Learn Chinese in Singapore :: yago.sg

Learn Chinese - some tricks

Shortcut: looking for Chinese courses?

Click here to find a complete listing of reviewed Chinese courses in Singapore.

Having been in the process of learning Chinese for over 5 years now, I thought I'd share some things you may consider doing, depending on your learning style. 

背书 (bèishū - to recite a lesson from memory)
This method can be tortuous at times and some would consider it rote learning. Basically you take a text as is used during class and go beyond understanding it, to being able to memorize the entire text without having to look at it. While this is surely not the only way you should learn a language, I have found that it greatly increases memory and fluency and it allows you to get the basic grammatical patterns really into your head. If you learn Chinese this way, you are an applied learner. Rather than understanding in theory how to ride the bicycle, you get on to it with the full risk of falling, and learn to operate it. Obviously, if you find text too boring, you can start with memorizing some popular songs, which will help you greatly during the next karaoke.

Recognizing characters
Most textbooks will start in a format with hanyu pinyin above or below characters. If you learn Chinese with the goal to also read and write Chinese characters, remember that hanyu pinyin is only a crutch to lean on as long as you have to. Chinese people have a hard time reading text in hanyu pinyin, they are simply not used to it. So as soon as you can, cover the hanyu pinyin and see how much you can still read. Eventually the hanyu pinyin will disappear from your textbook, so you better get used to it.

Writing Chinese characters
The moment I decided to learn Chinese in Singapore, I had decided that reading and writing should be part of my learning experience. If you decided the same, try and write as much as possible. The beginning is most difficult. After a while you'll feel that new characters aren't that new anymore; they are combinations of the same elements. If you make exercises, the easy way out is to write in hanyu pinyin. If you really want to learn how to write characters, resist this urge and start writing!

Install Chinese script on your PC
Typing Chinese characters is a fun way to learn Chinese. If you are in Singapore, or China, you'll undoubtedly get to know native speakers, and you can communicate with them in by typing in Chinese characters, be it in e-mail, through instant messenger or on Facebook. As it's easier than writing, you can develop speed much faster - and you have an incentive to learn new characters once you receive a reply. So install your Chinese language module as soon as you can!

Watch Chinese dramas
Personally I am not a fan of this, because I think it is a rather passive method and I have found that you only expand your comprehension when actively producing the language, but if you feel it's a good way to learn Chinese, Singapore's Channel 8 and Channel U have lots of drama's on offer, some of them with subtitles, some of them without.

Chinese courses
See the current Chinese courses in Singapore here.

Related articles:

Monthly newsletter

Starting off with a free e-course on how to learn languages faster, we'll keep you up to date on what's happening in Singapore with regards to language learning. You can unsubscribe any time.   

Join us below!

Language Schools

view all

SimplyArabic 1 reviews
At SimplyArabic, we specialize in providing quality Arabic courses that will prepare you to interact with native Arabic speakers in the Middle East.  It pays to learn Arabic. Singapore partners much with Middle Eastern countries such as UAE (Dubai) and Qatar, which are rising fast economically. SimplyArabic teaches you modern standard Arabic so that you can make yourself understood. We have an Arabic course for you, whether you are a beginner or already advanced, a child, interested adult learner or looking to learn Arabic for business. Why choose SimplyArabic? We care about equipping you with the appropriate Arabic language skills and competencies. We have many years of experience in providing Arabic language consultancy (translation and interpretation) for several Singapore government agencies like Singapore Police Force (SPF), Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to facilitate their interaction with their Middle Eastern counterparts regularly. So get started today with checking out our Arabic language courses!

Go Abroad China (GAC) 1 reviews
Since 2003, Go Abroad China is devoted to fostering international understanding through cultural exchange and educational programs in China. Go Abroad China has been a leader in creating life-changing, cross-cultural experiences in China including: Mandarin immersion, internship, volunteer, teach, travel, high school programs, study tours and home stays. Since our founding days, more than 900 individuals have participated in GAC programs. From the moment we pick you up at the airport to the moment we drop you off for your flight home, you can rest assured that we will be there for you. We are combining Mandarin Chinese language and culture classes with extra-curricular workshops, language tutorials, social activities, interaction with native Chinese speakers, and fun events held throughout the year. Our programs are interesting, reliable and are an affordable options for total immersion into the Chinese language, culture and way of life. Our Staff at Go Abroad China is committed to giving, the best quality program, along with flawless communication. Go Abroad China has offices in the U.S, Germany and China. Our Mission We are committed to enhancing people’s understanding and knowledge about the Chinese language, society and culture, taking the uncertainty and frustration out of the trip to China.We provide comprehensive, reliable and affordable programs tailored to specific needs of organizations, companies, and individuals of all ages and backgrounds.We are committed to providing educational opportunities for international students as well as Chinese students. Go Abroad China allocates a portion of the budget and resources to improving education in rural China. Each year we send a percentage of GAC yearly profits directly to rural schools and orphanages in China. The recent beneficiaries are Beijing Feng Hua Love & Hope School and Xi Zhu Charity School in Tibet. Go Abroad China Key Values - Communication- Service- Transparency- Integrity- Honesty- CompassionThese values guide Go Abroad China and reflect our dedication to providing comprehensive, reliable and affordable China study abroad programs, and making a positive contribution and provide benefits for the children and the community in China.

Spanish Faster 1 reviews
Spanish Faster is an online Spanish language school in Singapore offering Spanish classes 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Private Spanish language classes with a Spanish tutor from S$25/hour. Take our online Spanish classes in the comfort of your home, and anytime - weekends, late nights or even early mornings. Specialising in Accelerated Learning and teaching Spanish through English, Spanish Faster helps hundreds of students worldwide learn Spanish 3-4 times faster through blended e-learning. Our Spanish Skype lessons are delivered by a native bilingual Spanish tutor. Using voice chat, text and video, a real classroom learning situation is simulated for an interactive learning experience.