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Aug 23

Learn Chinese in 5 Minutes

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Learn Chinese in 5 Minutes

To learn Chinese in 5 minutes seems impossible, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! You can learn some very basic, but incredibly useful vocabulary in a matter of just minutes! Just understand that until you’ve fully understood the basic principles in being easy to learn Chinese, you will not have long-lasting success. (If you haven’t yet, you should click on the link above to see what you’re missing).

Learn Chinese in 5 Minutes via a Brief Video

Watching a brief video will get you started, but it’s the fundamentals found in the link in the first paragraph above that will keep you on the path to success!

“Ní hăo!”

(Pronounced “Knee How” [with tones you have probably not yet learned], literally means, “You good!” This standard greeting typifies the cultural expectation to keep things positive when conversing with others. Your value is estimated by first-time acquaintances based on how you make others feel around you. Keeping the conversation positive is a sure way to be highly regarded.)

We’ll look first at the sound so that we can explore the tones and their movement. Then, we’ll rinse and repeat until you’ve gone over it so many times that it just comes naturally for you to repeat it.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the literal meaning of the phrase in order to grasp the idea or concept behind the words. (This is always a good practice in listening to Chinese. Don’t take things at face value. Explore the meaning behind what one is saying).

 

Learn Chinese in 5 Minutes by Being an Active Listener

By the way, just for your reference, it is expected that the listener be the active communicator in the conversation. I don’t mean that you must actively respond—far from it! Often the listener will give no response at all while you are talking, but the wheels in the mind of the listener should be spinning so fast as to pick up on any hints that were dropped. Conversations often take place in terms of generalities, so you must always be consciously alert to what the speaker is saying. What they are verbally saying is not as important as the intent of (or motivation for) what is being said.

Granted, this will initially drive the native English speaker crazy! The orator is actually expected to speak in generalities while it is instead the JOB of the listener to correctly interpret the intent of what was said! As a general rule of thumb, I would advise playing out in your mind a few different scenarios as to why something was said.

Before making any decisions, rehearse these scenarios before a dear friend (who better understands the culture) before making any moves whatsoever. It will be your responsibility as the listener to guess what was really being said. If you did not get the signal, it is considered your fault, not the fault of the speaker. The bearer of the burden in the conversation is always the listener.

This is a HUGE shift in communication style, so be prepared for it! To learn Chinese in 5 minutes, you only need focused attention, but to understand the culture, you will need a lifetime of learning!

Learn Chinese in 5 Minutes

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Learn Chinese with Ease