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    I've applied to study Chinese, and as it's such a challenging language I feel I should attempt to teach myself the basics before I go to uni.
    The course teaches you from a beginner's level anyway, but would it be worth it?
    I've already got some audio disks and books and things, but I've not spent much time at all using them. Would it be a good idea to try and learn a little now? I'm applying for 2014 courses.
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    (Original post by aloharosie)
    I've applied to study Chinese, and as it's such a challenging language I feel I should attempt to teach myself the basics before I go to uni.
    The course teaches you from a beginner's level anyway, but would it be worth it?
    I've already got some audio disks and books and things, but I've not spent much time at all using them. Would it be a good idea to try and learn a little now? I'm applying for 2014 courses.
    I've applied for beginner's Italian and I am doing a GCSE course in it to get to know it a little - but I don't think it's necessary! I know someone who wants to do Spanish ab. initio and she doesn't know anything about it.

    It's up to you I think!
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    I started Japanese ab-initio at uni knowing nothing at all and it went fine.
    Of course, if you have the time to do some self-study it might be a nice idea, particularly in the summer before you go - takes the stress off a little (I had to learn the 2 japanese scripts in 2 weeks for example, so might have been nice if I'd studied them beforehand!).

    For Chinese I assume being familiar with the pinyin system would be a good thing to know to ease you into the first few weeks of classes.
    But I really wouldn't worry about doing more than that - don't want to be bored in classes, or teach yourself something incorrectly and then have bad habits! Could possibly start in with some of the characters too? My japanese class introduced the chinese characters they use in Week 3 so I imagine the learning curve in chinese is even steeper!
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    To be honest unless if there were good reasons for their not having been able to, I'd doubt the motivation levels of somebody who showed up to a 4-5 year course in a difficult language like Chinese without having done any personal study at all. I did Russian studies and the drop-out rate was astronomical - a lot of people clearly had little idea what they were in for, or hadn't sussed out whether they were really dedicated to the language. :sadnod:

    Not wishing to put you off or anything, as it sounds like you are considering making the effort to do some learning beforehand, but language courses do require a lot of dedication in order to be worthwhile, and the sooner you start with that the better.
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    I'm to be doing Italian as a beginner. I was trying to learn some on my own, but I'm studying French right now and I'd prefer to keep them separate for now. I think it's quite common to pick up one from scratch at university.


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    Yeah I guess, I am doing A level Spanish right now too so it's hard to fit it and and like you all say, languages require dedication... I think I'll leave it for now and do some work on Chinese throughout the summer or when I'm not overwhelmed by a levels.
    Thanks!
 
 
 
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