The official language of China is Chinese characters, and its language system and way of thinking are very different from those of English-speaking countries, which is a big difficulty for many foreigners when they first come to China. But if you learn Chinese well, it will definitely be a big help for you to apply to Chinese universities and study and live in China. This article outlines the difficulties that beginners in Chinese tend to encounter and the corresponding advice.
It is important to note that there are now two sets of Chinese characters, simplified and traditional, with mainland China using mainly simplified characters and Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan using mainly traditional characters, and with slight differences in pronunciation and grammar between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Compared to traditional characters, simplified characters have a simpler structure, but learning Chinese characters is still a major challenge for many foreigners, and you will need to spend time memorizing them as you learn.
Tone is another feature of Chinese. Mandarin has four tones. The same pronunciation has different meanings for different tones. But as a Chinese learner, you don’t have to pronounce every word standard. Listening and practicing more is a good way to learn every language. Read aloud more often, and communicate with your Chinese friends when you can, they will be happy to tell you about Chinese, and you can learn Chinese idioms and buzzwords from them.
Chinese Proficiency Test
If you want to test your Chinese language level and get an authoritative certificate, you can register for the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). The Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is the official national standardized test in China for testing the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers of Chinese, including foreigners, overseas Chinese, and people from ethnic minorities in mainland China.
The HSK is designed and developed by the Chinese Proficiency Test Center of Beijing Language and Culture University and includes the Basic Chinese Proficiency Test, the Elementary and Secondary Chinese Proficiency Test, and the Advanced Chinese Proficiency Test. The Chinese Proficiency Test is held regularly every year in mainland China and overseas, and those who achieve the required standard in the test can obtain the Chinese Proficiency Certificate of the corresponding level. The test is fully guided by the National Chinese Language Examination Committee of the Chinese Ministry of Education, which issues the Chinese Proficiency Certificate.
You can check the HSK official website http://www.chinesetest.cn/index.do for global test centers, more information about the test and registration.