Getting started with Mandarin

A few Mandarin basics

Chinese is often thought to be a difficult language for native English speakers to learn, and Chinese characters are tricky to memorise, but oral Mandarin is relatively simple, with clear rules and only around 400 different words to pronounce. This guide and the extra materials will help you start introducing Mandarin in class.

Because Chinese characters only sometimes hint at how to pronounce them, learners can use a system called pinyin. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, meaning that the intonation used can radically change the meaning. Look for the tonal marks above the pinyin to help you pronounce it correctly.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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