How to start learning chinese

hi I’m Hıdır. i want to start to learn chinese.yes i made a desicion and knowing that lingq can help me makes me feel excited and happy. i listened the first lesson called eating out but i can’t understand anything. it’s because of the writing. i can’t read them and also i can’t understand the conversation. so i think there must be a key to open the door first.then improve …
what should i do ?? need help guys :slight_smile:

You will need additional resources. Either buy yourself a book, or find some helpful websites. I recommend Clavis Sinica

i’ll try it .thank you

For the Chinese eating out series; if you haven’t already, try clicking on the “resources” tab in each lesson. This will give you both the pinyin and English translations. This will help with understanding what each lesson is about.

For lessons where there is no translations or pinyin, click on the “quick lingq” tab and then cut and paste the character text into a converter such as Again, this will then give you both the English and pinyin translation for each lesson, which will help with understanding.

After that, it is just a matter of repetitive listening and reading (of the pinyin - if you don’t know the characters) of each dialogue and you will really improve with a sustained commitment to this type of learning method.

and how long do you think it takes me to be able to speak ?

kan qing kuang :slight_smile:

It took me about 6 months to go from very basic chinese to being able to have functional conversations, and then another 6 months to be comfortable with speaking in a wide variety of situations. My main focus during this time was minimum 4 hours a day of listening and reading (often longer) with another 30 minutes each day of pronunciation practice. Are you willing to put in this level of effort :slight_smile: Most people aren’t…

The focus at lingq isn’t on speaking - as this will come naturally – instead it is recommended that you develop comprehension and improve your word vocab through listening (as your main focus). However, for a good overview on speaking try the site below. I found it invaluable for getting my head around chinese sounds. You will probably have to cut and paste the whole link and eliminate any spaces (as lingq forum tends to mangle long links). Good luck.

actually 4 hours a day of chinese is like me flying :slight_smile:
but i’m planning to study 30 minutes a day just on this site.and anytime I may give up :smiley:
not because it’s very hard because i know arabic basicly . maybe it would be easier to go on with arabic …
and thank you for ur help.


(1) Take your time

(2) Buy a book about the basics,
and read some Wikipedia articles about Chinese language:

(3) Use the “Damn Simple Chinese” course

Some links above needs to be fixed by you manually, sorry.
(When will this be fixed, dear LingQ team???)

I think that it may be better to buy books of Edition Beijing University in order to learn everything if you want to buy some books.
That’s my viewpoint.


Beijing Language and Culture University Press

For beginners
Conversational Chinese 301 Vol.1 (3rd English edition) - Textbook
(I used this book, and find it very nice for beginners).

And you can find other books for beginners, too.

And if you are absolutely a beginner, you will go to the following site.
You can listen to all lessons (mp3) explained in English and read PDF files (there are no Chinese characters, only pynyins, so it is suitable for absolute beginners)

I forgot to say, all the lessons are explained in easy English, so it is nice for ESL learners (non-native English speakers), too

thank you guys.but i see that in china the number of people who speak english is very much.
and that made me feel i can contact people using just english.
and also it will take me at least 4 years to be intermediate in chinese.
so this thought :instead of struggling with chinese for years. learning english deeply and be a master of english seems a better idea.
what do you think ???

i wrote taking into account that i’m a student studying business administration.
i learn for business. and when you write could u think of that please.
i need your ideas

I don’t know. It depends on what you think.

As for me, I like to study Chinese, its culture, music, etc, it is not for business. Plus by learning Chinese I deeply understand what is the origin of our own culture, it is very interesting.

i get it. but u know japanese. and i guess it is not very hard for u to be billingual in these 2.
as for me i know arabic a little and i could learn arabic much faster than any others.
like you may be doing in chinese. but i wish i had time for learning languages different cultures. it must be interesting …

Yes, please do it as you like. The more interesting you feel it, the more you want to study.