Chinese: 5 skills to speak well

Get good habits and speak Chinese well as soon as you start to learn it.

Here are the 5 skills you need to master for each Chinese word:

Character – Characters are composed of several strokes put in a specific place and written in a specific order. Write them every day and they will never get out of your mind.

Pinyin – What is Chinese pinyin? When you read a character, it does not tell you how to pronounce it. Pinyin is the phonetic transcription that helps you to do so. For example, the character , that means “family”, but to learn how to pronounce this word, you need to read it in pinyin: Jiā.

Tone – Every word in Chinese has a tone. There are 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese. The tones are crucial as they change the meaning of the word, whether you pronounce it with the 1st tone, the 2nd tone, the 3rd tone or the 4st tone. When you speak Chinese, the intonation of the voice indicates the tone to you.

Pronunciation – As for every language, Chinese words have a specific pronunciation. The pronunciation can be very close to other words. Some words can have similar pronunciation. But if you distinguish them clearly while pronouncing them, your Chinese will sound like a native.

Translation in your language – Memorizing vocabulary takes time. But if you get involved in learning Chinese and work on it regularly, it becomes an easy game to play. You can use tools such as PLECO app and memorize the words you have learnt using flashcards.

In a nutshell, when learning new words, make sure you can:

-write them

-read their pinyin

-say them with the right tone

-pronounce them well

-know the meaning