There are many reasons why people want to learn Chinese online, or any
other language for that matter. Some people will learn a language like
Chinese as part of furthering their career or education, while other may
want to learn it before holidaying in China. One of the most popular
reasons for learning a language like Chinese though is as a hobby. A
problem with learning a language, especially one as complex as Chinese,
is that we all lead busy lives and have limited spare time. So finding
the time and energy to put into a foreign language course can be an
obstacle in your path. That is why many people decide to learn Chinese
online as this offers them the opportunity to learn when and where they
want to and at a pace that suits their circumstances.
Why Choose To Learn Chinese?
Many people in the Western world are fascinated with Chinese and other Far Eastern languages because their structure and make-up is so different to that of European languages that come from Latin. The majority of the Western world is familiar with the food and entertainment of the East, so for many the logical step is to learn more about the language. If you are thinking of traveling to China for a holiday or work, and maybe want to go off the beaten track away from the more tourist populated areas to discover the real China; having the ability to speak the language well will enable you to do that. One of the first things you will learn about in most Chinese courses is the Chinese alphabet, which is completely different to European and American alphabets with which you are more familiar. Chinese is a language based on simple structure of language and characters. The varying tones applied to these characters offers different meanings to word.
There are many different ways you can learn Chinese. Colleges, Universities and Schools close to you may run day and evening time courses for learning Chinese. Further to that you may be able to find reputable private tutors or learning groups through the yellow pages or classifieds. There is also DVD, CD and MP3 based lessons that you can purchase. These methods suit some people, but one method that suits most people is learning Chinese online. There are a variety of interactive and fully supported Chinese languages courses. Some of the companies you may have heard of include Rosetta Stone (Find the reviews here), Pimsleur (There's a well-written review here) and Rocket Chinese.
Before we find out about the online course Rocket Chinese (probably the better of the 3 course), we will spend some time looking at 2 of the other popular courses available - the Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur variations. Rosetta Stone is a very popular software-based course that comes in CD-ROM format and is based across 3 different levels. One of the major problems with Rosetta Stone is that you can only use the software via your computer; there is no way of downloading the materials into mp3 player formats. This puts you at a disadvantage right away if you have limited computer time or cannot sit at a computer for long periods of time. It is very direct in the way it presents Chinese language to you, though many people have said that it is better for people who know basic amounts of Chinese language.
Another extremely popular and best-selling Chinese language course is Pimsleur Chinese. This is best suited, across its 3 levels, for people who are completely new to Chinese. One of the noted problems with this course is that it teaches Beijing Mandarin, which is not easy to use in places outside of Beijing and with people who speak other variations. Of all the courses this is the most basic and the fact that it is more expensive than both Rosetta Stone and Rocket Chinese is something that you should seriously consider before purchasing.
What's one of the best online Chinese courses?
One of the best ways to learn Chinese online is through the Rocket
Chinese course (There's a good review: here). This comprises of 31 interactive audio lessons that
will help you to speak conversational Chinese in daily life setting. As
is the case when you are learning any new language, it is important to
learn about the culture and lifestyle of the country of origin. This is
vital to understanding how to speak Chinese, and so with Rocket Chinese
you also have 31 culture and language lessons that gives you clearly
laid how step by step guides to Chinese writing and easily understood
videos. There are also well over 300 embedded audio clips.
Learning and expanding your vocabulary is obviously a very important part of learning a language and with Rocket Chinese you can do this using the MegaChinese computer games. These help you to improve upon what you already know and add new phrases, so you learn as well as having fun. There is also the interact quizzes and self-tests to help you continue on the road to successfully learning this wonderful language. As well as having the actual ability to speak a language you need to have the self confidence that you can speak it and Rocket Chinese provide certification through their tests.
Get in contact with like minded learners and native Chinese speakers
It's important when learning any language in any setting that you make
friends or associate with people who are native speakers of that
language and teachers of the language. In an online setting you can
find many people of this sort through blogs and forums. Rocket Chinese
offers it's very own forum so that you can get help, advice and maybe
make some friends and really immerse yourself in the new language
When learning a new language, how successful you are will depend on the course itself, your determination and how much you enjoy it. Rocket Chinese make learning this colorful and complicated language a fun and enjoyable experience. With everything at your fingertips, you can be sure that you will join the many people across the globe that has learned Chinese with Rocket.