I’m an absolute beginner. Where do I even begin to learn Chinese?

Characters, pinyin, pronunciation, numbers, phrases, or grammar?

Do I need a tutor? How do I know if my tutor is teaching me the right things? Aren’t the tones hard? How am I ever going to remember this?

Slow down! Self-study is possible. If you can top-up with a tutor for exam practice and get some recommendations for simple Chinese TV shows, then you’re well on your way to victory.

You need audio if you’re a beginner so you can practice and get your pronunciation right. These all have CD’s so you can listen to local Chinese people and copy their accents.

Start with these Chinese books geared toward beginners:


One Comment

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  1. Yes, we need to understand Chinese from different perspectives, and generally listening, speaking, writing and reading for learning a language. The listening and speaking is not difficult personally, but the reading and writing is really hard as Chinese characters are a form of ideogram.

    Finally I took the online lesson to learn it by tuition of native-Chinese teachers (eChineseLearning).
    As a result, not bad. Do you have any advices? or sharing some useful method to me? Thx

Kwadwo [QUĀY.jo]
Kwadwo [QUĀY.jo], creator of Elementary Chinese, helps expats in China learn the day-to-day Chinese they need – to communicate what they want. He lives in Tianjin, China. Follow him on elementarychinese.com, Instagram or YouTube to learn the kind of Mandarin you can actually use right away in everyday China life.