To learn something is to consume a piece of information into our brains, isn’t it? It takes time to successfully do that, but the amount of time it takes is entirely up to us. We can learn anything quickly if we want to, you can learn Chinese fast if you want to.

It usually depends on the learning methodology, efficient learning/teaching methods and ones tailored to suit individual student needs are essential for learning Chinese quickly, because everyone has their learning capabilities.

For some, recognizing the Chinese characters comes easy but they may find memorizing new Chinese vocabulary difficult, some others may find spoken Chinese to be difficult while for others it is the complete opposite.

To be able to seamlessly grasp all the aspects of the Chinese language in a short time period of starting Chinese lessons, you got to understand that it needs more than just enrolling for Mandarin lessons. It needs extra revision and practice on the side.

There is more than one way to learn something, in-between your Chinese lessons, make use of different learning methods such as the use of flashcards and Chinese learning apps, they will help you to master all aspects of the Chinese language fast, which include reading, Chinese calligraphy, tones, and listening.

Of course, you should add these into the mix too; diligence, discipline, and some determination. You will need them, because you have to study harder if you are to learn the Chinese language quickly.

We have put together a few tips to help you learn the Chinese language, they involve tools for learning Chinese faster and advice on studying Chinese independently.

With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can learn Chinese fast.
With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can learn Chinese fast. Photo credit: via Visualhunt / CC BY

Revise Your Previous Lessons Before Your Next Chinese Classes

Going through your books and Chinese lesson notes is good to help you retain what you have learned last in your Chinese classes.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. It is essential to repeat every lesson as many times as possible, that way, it sticks with you forever.

The Chinese language has been around for millennia, it took all that time to perfect it, you can see why it is a little difficult even for the seasoned professional speaker.

That is why students of Chinese Mandarin must realize they have a steep road ahead of them, and they must revise and revise some more if they want to be good at speaking this age-old language.

It may seem impossible to learn Chinese quickly, especially for the total beginner, but it is not impossible as we think. Just by knowing about 300 of the most commonly used Chinese characters, you can communicate fairly well with the Chinese people.

But what matters most is getting from zero to those 300 characters, you will need lots of practice, one way to do that is, by re-reading your past lessons. We can’t stress that enough.

Take up your learning materials, go through them in your free time, if you were taught how to pronounce some words in your last Chinese class, sit and practice how to pronounce these words.

If it were a calligraphy lesson you took last, endeavor to sit and re-write those Chinese characters, the key here is practice, revision. It helps you to learn Chinese faster.

It is possible you may not easily find a partner in Nigeria that you can practice your Chinese with, because of the low number of native Chinese speakers in the country, but you can make up for the lack of practice with native speakers by revising your lessons consistently.

You can even become almost on the same level as those who have exposure to Chinese speakers, almost, because speaking with a partner has its advantages that cannot be replicated just by studying Chinese from a book.

But don’t feel too down, there are plenty of websites you can visit to find partners you can practice your Chinese with. In fact, that is another tip for learning Chinese faster. Connect and talk with Chinese natives online, they are not so hard to find.

They are always willing to learn English which surely after toiling with it at school for years we can adequately teach it to beginner and intermediate learners.

Learning with them helps you to achieve great fluency faster, and you will learn how the tones are pronounced, which is very important in learning Chinese as it is a tonal language.

Here are a few recommendations for when you want to revise your Chinese lessons:

  • Choose your learning environment wisely – a conducive and quiet environment that will allow you to focus is important.
  • Avoid distractions on your phone – unplug, it’s as simple as that. You should disconnect (or silence) your devices. It is a huge distraction from learning to be checking your Whatsapp updates every two seconds.
  • Drink lots of water – it helps rejuvenate brain cells while learning. Stay healthy.
  • Make notes for later – when you are studying take simple notes, of things you wish to revisit later or you wish to ask your Mandarin teacher.
  • Choose a specific time to revise – early morning is an ideal time to study when all is quiet and still, but it’s up to you to choose. Find times your brain is at its best performance.
You can't just lay on sidewalks to learn Chinese effectively.
Find a nice environment to study, you can't just lay on sidewalks to learn Chinese effectively. Source:

Make Use Of Flashcards To Learn Chinese

Using flashcards is a very effective way of learning Chinese. It may seem like a child’s game at first, but when you think about it, memorizing in little chunks is much easier than memorizing long whole-pages of a book chapter.

And it doesn’t have to be the actual cardboard cards with large Chinese characters imprinted on it (though it won’t hurt to use that), it could be crucial points that you noted down on pieces of paper while revising your Chinese lessons.

Then go back later to re-read or memorize them. The flashcards help you stay organized, and reduces the tension of having to learn things in bulk. Besides, it is much faster to learn Chinese that way.

You can make cards for summaries of lessons, ones for special notes you took during classes, translations or definitions of words, they could be individual Chinese characters on each card, or Chinese grammar rules. You can make a flashcard per idea.

If you want to make yourself some flashcards, you should keep in mind to select bullet points, keep sentences short and simple. You should have an order in which you keep and store them, you can color-code them if possible.

Blue cards for Pinyin characters, green cards for summaries on grammar rules, yellow cards for new vocabulary to memorize, and so on. The choice is all yours.

By summing up what you have learned from your Chinese classes into these interactive flashcards, you make the lessons easier for yourself.

Learning Chinese doesn't have to be expensive, learn more about the price of Chinese lessons in Nigeria.

Learn Deeply About Chinese Culture

The Chinese language is thoroughly intertwined with its culture. One cannot exist without the other. To learn Chinese better you have to immerse yourself in the traditions and customs of the Chinese.

Otherwise, you won’t fully understand the idioms and expressions of the Chinese language, and the origins of some words. Everything that has to do with the Chinese always relates to their historic past.

By learning more about their culture, you process the language faster. So watch Chinese movies, listen to Chinese songs, read their newspapers and watch their TV shows, it all helps, you will familiarize yourself with the language and it’s intonations before you know it.

It's not hard to find native Chinese students who want to learn English.
It's not hard to find native Chinese students who want to learn English. Source:

Practice Using Your Favorite Chinese Learning Apps

Smartphones are everywhere nowadays, you are probably reading this blog from your smartphone. And they have great intuitive apps for everything, from daily exercise routine apps to photo editing apps, to reading apps like Adobe.

And what better way to use your smartphone than by using it to train more on your Chinese lessons.

There are many great Chinese learning apps in the Google and Apple app store that you can download, some for free and others premium. But the best so far, at least for Chinese for beginners, is Hello Chinese.

Hello Chinese has more than a million downloads, it is rated as one of the most popular Chinese learning apps today by most media in China and Nigeria and the world.

With the app you will be able to learn Chinese reading, writing, listening and speaking, you can listen to audio recorded in perfect Chinese to learn how the words are pronounced, and then you can repeat after it.

The Chinese lessons on the app are subdivided into mini-lessons, after each lesson you will be quizzed to assess your understanding of the lesson.

We already spend a great deal of our time on our phones, spend a great deal of our time on our phones, we might as well turn it into something productive, and fun.

Learning Chinese with apps lets you practice the Chinese language On-The-Go. Smart, easy, and your Chinese tutor is aptly portable in your pocket. How nice?

With this, we have come to the conclusion of our tips and tricks you can use to learn Chinese faster. There is plenty more of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are a lot of tools that can help you as a Nigerian seeking to learn the Chinese language.

Ever wonder how to easily find Chinese tutors near you? Superprof can help you find your ideal Chinese teacher. 

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Hafiz is a freelance writer who has an appetite for creativity and smart tech. He also dabbles in poetry.