I've helped people start to learn Chinese before but rather than just do it one-to-one all the time, I've made videos with my Chinese friend so anyone can use them.
If you were to do the first 10 videos, which last about one hour, you would be about 20% towards A1 level.
Italki won't let me tell you where to find them, so if interested, send me a message.
Below are answers to reasons why you might be thinking of not starting. Just watch the first video and do the translations and I'm sure you'll be able to do it and want to continue. :)
Chinese is too difficult.
Just try the first video and do the translations. I'm sure you'll be able to do it and continue watching more videos. Chinese grammar is pretty easy really.
The writing is too difficult.
You probably don't even need to learn to write, but if you do want to, it can help with reading. Writing is only tested in exams at B1 level and if you did want to learn to write, I suggest you start later when you have a big enough vocabulary to understand how writing all works.
The pronunciation is too difficult.
Perhaps, but most of the sounds are used in English so if you can speak English, you'll probably be OK with Chinese. Even if you do struggle with some sounds at the beginning, the beautiful thing with pinyin is that these sounds will keep appearing, so you can always come back to them to improve your pronunciation later.
I don't want to just watch videos. I want to learn how to use Chinese.
That's why in each video we give you opportunities to translate from Chinese to English and English to Chinese, so you can see how the words taught are used and try making sentences yourself.
I don't want to start a course that doesn't have much content.
So far we have over 10 videos and will continue to add a new lesson every two days.
I don't want to forget the vocabulary taught.
We keep track of every word taught to make sure it keeps appearing in future lessons, so you don't need to worry about learning something and never seeing it again.
Why don't you start with "hello"?
Interjections are added in every tenth lesson which is also where you will find dialogues to see how Chinese is used in conversations. We wanted to start you with making sentences and Chinese grammar. Once you finish the first 10 videos, you'll know the basics.
If you use or have used the videos, let everyone know what you think below. :D
Ah, what you are offering is FREE! Why didn't you say so?!!!! Did you say that anywhere and I missed it?
That's very different actually. People post links to free things all the time like youtube links.
Your discussion is probably still here because you are not charging anything.
Why are you unable to just post your link to your videos here? Why do people have to contact you directly? People post links to other free sites and youtube videos all the time. All you have to do is type it out.
This was a misunderstanding. There have been many people trying to sell things here and I'm very happy to hear that you aren't. Do you understand my confusion?
If you can't type out a link for some very strange unknown reason but are just trying to direct people to free videos on youtube??? on how to learn Chinese, I'd be interested in seeing them.
It doesn't matter if people here use Skype or not and it doesn't matter that the book club is here. People can comment here on your book club and people can post notebook entries here with their Chinese translations from my lessons. People can leave italki to learn on Skype or leave to learn on YouTube.
What I am doing is offering something for free to promote language learning. Hopefully get people interested in learning a language where they might have thought against it before. People will still want to use teachers to get speaking practice. My videos are nothing more than equivalent to the books the teachers use (some come with CD's, you know).
Your Skype group, on the other hand, would give people opportunities to improve their listening/speaking, and I believe make people here less likely to use italki's teachers.
And regarding this "ad", you can post stuff like this on italki sometimes. Italki is very inconsistent and there are similar discussions that are very popular which haven't been removed for some reason. Also, anytime people tell us about websites they can use to learn a language (memrise, fluentu, etc.), this is also advertising and taking people away from italki. I guess people view those posts differently, though.
... says the person who runs a book club and wants to steal people onto Skype.
Italki won't let you tell us because you are selling something that competes here. There are teachers that work here that are trying to make a living.
This is in really bad taste. People seem to be doing this a lot lately. You try to steal as many students as you can before italki closes down the conversation.
What, you can't find any other place to advertise?
You state "Chinese is easier than you think. Try it." Then you say the following to back it up:
1) The grammar is easy.
From the standpoint of a native english speaker, I agree with this. But time-wise, it's a very insignificant part of learning the language.
2) You probably don't even need to learn to write, but if you do want to, it can help with reading. Writing is only tested in exams at B1 level....
What does testing have to do with anything? And there are no CEFR tests, meaning no B1 tests for Chinese anyway. You are trying to prove Chinese is easy by saying you don't need to learn characters. With advice like this, good luck on reaching any decent level.
3) Most of the sounds are used in English so if you can speak English, you'll probably be OK with Chinese.
You have avoided the main issue. Tones are what cause most learners problems.
Anyway, I think it's great that you are offering free material for learners. I'm just annoyed at people who try to gain fame by convincing others that a given language is easy. Just tell people the truth. Give them the facts. Let them decide if it's easy or not.