Guest Post: Three ways to learn Mandarin Chinese effectively

Today I have another guest post by Learn Mandarin Now.  It is not the first one by them and you might remember for example the infographic about the Top 10 Ways To Learn Mandarin Chinese or the Mandarin Phrases and Traditions for New Year. So here you go and I hope some of these tips might help in your studies.


With more people around the world planning to learn Mandarin Chinese, people are frequently asking for advice on better ways to learn the language.  To help more people improve their fluency in Mandarin Chinese, we are always looking for ways to bring you new ideas, suggestions. Today, we’ve put together three tips to help:

  1. Making the most of immersion learning

Learn Mandarin Now_1


If you really want to learn Chinese fast, going to live in China to learn Chinese can be highly effective.  A common question from many who are considering immersing themselves in Chinese culture to improve their language skills is how to make the most of time spent in the country?


Travel to a second tier city

This is becoming one of the more popular pieces of advice from many students of Mandarin Chinese.

We’ve talked with a number of foreigners who have lived in Chengdu, and they will tell you there are more opportunities to practice speaking Chinese in an area like this compared with being in a first tier city.  Larger cities are great for sight seeing, but people in big cities are more likely to know at least a bit of English.  Besides this, the cost of living is significantly lower in second tier cities.

If you enjoy spicy Chinese food, you’ll enjoy some great Chinese cuisine in Chengdu as well.


  1. Getting the most out of time with a tutor

Learn Mandarin Now_Tutor


If you aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into Chinese immersion, many students agree that one on one tutoring is more effective than learning in a classroom.  It’s also more fun to find a teacher that you really click with.  But what can you do to get the most out of your time with a tutor?

  • Ask for feedback

If you’re talking a lot in the lesson and your tutor is just smiling and agreeing with what you are saying, then maybe something is wrong.

Be sure to stop and ask your tutor questions about what you’re saying.  You might ask if there’s a better way to say something, or if the way you’re saying it sounds awkward.  You might also ask if there is anything else you need to know on the topic.

Feedback is where your tutor can provide you the most value and is crucial if you want to improve.

  • Try to use other tutors occasionally

If you have only one or two tutors, you only get one or two approaches to the language, and only one or two ways of advising you and correcting your use of the language.  If you can seek out different people to work with, at least occasionally, then you get exposed to a variety of accents and ways of using the language.  Sometimes, one tutor may disagree with another.  Don’t let this confuse you, just remember there are many ways to speak a language, especially if the people you talk with are from different areas.


  1. Choosing helpful learning resources

Learn Mandarin Now_2


There are many different ways to successfully learn Mandarin.  Besides classes, tutors, and immersion, there are also books, audio files, websites, and learning apps.

What works for some people may not be going to work for others, and there is no tool or resource that is guaranteed to work for every student. The best piece of advice is to try lots of different things, use what works, and ignore what doesn’t.  If you are just starting your learning adventure, take a look at our research about how to learn Chinese for a great list of resources. You will find that it is not always necessary to spend a lot of money to learn Mandarin Chinese. In fact, many of those resources are free.


Again many thanks to Timo for letting us to share this with you! We believe the tips will help you learn how to speak Chinese more effectively. Feel free to visit our site to get more advice from others who have been where you are now.
Happy learning!


Have you tried any of these methods already?

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16 thoughts on “Guest Post: Three ways to learn Mandarin Chinese effectively”

  1. I think that these tips are useful for learning any language! Then, just practice practice practice to improve your fluency. Thanks for the tips ^^

    1. True, this tips work for any language however there are many people who try it the very hard way you just relying on books and not really getting into contact with native speakers. It surely can work too but will take ages (except you are some kind of genius that is)

      1. If you just rely on books, your pronunciation may be off, and it’s harder to pick up on native speech, so it’s really a good idea to practice with native speakers.

  2. I think we all theoretically know how to learn a language. These three tips are essential, but must of all it is necessary to study every day, although it can be tiring or boring sometimes.

    As for me it was quite hard to study Japanese writing and speaking at the same time. I couldn’t improve as fast as I wanted. It would have helped of I only started with the colloquial part first, and only start go learn how to write later on.

    1. The essential of learning any language is to sit down every single day and study but often the studying experience will only start to kick off when starting to communicate with native/ being in an environment with natives.
      My problem has been always that I never felt confident enough to communicate with natives and thus delaying all study efforts for a long time. Come to think of, I ve been miserable in English until the last two years of high school…

  3. That’s some great advice, not only for learning Chinese, but for learning all kinds of languages. I’m thinking of learning Thai, as I’ve been to Thailand so many times, it’s almost embarrassing that I don’t speak the language:)

    1. Yes, these tips are generally good for learning any language. For some countries the whole immersion thing might not work out as you want such in Scandinavia as too many people will just start speaking English to you instead of their native language (at least this is what I experienced in Finland and Sweden)

  4. This post is full of information, which is valid for learning any language. I have been learning Portuguese now two years. I started at courses, then searching local news from Brazil from internet newspapers. At first, it was difficult, but comparing news from my own country with those from Brazil, I started to understand more and more. Next phase was looking at local television. Soap operas are easy to watch and understand. This year I have read three books in Portuguese using dictionary. It has not been easy, because there are so many new words. All this requires hard perseverance.

    My multilingual blog helps me more and more, because I need to find new words, searching correct grammar and verb forms. So this is my way to learn new language. Comparing this method to living in a country is hard. For example, I learned Spanish, like a child, in four and half months when working in Spain.

    1. Wow your make quick progress when it comes to learning languages. Makes me kind of envious as I had always troubles learning another language (I was terrible in school in English classes …)
      But yes what you describe is a very good way as you have to push yourself each time a bit further and find new words, new sentences and improve by hearing the language

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