"You're learning Mandarin? Isn't that, like, the hardest language ever? I could never learn Chinese."

 

 

Have you heard people talk about how difficult it is to learn Mandarin? 

 

Maybe you've had those thoughts too. There are millions of people learning Chinese today, and there are even more that gave up before they ever got started. Mandarin can seem like an unclimbable mountain.

 

Here at Mandarin House, we try to take the stigma out of learning Chinese. It's tough, we're not going to lie. But we'd wager a bet that learning this beautiful language is easier than many think. 

 

Let's debunk some Mandarin myths!

 

 Myth: Chinese is super complicated.

 Truth: Chinese is super logical and wonderfully simple!

 

Do you remember learning all of those tenses in French or Spanish class? Say goodbye to verb tenses. Chinese is amazingly literal. Just say what happened and when. It's that easy.

 

 

Vocabulary is also very logical. Chinese is structured like a block tower. If you know the basics, you can easily guess the meaning of a word you've never seen before. Speaking of vocabulary...

 

 Myth: There are so many characters to memorize.

 Truth: Everyday Chinese is only composed of a few hundred characters.

 

While it's true that there are more than 50000 characters out there, you don't need them all. In fact, most basic conversation consists of about 300 characters. That's more like it!

 

Think of your native language. Do you know all its words? If you're a native English speaker, there are about 170000 words in your mother tongue. Ouch! But with 2500 words, you can understand 90% of everyday conversation. 

 

What's the point? Don't get lost in a sea of characters. Just focus on the few hundred that you need. You've got this!

 

 Myth: Tones are impossible!

 Truth: When taught correctly, tones are a piece of cake.

 

Much of this myth has to do with old-fashioned ways of teaching tones. 

 

Students used to sit in classrooms, mindlessly parroting individual syllables with the four different tones until those tones were drilled into the poor students' brains. Taught in isolation, tones can be a bit painful.

 

 

But with the right teacher and method, tones don't have to be a drag. Don't stress out about tones. Practice tones in phrases and sentences.

 

You'll begin to get the hang of the music of Mandarin. Just like any catchy song, it'll get stuck in your head. You'll be humming your way to fluency in no time!

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