Mandarin may use 8,105 different characters, but it actually isn't difficult to learn. The earlier your child starts, the better. Try these apps. They can make things a lot easier.
Mandarin has potential. Enormous potential. The language is spoken by well over 2 billion people worldwide, making it one of the most important idioms on the planet. It is a gateway into a fascinating culture that is both ancient and thriving in the modern world. Teaching your little one Mandarin could be a great way to change their life for the better literally. It opens doors that would otherwise remain sealed shut. Of course, the purely practical skills of listening and speaking should be covered first. Children don't take onto grammar too easily. Instead, approach everything more organically.
Next comes writing. This could turn out to be the tricky part. In 2013, the State Council of the People's Republic of China had approved 8,105 unique characters. This means that the Chinese will not rely on the Latin alphabet letters in the West but instead write using signs and symbols unique to the language. Does that sound a bit too overwhelming for your grade schooler? It doesn't have to be. In fact, with a cautious yet determined approach - and a bit of help from an app like Pleco - it is well possible to master them all without a tutor.
Obviously, we should also cover the topic of vocabulary. Most of the words will initially sound quite foreign, especially since mixing between Chinese and Romance or Germanic languages our ear is accustomed to has been minimal. Literally, every world will sound brand new - to you and your child. Fortunately, an online dictionary made specifically for kids is not too difficult to find, so even a preschooler will be able to start mastering Mandarin. In fact, science has shown that children have a much easier time learning languages, so it's actually good to start early. Now is the right time. Seize the opportunity.
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