At Inchin Closer, we’ve been teaching Mandarin for more than 13 years. We often get quizzical looks from people who want to learn spoken Chinese language. Mostly to communicate easily and effectively with their Chinese clients. However they perceive the Chinese language to be very difficult and challenging to learn. We’ve also had many students who want to learn spoken Chinese language in order to take up a personal challenge!
To all these questions, quizzical looks and fear based on the unknown, we have one answer –
Mandarin or Chinese language as its simplistically called isn’t difficult, rather it’s a very simple logical language. In fact, Mandarin is much easier than learning English as a second language!
Yes! Thats true, once you get over the initial roadblock on getting in tune with the four tones, Mandarin’s grammar is super simple. There are no exceptions to the rule unlike English, nor are there silent letters, complications in spellings or complicated phrases! Additionally, Mandarin doesn’t have any unnecessary articles, verb inflections or plurals. Objects are not divided into male and female (like in Hindi, or French or German) leaving learning confused about which gender a chair is.
Mandarin grammar is super simple, there are no exceptions to the rules. Further once you learn the logic behind writing Mandarin characters, the strokes just flow seamlessly, creating reams of picturesque sounds each with their unique meanings.
Most people think Mandarin is difficult because the script is different
Yes, this is true, Mandarin doesn’t have an alphabet and so each character initially needs to be memorised. However once you get the hang of it, the image of each character gets sealed in your brain with its own unique sound. This creates a beautiful harmonious bond which helps you to build vocabulary, express yourself more freely.
Tuning into Tones
Let’s be honest, how many languages have you learnt that have tones? Most of the foreign languages, we learn like Spanish or German, have no tones. If Mandarin is the first language you do learn that has tones, it might take a little while to get used to it in the beginning. But with the right teachers, coaching and constant listening and speaking practice speaking in tones will be easy.
Thai, Vietnamese and Lao are few of the Asian languages that have tones. While Mandarin has only 4 tones. Thai has 9! Listening to Chinese really helps in learning the tones quickly. At Inchin Closer we do a lot of listening exercises to make sure our students are first able to clearly hear the difference between tones. For it’s only when you are able to hear the difference will you be able to reproduce the correct tones yourself!
Indians have a secret advantage
Most Indian languages are very phonetic, this means that we have different sounds for प and फ or क and ख, which English doesn’t have. The depth of sounds and variety to which our vocal chords can move gives Indians a unique advantage in learning languages. At Inchin Closer. we were so excited about this phenomenal phonetic advantage that we have pegged each Mandarin sound with its equivalent in Hindi. This enables all our students to quickly learn Mandarin sounds because they are already familiar with the hindi sounds.
So the next time you think that Chinese language is difficult to learn , think again. There’s a reason why so many people don’t speak English correctly, but all Chinese speakers will speak Mandarin in the same way! Also as an Indian remember you have a special superpower to help you learn Mandarin.
Inchin Closer regularly starts HSK Mandarin classes both offline and online. Check out our page to learn more about upcoming classes for all HSK levels. All Inchin Closer classes are taught by native Chinese professionals who speak fluent English. This ensures you learn authentic Chinese and also learn about the culture and business etiquette.