What is the best way for a foreigner to learn Chinese?

@daeckardt (6245)
United States
March 10, 2008 1:27pm CST
I know many of the students that I teach English to are concerned that I don't know Chinese. I tried to learn with the foreign students at my university last semester, but I got behind with my grading so I had to drop. The pace they keep is impossible for me to handle. My ultimate goal right now is to learn enough Chinese that I can work for an international company whether it be in China or somewhere else. I think learning Chinese would be very important now because it has the biggest population and there would be a lot of opportunity if I have that ability. I just completed an HR degree and would really like to get a job and since many companies have diversity goals, knowing one more language could only help. I know that I have had many Chinese people contact me as friends in here so maybe you can help. Thanks in advance.
1 person likes this
5 responses
@spasoo (121)
• Malaysia
9 Feb 11
It's so hard to learning Chinese. I remember someone tell me learning English like learning ABC. But Chinese not. You have to put more effect , spend more time to remember the pronounced and the word. And the most hard to learning Chinese is writing. If you want to learning Chinese I suggest you looking for a Chinese teacher. Because it's so hard to learning Chines in online.
1 person likes this
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Hi spasoo, I agree that learning Chinese is hard. There are so many more things to remember. You have to have the right tone because saying a word in a different tone changes the meaning. I always had trouble telling people "not spicy". I guess I had the wrong tone or something so I just had to fan my mouth and they got the idea. Right now my niece and nephew are learning Chinese at the university I had been teaching at. They are in regular classes with other exchange students. I don't think I would try learning on my own. Thanks for your comment.
@mukboh (43)
• United States
28 Nov 09
I wanna learn chinese too but I am horrible with language... I think the best way is to just talk to people who knows chinese and see where that takes you.
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@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Sorry for the delay in responding, but I have not been in mylot for some time. With the number of times that I tried to learn Chinese, I don't think I know more than a few words and phrases. Most of what I learned was from being in a class, but a few things I picked up from listening to other people talking. Thanks for the comment!
• Australia
7 Jun 08
Hi I dont' know whether you're still in Meizhou. I was in Guangzhou and Zhuhai and I have taught expats Mandarine for 2 years. I know it's not so easy for a foreigner to learn Chinese especially when you're in Canton. There are too much dialect in China and people from different dialect could speak very different Mandarine. Especially Cantonese ues very different words from the people from the north of China. I'm not sure how about in Meizhou since Meizhou people don't speak Cantonese but Hakka. If you cannot go to school for a full-time student learning Chinese, it'll be more difficult. But I have a positive example from one of my student. He's from Germany and works in Zhuhai. He learned only from Chinese tutors in his spare time after work but he has strong willing to learn and to comunicate with Chinese, plus he never gives up. Now he can travel in China very independently, i.e. no need any interpreter. I should say he has the survival Chinese skill but not working one. But it's still very helpful for him to have great relationship with his Chinese colleagues. To learn and to practice and never give up! Good luck!
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@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Hi susanchan, I left Meizhou in 2008. I was in America for two years and then went back to China last fall to Yancheng (Jiangsu Province). I know what you mean about different dialects. My niece and nephew are now doing the full time student thing and they are improving nicely. I had to return to America last month because of medical reasons. I don't know if I will be able to return to China again. Thanks for the comment!
• United States
26 Mar 08
Chinese language seems really interesting and complicated. I don't see how one can rememeber so much.
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@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I have pretty much given up on learning Chinese. Last night at English Corner, I talked to some students who might help me. I think I might try some one-on-one again and see if I can get enough to make it useful. I would really like to get enough that I can work in an international company possibly doing training. Have a great day!!!
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@pierone (1895)
• Italy
2 May 10
I'm really curious to have an update about your chinese studies, after 3 years you started this discussion. About me, after living in china for more than 10 months, I guess I've learned not more than 20 words ;) Anyway I've improoved my english during this time, the good is my wife not only talk chinese, but can speak english too, so we can understand each other (at least the most of the time ;) )
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
2 May 10
I have not studied Chinese since I left there in April 2008. I do occasionally hear my brother speak it with his kids (the older ones live with me as his Taiwanese wife won't let them live in her house even though they are his kids). I don't think that I learned very much, but when I hear certain things, I know what is meant. I am considering returning to China to teach English again as I have not been able to get and keep a job since I left there. I lived in China for almost two years and I think I could do it again. Thanks for responding!!!
@pierone (1895)
• Italy
3 May 10
I really like this country, and I guess it offers lot of oppoprtunities. But the language is really a pain. I was be able in my past to learn english, spanish, portuguese, some romanian, maybe not really good, but enough to understand and let other people understand me. But with chinese.... I really guess is the same that learn the Klingon's language (if you know Star Trek, you will understand what I mean ;) ) Have a nice day.
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@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Sorry for the delay in responding to this. I just got back into mylot after a long hiatus. I understand the comment about Klingon language. Where are you from? It sounds like you speak many languages. Which one is your first language? Have a great day!