Tips for Studying Chinese (Part 2)
Make A Deliberate Effort To Learn
With deliberate and repeated effort almost anything can be mastered, including learning how to speak Chinese.
There are tools all around you that can aid in improving your knowledge of the language.
While buying translation dictionaries are of some value, they often only give a sample taste of the Chinese experience. In addition to learning from dictionaries and translation manuscripts, visit museums and experience theaters, and local events.
Also, become acquainted with local travel guides, as well as make friends with bilingual individuals, for they both share the desire to spread their vast knowledge.
An underrated tip would be to watch classic Chinese movies, and documentaries. Try watching without subtitles. As you watch and listen, try to get a intuitive feel for what is being said. Study the facial expressions of the characters in the movies, and place yourself in the very spirit of the film.
Embrace Mistakes. Feel Comfortable With Mispronunciation And Grammatical Errors
As humans, we are prone to move away from discomfort, and towards pleasure and security.
The idea of making mistakes and being ridiculed by others makes us afraid to try new things. Just as whenever we would fall off our bikes as children, and keep on riding, we must take the same attitude towards learning Chinese. Despite your fears of not being able to get the 'perfect' accent, or being able to correctly pronounce a few words, you will be surprised to know that there are people who truly acknowledge your efforts and feel honored that you desire to share their language and culture.
Talk To Strangers
Despite the social conditioning that states you should never talk to strangers, strangers can serve as potential friends, companions, and teachers. Simply stopping to say hello to a stranger, telling them about your desire to learn their language and attempting to engage in brief conversation can be of tremendous value when learning Chinese. Next time you see someone you find intriguing or are simply in a conversational mood, go over and say hello, you will be amazed at the difference it makes.