How long will it take to learn Chinese in China?
- written by: Cintia Morello
Of all the places you can learn Chinese, there’s no doubt that learning it in the traditional land of origin where it’s spoken as the official language (with an unbeatable natural flair, mind you), is the best place to be for it. In China, you will find a stimulating environment to start your incredible journey of mastering this rich and colorful language. The road to learning the Chinese language isn’t necessarily a long one, and when you’re in China, you’ll be able to get the hang of it even more quickly than you think.
For a person with an average language learning aptitude, it can take a good couple of years to progress from beginner to gaining fluency in the language. Being in China to learn the language certainly has its advantages, and will no doubt, make the learning experience much easier and more enjoyable.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s the place to go if you want to learn Chinese:
1. Learn everywhere
Learning Chinese in China means that your development of the language will definitely extend beyond the textbook or classroom. In fact, anywhere you go or step out, you can expect to get a lesson in Chinese – because that’s the language that’s spoken by the people living there of course. You’re able to sit down and apply yourself in learning the language, and then go out then and practice in real life. Day to day interactions, from going to the markets, taking transport or visiting local attractions, will give you the opportunity to try out the language with the locals.
2. Consolidate your language skills
Being in China is really the best way to learn and consolidate your language skills – by immersing yourself in the language and picking up verbal skills and expressions from the streets. Plus, you get real time feedback from the locals – if they understand what you’re saying, that’s a good sign! (But don’t be put off if they show confused faces – that’s definitely part of the learning process too – you get to go back and find out what you actually said to them!)
3. Learn from the best
In China, you can rest assured that you’ll be taught by teachers well skilled in the language. Everyone in the country speaks the language, (so in a way, everyone’s an expert), then that makes the teachers even more exceptional. You can get taught the traditional language in a classroom environment with teachers who will be able to accommodate your language learning every step of the way. The Chinese language teaching you get will have a thorough and authentic approach, and will provide you with a quality learning experience that you won’t get anywhere else.
4. Experience the culture
You will also be able to experience the amazing culture of the country while learning the language. You can get to know the Chinese people, their traditions and customs, and something as basic but so interesting as what daily life is like in different parts of the country. The names of food, festivals and places are all in Chinese. You can learn Chinese while discovering the culture – they go hand in hand.
5. Explore China
Now that we’ve established that learning can also take place outside the classroom and basically anywhere, that’s the perfect excuse to explore the country and discover its many attractions and activities.
A great place to learn Chinese is Changchun of the Jilin Province, which also happens to be home to a myriad of interesting sites. Changchun houses one of the three remaining imperial palaces of the country, and it’s called the Puppet Manchurian Palace Museum.
If you’re an avid nature lover, then the Diaoshuihu Scenic Area has incredible caves, mountains, forests and the Diaoshuihu Waterfall that is needless to say, a worthwhile place to visit. Apart from Changchun, another great destination for learning Chinese is Harbin in the Heilongjiang Province. Harbin’s ice and snow are famous, with its epic Ice and Snow World, as well as exciting festivals such as the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and the Ice Lantern Garden Tea Party. There’s much more to do in China of course, and if you’re focused in one place to learn, you can still go to other places to explore.
Being in the land where it was first spoken, and is spoken best, will be a constant motivation to learn Chinese. It will have you from knowing the basics to being fluent in the language in a shorter time than you would if you learnt it elsewhere. The learning experience is practical and immersive from day one during your time in China, where you get to communicate with the locals and improve your language skills day by day, and enjoy yourself with the culture and places while your’e at it.