How Should I Begin to Study Chinese If I'm New Here (2)

Yesterday, we have talked about how to start learning Pinyin and Chinese characters.
Let's continue to see how to start to learn vocabulary, grammar and topics today.


With Pinyin and Chinese characters, you are learning the new vocabulary one by one. These are like the bricks used when building a house. More vocabulary means that we can both express ourselves more clearly as well as understand others and the world in ever-greater scenarios.
Vocabulary in the HSK:Level 1 requires 150 vocabulary.Level 2 requires 300 vocabulary.Level 3 requires 600 vocabulary.Level 4 requires 1200 vocabulary.Level 5 requires 2500 vocabulary.Level 6 requires 5000 vocabulary.
Vocabulary is made up of individual Chinese characters, and their combinations are very interesting. 
For example, with zhdo, zh means: to understand, "do" means: way or road, so zh do becomes: to understand the way.
"I got it, I got it!" is !
Chinese vocabulary does not have the morphological changes of English.
A Chinese character is fixed, with no morphological changes due any tense.
For example, "w" is "I" and "me", while "sh" is "am" "is" and "are", as well as "was" and "were".The provocative and flexible usage of the vocabulary is also very interesting:

For example

ho, has six meanings.

1. Good

Jntin tinq zhn ho!

The weather is so good today!

2. Okay


Jntin tinq zhn ho, wmen chq zu zou ba?

The weather is really good today, shall we go out for a walk?




3. A suffix that indicates completion or readiness.


Wnfn zu hole! Kui li ch ba.

Dinner is ready! Come and eat.


Ho de, w b zh y sh knhole ji li.

OK, I'll come after reading this page.

4. To get well, to recover from an illness.


N gnmo ho ydinle ma?

Have you gotten better from your cold?


Xixle j tin, hodule.

I had a few days off, so now I am much better.

5. Very, so

Zh zh xingmo kn qli ho k'i a!

This panda looks so cute!

Ho li!

So tired!

6. In order to/easy to

Rgu n li, tqin gos w yxi, ho zu zhnbi.

If you will come, let me know in advance, so I can prepare.

T b zhngyo de shqng xi zi bjbn l, ho txng zj.

He writes important things in his notebook to remind himself.

Suggestions (app) for learning vocabulary:1. Train Chinese2. Pleco3. Quizlet


Sentences and Grammar
Because Chinese vocabulary will have no changes in any part-of-speech, fixed grammar, sentence order, and structure become important grammatical approaches. The meaning changes when the order is changed. 

For example:

W zu fij q bijng.

I fly to Beijing.

W q bijng zu fij.

I wiil go Beijing to take airplane.

In general, Chinese sentences follow time logic. Whatever happens first, we say it first.Secondly, because much of Chinese grammar has been learned and appropriated from English grammar, many English grammar rules are also retained.For example, the basic sentence is subject-verb-object (SVO), such as "W i n (I love you)"W xing yo ybi kfi (I want a cup of coffee.)
However, some sentence structures are dissimilar to English, such as when describing time and place.  In sum, the structure is: Point time + Subject + Place + Verb + Duration time + Object.

For example:

Zutin w zi kfi din knle ling xiosh sh.

I read a book for two hours at a coffee shop yesterday.

Xiw w ziji dsole yg xiosh fngjin.

In the afternoon I cleaned my room at home for an hour.

There are many such sentence structures in Chinese, and as long as you follow them, you can express the meaning correctly and clearly!
At Chinese HSK levels 1 to 3, you can complete the basic system of grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels consolidate the grammar system and extend some specific grammar usages.
Compared with the complex grammar system of other languages, Chinese grammar is really simple!  This is an easy and lovely part of learning Chinese. You can use your own vocabulary and grammar to formulate a sentence. You will find that you can say much more than you thought.
Here we recommend the Chinese Grammar Wiki  (, as well as the Chinese Grammar app.


A problem you may encounter is: after having learned so many words and grammar points, why do I feel that I am unable to speak well enough?
This is a comprehensive question. The most important thing is to just speak out, and not worry about embarrassment. At the beginning, speaking is more important than saying it right. When you are speaking you constantly revise, and you will increase in confidence and improve your language sense and cognition. Seize every opportunity around you to practice your speaking, whether talking to a Chinese teacher, to a Chinese friend, at a Chinese language activity, in a taxi, at a restaurant, etc.
Language learning is a process of continuous input and output, of continual self -improvement and enlightenment. Learning Chinese is no different.
Learning is not dominated by vocabulary and grammar, for without topics and communication they have no vitality. Only when used in a communicative setting are vocabulary and grammar truly effective.
One by one, smaller topics will aggregate into a larger picture. For example, after the first level, students can basically live and communicate in China independently, and can express a travel topic simply and completely.
When you start to envy those who speak fluently, don't worry. As long as you have effective learning strategies and persistent efforts, you will reach a goal that you once thought was impossible.
When you first start to learn Chinese, listening and speaking arrive first, followed by reading and writing. If you can communicate easily, then you will be able to touch, see, smell, and perceive Chinese in your heart, and with your new language make new friends. It is likely that you will fall in love with Chinese one day, just like me, and like many of our students.
I believe it is important to establish feasible learning goals based on your own situation at the beginning.  Many learners often set their goals too high, and after a lot of trying they may hit the wall and become discouraged, dampening their desire to learn Chinese. When learning as an adult student we may feel just like a small child, and so we should measure our progress with baby steps. By going from zero to one every day, step by step, your progress will become a giant leap, and you will speak freely. Zero to hero. This is also the goal we want to achieve for our students at Chinese Surfing. Our Chinese name is chng y, which means you can say whatever you wish, freely.

Many thanks to our student and friend, Justin, for helping us with this article! He has been learning Chinese since the founding of Chinese Surfing in 2015 and is now learning HSK 5-6. We are so lucky to have him and feel proud of him!Want to start or restart your Chinese journey? We welcome you to book a free class. Let us help you put your ideas together and set an achievable goal for you!If you have any other questions, challenges, difficulties and learning experience, welcome to talk or share with Lili, lili@chinese-surfing or by WeChat 15158116008.

The above contents are provided by Chinese Surfing.

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