Have you always been fascinated by the Chinese language but never thought it was something you could master? Or maybe you’d like to learn the language to help you in your professional career.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn Chinese, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s a lot easier than most people think.
Many assume that the language is difficult to learn because the characters that make up the language appear strange, especially to someone used to western languages.
But the reality is that once you start to understand how words are constructed and the logic behind them, it starts to get a lot easier.
To illustrate just how easy and intuitive the language is once you start to get the hang of it, here are five words to get you started on your journey to fluency in Mandarin – the standard and official form of Chinese.
Trees, woods and forests
The first word we’re going to learn is ‘tree’. With some imagination, you can easily see how the character resembles a tree.
If one meant to refer to a woodland rather than a single tree the character used resembles two trees standing next to each other.
The character for forest goes one further and looks like a cluster of three threes.
The logic here is simple. A forest is larger than a woodland, which is, in turn, larger than a single tree. Simple right?
Fire and burning
Okay, let’s try another. How about fire?
Much like tree before it, the character for fire looks a bit like a flame.
As was the case with tree and woods, the character for burning builds on that for fire.
In fact, the character for burning is the character for woods above the character for fire.
How you can speak fluent Chinese in just three years
While it takes some getting used to, the language is not as difficult as one would think. The Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Malta, working in collaboration with the Confucius Institute, offers robust degree and diploma programmes that will have you speaking fluent Mandarin in no time.
In fact, you’re pretty much guaranteed to go from novice to fluent speaker in about three years.
With China’s influence in the world increasingly growing, both in the political and the economic spheres, learning Chinese will not only open up a whole new world of culture and information, but it will also set you up to make the most out of the various professional opportunities knowledge of the language presents.
Share this with someone that loves learning languages