Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world with over 1 billion speakers and is also the official language of China and Taiwan. Taking a Mandarin language course in Singapore can give you access to a market of over 1 billion people and will make it easier for you to do business with Chinese companies. Mandarin is also becoming increasingly important in global affairs, so learning this language can help you gain an edge in today’s competitive world.
What to Expect When Learning Mandarin
The fact that Mandarin is a tonal language can make it seem daunting for beginners, but with the right instruction, you can quickly learn to speak and understand this language. When taking a Mandarin Language Course in Singapore, you can expect to learn:
How to read and write Chinese characters
Knowing how to write Chinese characters is useful for reading signs or restaurant menus. The most common way of writing in Mandarin is using simplified characters, which was introduced in the 1950s. However, many traditional characters are still used today, particularly in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Chinese characters have a different meaning with different tones. As you can see from these two examples below, changing the tone changes the meaning of a word.
- San Jiao = Sanjiao (three areas/categories) = three kinds
- San Jiao = san jiǎo (sandwich)
- Sanjiao (three areas/categories) = sānjiăo (third wheel)
- Sanjiao (three areas/categories) = san yào (sandalwood)
The pronunciation and tones of Mandarin words
There are four main tones in Mandarin, and each tone has a different pitch. Learning to recognize and produce these tones is essential for speaking Mandarin correctly. During your Mandarin Language Course in Singapore, you will be able to learn how to identify and produce these tones by listening to examples and practising with your tutor.
Basic Mandarin grammar structures
One of the easiest ways to learn a language is through its basic grammar structures. During your course, you will learn how sentences are structured and formed, and once you understand these simple phrases, it will make it easier for you to create longer sentences.
Daily conversation topics
After learning keywords and phrases related to basic conversational phrases like greetings or talking about yourself, you can dive right into more challenging topics such as asking for directions or ordering food from a menu. While Mandarin Chinese is rarely spoken between people from different regions in China, knowing this language will give you an edge when traveling in China.
Business vocabulary and etiquette
When doing business with a Chinese company, it is important to be aware of cultural differences. Mandarin has its own set of business words and phrases used in formal and informal situations. You will learn about the different greetings, courtesies, and negotiating tactics commonly used in China in your course.
One of the most difficult aspects of learning a foreign language is getting used to the different word order. In Mandarin, the verb usually comes at the end of the sentence, and adjectives and nouns usually appear before the verb. This can be quite confusing for beginners, but you will start to understand how the sentence is structured with practice.
Characters vs. Pinyin
Pinyin is a system of Romanization that was developed in the 1950s to help people learn to read and write Chinese characters. Most Mandarin Language Courses in Singapore use pinyin as the main teaching tool, as it is more convenient for beginners than using characters. However, it is still important to learn how to write Chinese characters, as many words are not pronounced the same way when written in pinyin.
Symbols and Cultural Icons
Mandarin Chinese is a language that is filled with symbols and cultural icons. Learning about these will help you better understand the culture and the people behind the language.
Bonus: You should also Expect Lots of Practice with Native Speakers
Even though Mandarin is now one of the most popular languages in the world, it can still be difficult to find people who are able to speak Mandarin fluently. During your course, you will learn how to practice and improve using daily conversation topics with your tutor and try to use what you have learned as often as possible during your stay in Singapore.
Using that knowledge outside of class will drastically boost your confidence and willingness to speak the language. Also, note that you will certainly be making lots of mistakes during the course, which really shouldn’t be a discouraging thing.
As long as you’re making an effort to learn, your Mandarin language skills will continue to improve. By the end of your course, you will be able to hold basic conversations in Mandarin, read and write common Chinese characters, and have a better understanding of Chinese culture.
Where to find a Mandarin Language Course in Singapore
There are many places where you can learn Mandarin in Singapore. Many schools offer Mandarin courses, and there are also several private language centres that specialize in teaching the language. Just to be sure that you’re finding the right Mandarin language school, it is best to do some research online or speak with friends who have already taken a Mandarin course.
Mandarin Language Courses in Singapore can be expensive, but there are a few scholarships and grants available from the government and private organizations. It is also possible to find cheaper courses if you enrol for a longer duration. In any case, it is important to make sure that the school you choose offers a quality curriculum and has qualified native-speaking teachers.
Lingo is a language school that offers Mandarin courses for beginners. Courses are taught at customized levels. Courses include learning how to read, speak, write and understand Mandarin. Lingo makes learning Mandarin convenient and fun. Enrol with Lingo and get started today? For more information, please call: +6562533320
Lingo School of Knowledge – Thai | Korean | Spanish | French Language School
87 Beach Rd, 03-01 Chye Sing Building, Singapore 189695
+65 6253 3320