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8 Mistakes To Avoid When Learning Chinese
Communication & Others
Learning Chinese
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Xun Tzu
Learning Chinese is hard, but not too hard.
Especially if you know the mistakes to avoid.
Seven years after taking my first crack at tones, I'm no closer to mastering Chinese than any serious learner of Chinese.  And I've made some pretty stupid mistakes along the way.
Hopefully by reading this you'll avoid some of them.
3 Ways to Learn Chinese Better and Faster
Communication & Others

Learning Chinese isn’t easy, or is it?

No matter how long you’ve studied Chinese, there are efficient and not so efficient ways of tackling the language. Since you are already on such a tough journey, why not take the path with the biggest pot of gold at the end?

Some things are much more important to focus on than others when learning Chinese for use in the real world. Why? Because they are help make learning Chinese faster and more efficient, at least in the long run. Let’s take a look:

3 Things you must focus on to get better in Chinese

Individual Characters
Sentence Order

Thinking about learning Mandarin? Not as difficult as you may think!
Communication & Others

Learning Mandarin

Every Chinese person will tell you that Chinese is incredibly difficult to learn and are totally in shock when they meet a foreigner who is fluent in their own language! Granted, to actually learn to read Chinese – you need to memorize at least 2000 characters – and this will take approximately 2 years of full time study. But to learn Mandarin, to be fluent in the language – I met many foreigners who picked up the language in a year – while studying Mandarin at a local language school and living in China.

I worked with a young British fellow who’s goal was to learn Mandarin during his one year stay in China. He hired some personal tutors for himself and spent many hours teaching himself the language. And, at the end of his year in China, was able to give a speech to the local townspeople – in Mandarin – explaining the differences he found between their local dialect and Mandarin. Pretty impressive! The townspeople were shocked!

Don’t let learning Mandarin scare you. Yes, some of the sounds are unusual and it takes some tongue and jaw practice to get it right. Yes, there are 4 tones to learn in Mandarin and 8 tones to master in Cantonese – but overall – I believe it is much easier to learn to speak Mandarin than it is to learn to speak English. There are no tenses! That cuts out thousands of words and grammar rules you never need to master. And there are no articles (a, the, etc.). And no feminine and masculine to worry about!

Chinese Drinking Etiquette
Communication & Others
Depending on what you are drinking, the drinking rules change. Learn about how different beverages have different etiquette.


Beer is served everywhere. Don’t be surprised when you find minors are drinking. Because it’s not prohibited in China.
If you want cold beer,  be sure you mentioned it to the waitor or waitress.

“Bai jiu” (白酒) tastes like vodka. Be sure not to sniff it before you drink or you might gag. It is made from fermented rice. It tastes pungent. Half of a glass can possible get you drank, if your capacity for liquor is not that well.
Cold drinks are not usually served at restaurants in China. 98% of the time you will have a cup of steaming hot tea. Sometimes people will order a 2-liter of soda, but it us room temperature.

Wine is not as popular in China as it is in the west.
How to Address People in Chinese
Communication & Others

When introducing people in Chinese, the order is surname first, title second.

The Chinese seldom call each other by their full name or last name, unless they are close friends or members of the immediate family. When addressing people, it is common practice to use titles like
    Mr, xiānshēng 先 生
    Mrs, fūren 夫 人
    Miss , xiǎojiě 小 姐.
The title is placed after the first name, thus Miss Zhuo is Zhuó xiǎojiě in Chinese.

Wanna Make local Chinese Friends? Get a QQ Account Now!
Communication & Others


Do you know what China’s most popular IM software is?

altIf your answer is Windows Live Message or whatever except QQ, sorry, you’ve already lost a point with your new found friend, or even worse, you can’t really find a local Chinese friend at all.

It is true that Western-based IMs are also in use in China. However, most of the local Chinese still tend to use Tencents QQ. Checking their QQ messages is their daily routine. QQ is so widely used that among the altyounger generation you're  likely to get someone's QQ number as their mobile number. For foreigners in China and wishing to make friends with local Chinese, QQ account is what you NEED.

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