I am soon travelling to China with my family and am looking to get everyone (and reluctantly, myself) learning Chinese to make our experience better. I would like to know what you all think is the best institution/school/company to learn Chinese. Thanks for your advice!
Try Surf Chinese online. You will have a live teacher on Skype and they have a Survival Shanghai course that will give you some basics for your travels. Good luck to you and your family!
Unless you are staying for a while it is probably not worth it. It is a very difficult language for Westerners to learn. I have learned some basic stuff, but people usually don't understand me and I can not understand them, unless they speak very slowly. It is good though to learn some of the more common signs, which helps when you are reading a map in Chinese for example. If you are traveling on your own, make sure to have addresses written down in Chinese, hotels provides cards with the standard addresses, museums etc. Usually you get by pretty easily with sign language and English, though buying dental floss was a difficult one. Enjoy your trip
No shortcuts to learn chinese , just like we chinese learn english .You have to do more practice and more review what you have learned and most importantly try to practice with your chinese friends and donot be afraid of losing face .Welcome to China and happy exploring ...
At first, you should learn some basic Chinese, like pinyin. And then, study hard..... I don't think there is a shortcut for learning Chinese.
You had better to get to know a Chinese friend, who could friendly and patiently train your Chinese. Every language needs a lot of practice during the study, esp the beginning of study.
If you're in Beijing I would definately recommend the Beijing Language and Culture University. (Beijing Yuyan Daxue). You can study there I think from 4 weeks to 3years and they have programs to suit all levels.
I studied there last winter and had a great time- my Chinese improved dramatically too! But if you do study, remember that you may have to get an F business visa, instead of an L tourist visa.
Have a great trip! 😊
I've heard great things about www.chinesepod.com
I agree there is no shortcut to learning Chinese. I'm a history teacher and have been living and working in Beijing for almost 10 years.
Chinese pod is good, and Rosetta Stone.
I teach English and my wife, Iva, teaches Chinese via a website called cafetalk.com.
In response to: Msg #124823
[Edited: 2012 Jan 02 14:10 - Mell:49612 ]
If you really want to learn Chinese you have to do an intensive course in China. I studied at home, learned online, tried talking to my colleagues, but never really got anywhere until I took out three months to study full time. I lived with a homestay family and had four hours of class every day, plus quite a lot of homework. I am not fluent but daily life and basic business conversations are no problem today. I studied at http://www.livethelanguage.cn/learn-chinese-in-shanghai/ and they were good, but there are plenty of other schools too. If you can go anywhere you want, I would recommend going to Northern China, where the better Mandarin is spoken. I work in Shanghai, so I stayed there as I knew the city.
I am planning to do another longer course this summer and will probably do it in Beijing this time.
It is true that if you want to visit china for long time than Chinese language is must. You can buy DVD on Chinese language, i hope that could be helpful for learning Chinese.