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emily y
4 years ago
Can you answer this question?

10 Answers

I think you should. I have some Chinese friends and based on what they told me, it seems like even in big Chinese cities people have problem understanding English. Therefore, it would be a good idea if you can do an online Chinese course before you go to China. In terms of online Chinese schools, I would suggest you try That's Mandarin as they offer high-quality Chinese courses with fun teaching methods to help you quickly improve your language skills. 

I agree with the replies to your post, but I wanted to add some information to show you what learning Chinese could look like. My path focuses on overall comprehension and efficiency. My goals are to read speak and listen well. If I had all the time in the world, I would also perfect my handwriting.
Possible path:
1. Learn 100 most basic characters before taking any classes
2. Take online class/classes at a language school which has small classes and forces you to spend significant time with the language. I have spent three months in a language school, I came with zero knowledge, and I am now at a level where I could proceed to study effectively on my own if I want.
3. Begin by focusing hard on learning to write basic characters, (and obviously also remember their meaning and pronunciation). Why? A certain amount of characters show up everywhere and knowing them guarantees that you survive in China.
4. Once you have learned to write around 400/500 basic characters from memory, focus more on recognition of characters. Writing is important, but the fact is that the output from perfecting Chinese handwriting will require a disproportionate amount of input and you won't feel you are 'efficient'. Character recognition also gets super fast once you know many basic characters.
5. Speak read and listen as much as you can. Read graded readers for beginners, e.g. Mandarin Companion (google), listen to learning materials, e.g. ChinesePod or Learningchinesethroughstories.com
6. Use spaced repetition flashcard software for all new words.
Throughout your entire journey, you'll need effective study methods, people have mentioned apps and resources in this post but the list is not exhaustive. Here is a link to an article with videos and demonstrations of the most helpful apps you can use to learn Chinese www.omeidachinese.com/15-best-apps-for-learning-mandarin-chinese
Personally, I have managed to set up an efficient routine using Pleco. I purchased the extension with spaced repetition software and felt I had everything I needed. Everyone is different though, so the above link may help you find good resources.
Best learning,

Learn some basic vocabulary and essential conversations. You will need to survive in a country where over 95% of the population do speak English. So my suggestion would definitely be YES. 

I've taken Chinese lessons online, it really works for me.

I think you learn simple daily Chinese, along with simple phrases to meet basic needs for communication. I think it is necessary