Last Updated on July 15, 2016
Learning a language can be hard, especially Mandarin Chinese. You have to continually review or be exposed to the language otherwise you might forget a lot. Even if you are not in China, you can still study Chinese, practice your Chinese with native speakers, and continue to progress in your Chinese language ability or at least maintain the level you already have. Here are some good ideas for continuing to study Chinese.
Watch Chinese Videos
Sites like youku.com and tudou.com are basically the equivalents to YouTube in Mainland China. There are millions of videos about nearly anything you could imagine. You can watch endless hours of videos and not feel very guilty because you wouldn’t just be wasting time. Your time watching videos on those sites can go towards actually helping you learn Chinese. Many of those sites include Chinese subtitles with the videos as well. Though regarding Tudou and Youku, if you don’t live in Mainland China, those sites can be very slow due to the GFW, so I recommend using Youtube. Youtube often has the same videos posted on Tudou and Yokou. Youtube is more popular than Youku or Tudou in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Watch Chinese Movies
If you visit a large library, there might just be Chinese movies you could check out. Netflix.com now has Chinese movies available in many countries. In addition, you could watch Chinese movies on long international flights. On several long international flights I have taken, there were movies available in many different languages. Usually, regardless of the airline company for long international flights, there are movies in Mandarin.
Write In Chinese And Use Your Imagination
Practice writing using the vocabulary you know, but don’t just copy what is written in textbooks. Create new things. Many write a short story, introduce yourself to others, or have a diary in Chinese. Lang-8.com is a great site where you can write things in Chinese and have native speakers of Mandarin fix your mistakes. For additional ideas on this topic, I have written an article here.
Practice Writing Chinese Characters Using Practice Sheets
While mnemonics and other memory tools can be very effective in learning Chinese Characters, I still believe that constant practice actually writing the characters is necessary to really sear the memory of the character into your brain. You can use the practice sheets we created to practice writing Chinese Characters.
Listen To Chinese Radio
Listening to Chinese radio can be a great way to improve your Chinese listening skills. Since there are Chinese people all over the world, there might just be a radio station in Chinese close to you. Or you could just listen to a Chinese radio station online. Here is a link to several radio stations in Chinese.
In addition to radio, Spotify has lots of songs from Chinese artists in Chinese, which I have written about here.
Read Chinese Books, Magazines, Or Any Text In Chinese
Chinesereadingpractice.com is a great site with many interesting readings designed for people learning Chinese. It has several different readings from beginning level to advanced level. Each reading can include an English translation in parallel if you want.
This is a site with many great Classical Chinese texts.
Check Out A Chinese Language Book From A Library
If you live close to a good library, there might just be a foreign language section that has books in Chinese.
For reading on smartphones,I recommend using the app called Decipher Chinese which I have written about here.
There is such much you could read in Chinese. I believe that reading about topics that actually interest you will give you more motivation to finish. So, for example, if you like sailing, and read a magazine about sailing in Chinese, it would be a win win for you.
Use Meetup.com To Find Language Exchanges
Meetup.com is a brilliant website where one can find a group for almost anything with people of similar interests. This site is especially useful if you want to find language exchange groups. There are meetup sections on the site for many major cities in the world now. For example, if you live in London, England, you search for language exchange here,
there are many different language groups you can attend.
Good luck with your Chinese studies. It takes lots of self-discipline, but you can really improve your Chinese. What did you think about this article? Let’s discuss this in the comment section below.