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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Deliberate Training

When learning Mandarin, there are so many things to cover, grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, writing, characters, comprehension, culture background, etc.

For many people, one thing is on top of the list and that is communication with Chinese people. Communication involves two ways. One is to listen and one is to speak. And there is no short cut to build your listening and speaking skills. Only deliberate training on listening and speaking can help.

You can not and will not speak fluently if you study grammar books and do grammar exercises all day. You can not understand when people talk to you even if you have memorized all the vocabularies one by one. It's not like grammar and vocabulary are not important. They are very important. But only studying them will not help you listen effortlessly and speak fluently. It's like that you exercise your arms a lot with the hope of getting strong legs. You have to, must, train your legs.

You need to train your ears to the sound and train your mouth to the words deliberately!