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Learning Chinese Online – 5 Myths that you must know
Posted by : Parth  [Monday, September 28, 2009]

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Many people think of Chinese as some sort of a mystical, ungraspable language learning which is not too dissimilar from walking on fire. While it is true that the commonly used forms – Mandarin and Cantonese have many thousands of characters which must be mastered before you can even gain a semblance of fluency, understanding the language enough so that you may get your idea through is not that hard. Here a few of the myths surrounding learning Chinese:

You need to learn 40,000 characters just to say “hi”: If you are laughing at this good for you, if you did not – laugh because no language is this hard. Granted Mandarin has a lot of learning involved but just to get along with fellow students you only need to learn a few words, not even the characters. Most people who are forced to consider learning another language do so either because their classmates are foreign and/or because they are in a foreign country and they usually get along by learning the words straight without focusing on the characters, alphabets etc. Of course the earlier you start the better.

One can only learn Chinese from the Chinese: Although this might have been true some 30 years back more than enough avenues have opened up these days. In fact there are a host of websites offering tutoring coaching services for almost all the major languages in the world.

Just listening is enough: No, Chinese or any other language for that matter demands that you practice it both verbally and on paper. In Chinese it is specially required that you practice as much as you can as Mandarin is especially almost musical in its tonal nature.

Mandarin is the hardest language in the World! A language is as hard as the instructor makes it. Secondly, your learning style has a great impact on whatever you learn. Also you need to determine the pace at which the language is being taught as building a base is paramount.

There is a language called Chinese: Although I have repeatedly used the word throughout this essay, let me clarify just for the heck of it that there is no such language. Surprised? Well actually there are 2 main dominant languages in China – Mandarin and Cantonese and then some minor languages. Mandarin is spoken through-out main land China while Cantonese is spoken in mainland China, Hong kong, Macau etc. Mandarin has acquired world wide fame these days and is typically what all the hype surrounding Chinese is all about.

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