We use Malay language and create a story to memorise the numbers in sequence. Watch the video above to understand our way to memorise number.

  1. Saya ada Satu Ibu
  2. Saya panggil dia Emak
  3. Emak saya ada Tiga Son
  4. Saya pergi jumpa Sir
  5. Sir bagi sayaLima biji Ubat
  6. Saya telan dengan 6 titis air Liur
  7. Dan saya makan tujuh keping Cheese
  8. Saya pergi jumpa Bapa
  9. Bapa cium saya sembilan kali
  10. Dan beli sepuluh shirt untuk saya

STEP 3 : Learn to construct sentence

There are only a few patterns you need to learn, and once you’ve done that, you can just fill in the words you’ve learnt and people will be able to understand. Even if you mix things up, people will usually still understand.

One of the formula to construct long sentence is using STPA / TSPA

S = Subjects (who) come at the beginning of the sentence
T = Time (when) come immediately before or after subject
P = Place (where) where an event happened
A = Action (what) verb + object, do something.

For example,
My mother everyday go to supermarket buy fruits
Wǒ de māmā měitiān qù chāojí shìchǎng mǎi shuǐguǒ

The formula to construct short sentence is to think like Malay sentence, always start Subject. Watch this video to learn how to say short sentence.

STEP 4 : Speak Mandarin everyday

How to speak Mandarin fluently and confidently?

Unless you are only learning few words, no one can speak a language in just few days or weeks! 

If you want to speak Mandarin language fluently, you have to practice speaking everyday. Practice makes perfect!

Here are top 9 ways to practice Mandarin:

1. Choose the right study material & course 

2. Read Chinese conversations aloud

3. Listen to Mandarin audio and repeat 

4. Write down conversations in pin yin

5. Practice with Chinese songs

6. Get a language tutor 

7. Understand & memorise the vocabulary 

8. Don’t be shy to speak with anyone

9. Speak Mandarin everyday

STEP 5: Learn Mandarin characters

Pinyin (eg: xué zhōng wén) is how Chinese words are pronounced, whereas Chinese characters (eg: 学中文) are how they are seen in textbooks, newspapers, books, etc. Pinyin is an essential tool for you to type characters by using qwerty keyboard on your laptop, tablet and phone. It is true that Chinese characters are the most difficult characters in the world. Even the simplest word in English “I / me” is written as 我 wǒ (which has 7 strokes)

We don’t encourage Beginner students to learn Chinese characters at the beginning because it is not easy. As you know, Chinese characters is the hardest language to learn. See the images below and you will notice Chinese characters are not easy to recognise and write, but good news is it is easy to read the pinyin.

When you learn more Mandarin words, you will notice the words sound the same, but they have totally different meaning. It is because same sound / pinyin could be different characters & meanings

For example, 书 shū = Book ,  输 shū = Lose. Both have exactly same pronunciation, but they are different characters and different meanings.

Words, i.e. characters put together, contain a lot more meaning than characters. They are created in a way which is often obvious or at least understandable for a student

电 diàn = electric

电脑 diàn nǎo literally direct translate is “electric brain”. It actually means COMPUTER.

电话 diàn huà literally direct translate is “electric talk”. It actually means TELEPHONE

电池 diàn chí literally direct translate is “electric reservoir”. It actually means BATTERY

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 : _____________ 

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Mandarin language

Congratulation! Now you know how to learn Mandarin with BBC 5 Steps!

Learn Mandarin is not as difficult as what you think. When you start to learn Mandarin, you will notice that Mandarin is actually very similar to Malay in terms of pronunciation and sentence structure. Most people say Malay is easier than English, which means learn Mandarin is easier than English.

If you want to learn Mandarin, you want to become friends with it, you don’t want to regard it as an unbeatable enemy! We won’t deny that Mandarin has unique challenges that are difficult to overcome, but try to look at Mandarin as being easy and exciting, rather than difficult or impossible. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now you should understand the overview of Mandarin language. Thank you for reading till end of this article, now we’d like to hear you speaking Mandarin and we have created “Speak Mandarin Challenge” for you. Click the button below to get started!

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