How to Get Conversational in Chinese in 3 Months

How to Get Conversational in Chinese in 3 Months

Here are the 11 pillars of the system I developed for my students to master Chinese on a conversational or fluent level in 3 months. 

1) FOCUS on one series of books and don't waste time on apps (1), other courses (2) and ineffective traditional methods. Finish 2-3 textbooks and achieve conversational or fluent level after 12 weeks. Only after that you can consider checking out other sources for fun and practice (apps, video courses, YT channels etc) But before that, focus on books only for 12 weeks until you finish at least 2 of them (FOCUS!!!!!!!!) 

2) STOP using language apps, you will never master Chinese using them (forget about Duolingo and other apps, I am fluent in 4 languages, so BELIEVE ME, THOSE APPS are JUST A FUN WAY TO LEARN A FEW WORDS HERE AND THERE, NOTHING MORE)

3) TRACK your time of studying Chinese every single day and calculate the average. The average should be about 120 minutes a day (be consistent for 12 weeks and you will see the result; track your time in excel)

4) CUT your learning curve by learning Chinese with a language coach who will help you achieve the result in months, not in years. Use the most advanced learning hacks and techniques for saving years and achieving result in months. Don't do it by yourself, you will waste years.

5) DON'T look up the usage of every single word, look for the usages in the book, look how this word is used. Don't waste too much time on looking everything up online by yourself. Use the textbook more, don't just go through the exercises and explanations, notice how the words, phrases and grammar structures are actually used.

6) DON'T be obsessed with PERFECTLY memorizing every single word and every single character. You will see them in the following textbooks, you will memorize them anyway. But be obsessed with mastering and understanding right pronunciation and tones. 

7) BE obsessed with UNDERSTANDING grammar and word order. Ask your coach (teacher) questions EVERY time when you don't understand how to use grammatical structures and patterns. Focus on grammar and structures. 

8) UNDERSTAND, DON'T CRAM. Focus on actually feeling the language, understanding it. Create more positive emotions when learning.

9) LISTEN more. Listen to the audios of the textbooks many times, imitate and simulate the intonation and pronunciation of native Chinese speakers.

10) FORGET more. The more you forget, the faster you learn. In order to memorize any character you need to forget it many times. When you forget something, it means that you are going in the right direction. Forget more. When you forget something say this phrase to yourself: "Great, I have 99 more times to forget". Learn, forget, review, and repeat the process. Don't stop, never stop.

11) (For intermediate/ advanced Chinese speakers) 

RECORD a video (audio) of yourself speaking Chinese for 1-2 minutes a few times a week (or everyday). Your coach (teacher) will give you a feedback and your speaking will get better with every single video (you can also use audio). 

About the author

Victor is an international video blogger and Asian polyglot fluent in four languages.

He has been living in China and Korea and travelling all over Asia since 2016.

Currently, he teaches Chinese and Korean languages and works for a YouTube channel on East Asian culture.

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