10 Reasons Why Learning Mandarin Chinese Is Easier Than You Might Think

Mandarin Chinese is simpler to learn than you would imagine. While Chinese has unique features that might be regarded as difficult in some way, there are also many factors that make learning Chinese easy.

1  Pinyin: Using the Latin Alphabet while learning Chinese!

Pinyin is the standard way to turn Chinese characters into romanized words. It is a massive help for people learning Chinese. In this digital age, one great thing about pinyin is that you can type it into your computer, and it will suggest characters. This means you can text or email in Chinese without learning the strokes of each character. Practicing to type Chinese is an effective way of improving your Chinese.

2  The construction of Chinese words is logical

Words, i.e., characters put together, contain much more meaning than characters. They are created in a way that is often obvious or at least understandable to a student.

People often think that learning Chinese means memorizing three to four thousand characters that have nothing to do with each other. This makes the language seem impossible to understand. This viewpoint is not accurate at all. Learning one character gives you access to a world of other characters that make sense together.

For example, if you know the Chinese character for electricity, diàn 电, you will immediately have easier access to a large variety of words:

1. diàn huà 电话   phone

diàn  electric 

huà   speech, what is spoken

2. diàn nǎo 电脑 – PC, computer

diàn  electric 

nǎo 脑  brain

Another example is the word for Monday is xīng qi yī 星期一, where xīng qi 星期 is week and yī 一. So you end up with “week one”. Tuesday in Chinese is xīng qi èr 星期二, where xīng qi 星期 is week, and èr 二 is two, week two, etc. It is logical as it follows the order of the days in the week.

For months you use the number one to twelve plus yuè 月. For example, if you put yī 一 one and yuè 月 month together,  you get yī yuè 一月 January. For February it is èr 二 or two and then yuè 月 month.

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3  Perceived difficulty turns out to be an advantage!

In a way, the fact that many consider the Chinese language hard to learn is an advantage. When Chinese people find out you are trying to learn their language, they are almost always eager to help you. Compare this to a foreigner not trying to learn Chinese.

Do also remember that people in China are very proud of their long-lasting culture and unique language. The extra step you have taken compared to many foreigners is your advantage when you are in China.

4  You do not necessarily have to use plurals for Chinese nouns

When you learn one Chinese noun, you should learn that nouns can be used singular or plural. There are ways to emphasize plurality, but this is not something you will need to do when using Chinese nouns.

5  The Chinese nouns do not have grammatical genders

In contrast to Latin languages, nouns do not have grammatical genders. You don’t have to learn if a car is male or female.

In many languages, grammatical gender is a crucial consideration also think that genders and the rules that accompany grammatical gender are challenging.

Chinese words also don’t change based on what they are used for. 10 Reasons Why Learning Mandarin Chinese Is Easier Than You Might ThinkChinese words are written the same way, whether the subject or the object of a clause. Most of the time, a word’s role in a sentence looks the same.

6  Chinese doesn’t have words with a lot of syllables

English will have words that are very long and made up of a lot of smaller parts. This is not how the Chinese language is. Most words in Chinese have only one or two. So, most Chinese words only have one or two syllables.

7  There’s no need for articles like ‘a,’ ‘an’, ‘the’, ‘das’, ‘der’ , ‘die’ etc.

In Chinese, there are no words for articles like this.

8  In Mandarin Chinese, there are no tenses.

Chinese verbs do not change forms or conjugate. For example:

Tāmen shì 他们是  They are

Tā shì 他是  He is

Wǒ shì 我是  am

Learning Mandarin grammar is relatively simple when it comes to verb conjugation. Chinese doesn’t make the same distinctions between yesterday, today, and tomorrow as a language as English does. Most of the time, instead of altering the sentence’s structure, it is conveyed by a word expressing when something occurs or the activity is finished. Students that learn Chinese Mandarin find that the verbs themselves don’t take on a different form depending on when something happens.

9  Chinese words make sense and are easy to understand

If you know Greek or Latin, you might be able to see the roots of words in European languages. But if you look at a random sentence, you can’t expect to understand how each word is put together. In Chinese, you actually can do that. This has some significant advantages.

Let’s look at one advanced vocabulary that is easy to learn in Chinese but hard in English. For example, ‘meralgia paresthetica’. This Meralgia paresthetica is a disorder characterized by tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh. 1

The Chinese word for this is straightforward, gǎnjué yìcháng xìng gǔtòng 感觉异常股痛: A: gǎnjué 感觉 to feel B: yìcháng xìng 异常性 abnormal C: gǔ tòng 股痛 pain in the thigh. If you didn’t know what this word meant after reading it in its original name, it was probably easier after reading the literal translation of the Chinese words.

10 Few words are needed to get by in Chinese

Most adults who speak English as their first language know between 20,000 and 35,000 words. It is believed that if you know the 500 most common Chinese characters, you can read about 75% of modern Chinese. Studies done in China have shown that most Chinese newspapers and magazines use 3,500 basic characters.2

The reason fewer words are needed to get by Chinese relates back to the way the Chinese language is constructed: Basic characters make up new words. As we showed by the example of ‘meralgia parenthetical.  Do you know the meaning of this word? The Chinese word for this contains common, simpler words put together,  A: gǎnjué 感觉 to feel B: yìcháng xìng 异常性 abnormal C: gǔ tòng 股痛 pain in the thigh.

Because fundamental Chinese characters in modern Chinese are used to construct new character combinations and new words, it is easier to be fluent in Chinese. Take for example loanwords, Chinese words originating from other languages. China has gotten international, and more loanwords are used than before. Loanwords are typically constructed from basic Chinese characters and exemplify why the number of most common Chinese characters has reduced and will continue to reduce.

Learn more Chinese at the Chinese Summer Camp 2022

We at LC Chinese School are hosting a Summer Camp Program, tailored and designed to the needs of young students. With the LC Chinese School, Summer Camp Program students will study the language for 2 hours a day Monday to Friday, followed by a 1.5-hour Fun Class.

The LC Chinese School Summer Camp Program is open for children from 7 to 17 years of age

The program’s goal is to assist them in learning the language so that they can communicate in Chinese in everyday situations. In the program we emphasize language development through the study of grammar and vocabulary, as well as engaging in fun activities. You can read more about the Summer Camp 2022 here.


Do you want to learn more Mandarin Chinese or know someone who wants to?

If you want to learn Mandarin Chinese, feel free to REGISTER FOR A TRIAL CLASS HERE or send us an email: info@lcchineseschool

We offer private lessons and group classes at all levels, HSK 1-6, children, adults, and business. All Mandarin Chinese classes are offered either in classrooms or online.

Do you know anyone who wants to learn Chinese? We will give you 500 US dollars as a bonus as a part of our program “Refer a friend – get $ 500” if your friend or others you introduce to us start taking Chinese classes at our school. Register here if this is interesting for you

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