An Overview of the Chinese Language
Knowing how the Chinese language is different from English is the first step toward success in Mandarin Chinese! Once you have a basic understanding of these differences, then it becomes easy to focus on the essentials.
- This language focuses on ideas rather than individual words.
- Chinese characters are the way to express these ideas.
- Others will only be able to understand your Chinese when you use tones that are a lot like singing.
- Mandarin Chinese has four tones.
- Once tones are mastered, PinYin will be the best way to master Chinese sounds.
The Essentials of Learning Chinese
To become fluent in Mandarin, being able to speak the four tones is crucial! (If you can’t speak them, no one will know what you’re saying)! Once tones become like second nature, you’ll be ready to move on to the “alphabet” of the Chinese language–which is PinYin.
So, in review, focus on
(Click on the links above for more detailed information on these topics). Of course, if you’re ready to learn Chinese fast, then download my free study guide by clicking on the study guide to the right.
Good luck on your journey!
Two characters together convey the meaning of young in Chinese. These two characters are “nián qīng” said with the rising second tone and the level first tone. The first character is pronounced like “knee” + “en” as in enter, while the second tone is pronounced like “ch” + “ing.”
“Nián” literally means year, while “qīng” means light.
How do you express power and strength in Chinese? Of course, there are many ways, but the character most often used is “qiáng.” This character for strong (as it relates to strength, not taste or odor) is “qiáng,” said with the rising second tone and pronounced much like “chee” + “ong.”
To see other words that also use this character, continue reading here.
As it relates to hard or stiff, the Chinese character “yìng” is used. (This is NOT the term for difficult or challenging)! Said with the falling fourth tone, as you say this term it should sound as though you are letting out a sigh of relief, but pronounced much like “ye” + “ing”.
For related terms, continue reading here.
Soft in Chinese as referring to flexible or even gentle is depicted by the character “ruán.” This character is said with the rising second tone and pronounced much like “roo” + “on.” (Remember that the second tone should sound almost like you are asking a question where your voice rises at the end).
For other related terms, read more here…