How do I go about self-studying Chinese?Watch
This is usually the route I was walking when I learned Chinese Language in school growing up. It is effective, the way we learn any language in school is the same way we would learn a language at age 18. The difference is that when you learn a language at a more independent age, the process of going from A0 to B1 in your target language would not stretch over 6 years like in school, lol (and go from B1 to C1/C2 over another 4-5 years.)
so I think this will be verrryyy helpful... HOPEFULLY
1) Learn the pinyin form. While you learn this, you can use a (reading/reading + questions) book that has both the Chinese characters and their "Han Yu (Chinese Language) Pin Yin" on top of the characters. Very useful and helpful
1a) The language has a set of letters that exist in Chinese. (eg: a, ba, pa, la, ai, bai, kai, cai, ao, hao, pao, mao, lao, bo, po, mo, fo, ge, ke, ne, le, ji, ci, xi, etc.) You won't find any Chinese Mandarin word with the pronounciation/combination of letters in Pin Yin form, that's "poa, loa, moi, tow, how or hoq." So all Chinese words come from the set of letter combinations. Here's a chart attached below but if you don't like the colours, here's a google search link, haha ( https://www.google.com/search?q=han+...w=1422&bih=642 )
Just recognize the combos and how to pronounce them! My teacher had the class practice them like how I listed it above. Horizontally No tones, just the pronounciations! Voice kinda sounds like continuous beeping, except it's not 'beep beep beep beep", it's "le, ge, ke, he, ze, ce, se" and abit lower pitch lol (be comfortable).
There is also that Pin Yin chart with Chinese letters in the chart, those characters in the chart are like basic forms of a word/letter combo. like 巴 is the 'basic form' = 吧, 把, 爸 are all pronounced as ‘ba' ! they have different meanings and tones. Not all Chinese words follow this rule though but there are afew different patterns, including this, common throughout the language. Another diff type of pattern is 女 (female/girl)= 妈(mom)，姐(older sister)，妹(younger sis)
1b) Learn the tones in the Pin Yin form: There are 4 tones as you probably know ! Learn where the tone symbols are placed in a PinYin word. The way I managed to remember the tone symbols without mixing them up (The 2nd & 4th tone!!!) was remembering it like an 'M' word with an underscore infront of it. the first tone is a straight line '_' , 2nd is /, 3rd is V, 4th is \ ! so it makes an _M or _/V\ !
Remember how each sounds! Try to test your listening skills from this by listening to a Chinese word and pointing out if it is the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th tone!
1c) The strokes *smirk* (sorry)
the Chinese language has a set of strokes. Chinese characters are formed by a combo of strokes! There are rules in how you should write them.
- Practice on how to write the individual strokes (from left to right? up to down?)
- Practice writing beginner Chinese characters as you learn the simple vocabs. What was taught to me was that generally, the rule is to start from the top & left to right. I think your new books will have some practice writing of a word with the orders that you have to write, maybe you could observe~ and see if its up to down, left to right ^^
I reccommend learning afew basic vocabs and sentences, like eat, my fav colour is..., etc.
2) As you go on to familiarize yourself with Number 1, start learning grammar- where the verb goes, subject, etc in a sentence!
3) Build on vocab
4) Build on grammar
5) Continuously build on vocab, especially when you have your foundations @ Number 1!
And.. there you have it! I hope this answered your question!! Of course, listen to alot of movies/shows/songs/whatever you prefer so you could get used to speaking it too and such!
Duolingo helps, and I think it's an amazing app! Personally (and especially for Chinese- because other languages like German are less complicated to learn in the first few lessons on Duolingo in my opinion, due to similarities in writing/reading), based on their first few lessons in Chinese, I would use it after I learn a good set of vocab and grammar, because (to me) starting out Chinese on Duolingo, esp on reading, feels abit ineffective when I dont have a good set of vocabs first. The foundation of grammar and vocab will then help me recognize new vocabs on Duolingo, and help me relate the new vocabs to the words I already know (the patterns), which will help me remember the new vocabs' writing/strokes more effectively. Duolingo is fun! Doing the lessons on Duolingo will help solidify your knowledge of sentence structures, vocabs, and grammar you've already learned beforehand. For other languages on Duolingo, I'm learning them with other online resources and lessons so I can also get notes of the same thing from different places, which will help me recognize my target languages' grammar, etc. I'm actually at A2 Chinese (varying levels for speaking, writing, reading and listening haha) but I've been surrounded by the Chinese speaking environment since I was born, and I also am pursuing my love for languages right now and improving afew languages including Chinese, also I'm quite analytical, so you can trust this!
Good luck, and all that you're doing! Cheering for you from here!!
(EDIT: For Number 1a) here's a nice link for how the beeping sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLbIXvk7giQ We said it more quickly than her and it was fun, so you could do that, and take a breathe at every 3/4 letter combo )
(edit: I am using the Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin Foreign Language book, they have English in the book which I find not around in other IGCSE foreign languages books. and I think it's good! they help with grammar, and culture and vocab too. Listening, reading, writing, speaking. You could also learn vocab from the Minimum Core Vocabulary list on the IGCSE Mandarin website, as the syllabus stretches from A0 to A2/low B1. If you want it for free there's a 30 or 90 (ur choice) day free trial for the languages & other IGCSE, IB & A Level e-books from Cambridge which you can easily just sign up for (then they email you the username and password and link). I put the minimum core vocabulary on Quizlet and still halfway translating them bec I prefer using my own sets that I know is complete. If you want my Quizlet link then I could share it to you once I'm done XD. I have IGCSE Chinese 2nd Language book prepared.. Just for extra info. I kinda like the I/GCSE syllabus for languages especially Using netflix to help with my languages and cartoons bec im a child at heart UWU)