Learning Chinese in Hong Kong
- Jul 30, 2014
Many foreigners visit Hong Kong each year. It is beneficial to have a basic knowledge of Chinese language for those willing to stay there for a long duration. Hong Kong is an exciting location for international students willing to further their education. Everyone visiting the country for different reasons will agree that learning Chinese will help, but is it absolutely necessary?
Living in Hong Kong without the knowledge of Chinese language
In Hong Kong, there are several restaurants and hotels where staff speaks English. But, in the local restaurants or markets you are going to encounter problems because of the language barrier. While renting an apartment or performing your daily activities communication barrier can pose a real problem. Learning the language will save you the effort.
If want to learn the language quickly here are a few important tips to bear in mind.
Never try to get your grammar rules correct
You are just trying to speak Chinese and for that you do not have to waste your time perfecting the grammar of the language. Native people will never expect from a foreigner speaking in Chinese language that he or she will apply all the grammar in the sentence perfectly. They will always appreciate your initiative to learn the language. If you can communicate your feelings in the Chinese language, there is no need for more.
Learn lot of words and their usages in sentences
If you are willing to speak Chinese, you first have to enrich the vocabulary. The more words you know, the more you will feel comfortable when speaking or listening to this language. However, it is not just about the number of words you learn. Learning hundreds and thousands of words in that way will not help you to be fluent, unless you are aware in what contexts such words are used.
Do not try to translate from your native language
When forming a sentence in Chinese, the common tendency will be to think a sentence in your native language and translate it then. It is more likely that sentence construction in your language is completely different from that of Chinese. Moreover, such a method will slow you down. You can overcome this barrier learning Chinese phrases and complete sentences. With that knowledge, you do not have to think much about where individual words will sit in a sentence.
Only listening will not help
Only listening to the Chinese language will not help you to speak. You have to do plenty of practice for speaking Chinese. There is a particular technique called shadowing that will help to speak the language fluently. Watch Chinese language TV shows or movies and as the characters speak, try to mimic the words they are saying. It will force your brain to pick up the native speed and accent. Do not try to get every word or sound right. Just try to keep with the pace. Repeat the same movie and you will unconsciously start following the accents that are usually difficult to learn.
Try to make Chinese friends
If you are studying in a university, it will not be difficult for you to associate with other Chinese speaking students. However, if you are at Hong Kong for business purposes, try to have some Chinese speaking friends in the neighborhood. Ensure that they speak only Chinese with you. This will help you to develop the language proficiency.
These are the tips that will improve your proficiency, but you need to learn the basics at first.
Where you can learn the language?
Universities in Hong Kong offer a variety of courses on Chinese language. They also provide formal certificate at the end of the course. The institutions, usually offer separate programs for the native and non-native speakers of Chinese. Some institutions provide classes in the evening. Those working during the day time, may opt for evening classes.
If you do not have ample time for formal education, there are several online tutors who may help you to develop the Chinese language speaking skills. The assistance differ on the basis of whether you are a beginner or a pro. With the online tutors, it is possible to tailor the courses as per your learning requirements.
Pic courtesy: liveinasiablog.com
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