By: Kelly Chen
A Break Diver in Texas, USA
As everyone knows, more and more people want to learn Chinese these days, and Chinese is considered an international language.
But because of the complex structure of Chinese characters, the pronunciation that is very different from other languages, and since Chinese is also a difficult language to learn, it’s quite a challenge to get started.
When you first start learning Chinese, you will feel that every word in Chinese seems to be different: they are all shaped like squares, and their meaning is often beyond your expectation. Further, the different tones are unique characteristics of Chinese, with peculiar pronunciation phenomenons like retroflex and *Er Hua Yin that require constant practice to master.
Therefore, the first steps on the road to master Chinese will not be smooth and easy. There will be some obstacles and hardships along the way. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start!
You must simply have a determined mind to overcome these difficulties.
As long as you help yourself to clearing a path, you will slowly find that the path will go more and more smoothly, and you will go further and further.
I grew up in China since I was young and studied Chinese since birth, so I have a solid foundation. But even now, I constantly spend time reading books to increase my vocabulary, grammar, and understanding.
If you don’t like reading some boring textbooks, you can try reading some interesting articles about China’s culture, history, festivals, etc. I like to read some idiom stories so that I can practice reading comprehension and learn idioms.
With practice, you can learn Chinese. Do not give up. And… join Break Diving. We can all help you improve your Chinese there!
*Er Hua Yin (儿话音) – For example, when pronouncing “小孩儿” （little children）, you say, [xiao h-er], instead of [xiao hai er]. The character “儿” is usually placed at the end of the phrase, and the stress of the phrase is usually placed on the syllable in front of “er”.
About the Author: My name is Kelly Chen. I’m currently a high school senior and one of the staff members at Break Diving. While I love solving puzzles and innovating, I also love colors and creativity. I was born in Texas but raised in China and lived there for 11 years, and Chinese was my first language, then I moved to Texas in 6th Grade.
Photo by Cherry Lin on Unsplash
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