How-to Guides

The best way to learn Mandarin Chinese is to acquire the language, don’t be taught. Sure it is hard, however, it only takes just the first 20 hours to get into a new language, including Mandarin Chinese. Also, I am an advocate for learning a language like children do because I’m inspired by my daughter.

The Peppa Pig Method (PPM):

  • Step 1: Watch a Peppa Pig clip in Mandarin (such as S01E03 Part 1) in full screen mode and guess the plot.
  • Step 2: Watch the video again and focus on the sounds, follow along the transcript, and pause whenever you need it.
  • Step 3: Read the show notes below the video to understand the conversation and learn Chinese expressions.
  • Step 4: Repeat Step 2 and READ OUT LOUD, repeat as many times as you can. Go back to show notes whenever you want.

Make no mistake, you can apply the PPM to any Mandarin Chinese media. However, starting here would be particularly helpful because I emphasize on the following:

  • Watching without English subtitles. Take a mother tongue approach and focus on listening, understanding and speaking. Guess the plot as much as you can! Don’t worry about the grammar if you don’t want to.
  • Repeat small segments. Watch repeatedly and REPEAT OUT LOUD for best results. I’ve segmented each Peppa Pig episode into parts that are less than one minute long and include six to twelve sentences each.
  • Read my notes. I explain words and expressions that show up in the part in my own words. Each post assumes you haven’t read any other posts and know nothing about any words so they can be used on a standalone basis.

How to practice speaking Mandarin:

Mandarin speaking and pronunciation tips:

This is definitely not the fastest way to pass a Chinese language exam such as HSK which mainly focuses on reading and writing. There are plenty of great resources out there!