Yamin Zhang (Peter)
Professional Teacher
Learning Article : Learn How To Really Speak Chinese

Discuss the Article : Learn How To Really Speak Chinese

<a href='/article/81/learn-how-to-really-speak-chinese' target='_blank'>Learn How To Really Speak Chinese</a>

After having taught foreigners to speak Chinese for more than five years, I have met many learners who come to me who have been taking Chinese lessons for a long time, but still can’t communicate in Chinese at all correctly. So, how can Chinese students learn to speak good Chinese?

Apr 22, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 11

Dear Alister,

Thank you for your further questions.
RFrith has answered your questions very well. Here are a few examples to add.

xie2 鞋 ( Mandarin ) hai2zi 孩子 (Sichuan dialect )
qu2 diao4 渠道 (Mandarin) guan3diao4 管道 (Taiwan dialect )

As for grammar,
我先走。 (Mandarin) 我行先。( Cantonese, adverbs after verbs )
你吃饭了吗? (Mandarin ) 侬饭吃过勿?(Shanghai dialect, nouns as objects
before verbs )
In terms of pronunciation,
Hu2 湖 (Mandarin ) Wu2 湖 (Cantonese )
pao3 跑 (Mandarin ) bo2 跑 (Shanghai dialect)

Above is only a tiny part of the difference between Mandarin and dialects, as examples.


August 18, 2014

Thank you for your article, Peter.  After your introduction, your first piece of advice is the following:

"Start by finding a professional teacher who speaks standard, native Chinese."


This raises three questions.


First, what exactly is "standard, native Chinese"?  Do you mean a Chinese person who speaks Mandarin using a northern accent?  Or do you mean something else?


Second, how can a native English person identify a teacher who speaks "standard, native Chinese"?  Almost every teacher writes that he or she speaks standard Chinese.  What questions can a student ask? For what sounds should a student listen?


Third, what is the harm in learning non-standard Chinese?  I don't mean a non-standard, region-specific dialect.  I mean, if the northern accent is the 'standard', what harm is there in learning the southern accent?


Thank you for any further advice you are able to share.

August 18, 2014

Great article, Peter!  Any chance of writing another article on how to improve your listening ability?

April 23, 2014

Absolutely, Andy.

August 20, 2014

i am an Chinese,in my opinion,just like learning  a aonther language you just need spaeking at everytime  and don't be shy,in this way your oral Chinese must be improved,that's my ideal,thanks

August 19, 2014
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Yamin Zhang (Peter)
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Russian
Learning Language
French, Russian