If you’re asking the question “How long does it take to learn Chinese?”, you may find answers like, it takes 10,000 hours, or it takes five years, or 2000 days.
There is only one good answer to this question: The first 20 hours matter the most. You’re probably asking “how long does it take to learn Chinese” before you’ve done anything except researching about learning Chinese. You’re probably scared of getting started.
Start learning Chinese online for free right here on Kong Long Mandarin.
I’m a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese. I have significant experience learning a second language (English). I want to use my own language learning experiences to help you learn to speak my native tongue, for free.
My method heavily focuses on listening comprehension and speaking which I believe are generally not emphasized enough in most language learning resources. You simply cannot learn to speak Mandarin from a textbook or grammar guide.
Start with just five minutes each day.
The first 20 hours: How to learn anything, including the Chinese language
In his TEDx talk, best selling author Josh Kaufman answered the real million-dollar question about how to learn anything, including the Chinese language.
How long does it take from starting something and being grossly incompetent and knowing it to being reasonably good?
20 hours! That’s it.
20 hours of focused deliberate practice.
Josh Kaufman revealed the story of the learning curve:
When you start, you’re grossly incompetent….With a little bit of practice, you get really good really quick…That early level of improvement is very fast.
Now this sounds much less intimidating than 10,000 hours or five years.
After the first 20 hours, you will be astounded by how much you’ve learned about the Chinese language. You can start to communicate in Chinese.
I guarantee it! You can ask for a refund if it doesn’t work! 😛
How to learn Mandarin in five minutes
20 hours is doable — that’s about 45 minutes a day for about a month, even skipping a couple of days here and there
I will take one step back and say you can just start with spending FIVE MINUTES a day on learning Chinese. I have two reasons for recommending this:
First, once you start learning something or practicing something, it’s highly likely you’ll get in to it and end up spending more than five minutes. You’ll probably feel good whild doing it and after doing it, because learning is inherently rewarding.
The biggest hurdle is not the length of time, it’s getting started. So commit yourself to spending FIVE MINUTES a day on learning Chinese. You’ll remove the barrier to practice.
Second, on Learn Chinese Peppa Pig, you can actually just spend FIVE MINUTES learning Chinese, and learn something about the Chinese language. You can watch the video segments that are only less than a minute long. With pausing and repeating, you can do it under five minutes. You can read any of my show notes, or grammar posts, under five minutes.
If you have multiple five minutes of spare time a day, do it.
I bet you do. I have two young children, a full-time job, a husband I want to spend plenty of time with. I have to sleep, too. I have spare time. You do, too.
Obviously spending longer than five minutes a day on learning Chinese would be better. Like Josh Kaufman recommended, 45 minutes a day for about a month sounds about right.
Are you a procrastinator? I am. We all are. But sometimes, I can overcome my own tendency to procrastinate such as when I build Kong Long Mandarin (formally Learn Chinese with Peppa Pig). I feel incredibly rewarded while doing this. Learning to speak a new language like Mandarin is inherently rewarding too.
Just. Start. Put in that first 20 hours in.
Stop Analysis Paralysis! Start Learning Mandarin with Kong Long and Peppa Pig
If you’re googling the question “how long does it take to learn Chinese”, I bet you are also spending time googling “the best way to learn Chinese” or “what books or courses should I use for learning Chinese”. Perhaps “learn Chinese online for free”.
You may be stuck in analysis paralysis.
Get three to five resources about what it is you’re trying to learn. It could be books, it could be DVDs, it could be anything, but don’t use those as a way to procrastinate.
There are so many resources for learning Mandarin. There are so many things to learn about the Chinese language.
What’s the best way to learn Mandarin online for free?
Look no further. I am an advocate for learning Chinese through active learning that combines listening comprehension, speaking, sentence structure / grammar and vocabulary.
Peppa Pig is a great show to learn simple practical language from. It’s fun to watch too. It’s more interesting than any contrived scenarios built specifically for learning a language. The Peppa Pig Mandarin dub is a fantastic resource for learning Chinese. You may get hooked!
Here, I’ve made it easier for you by breaking down the content, explaining them and providing a method to help you learn Mandarin. For free!
Do yourself a favor and start right here.
“How long does it take to learn Chinese?” Does the question even matter?
When you start, when researching gave participants a task, it took them a really long time, because it was new and they were horrible. With a little bit of practice, they get better and better and better. And that early part of practice is really really efficient. People get good at things with a little bit of practice.
Stop asking “how long does it take to learn Chinese“. Spend your first 20 hours on learning Chinese.
After the first 20 hours, you will be astounded by how much you’ve learned about the Chinese language. After the first 20 hours of learning Chinese, you can then decide how much further effort you want to put into the endeavor.
You may still ponder the question “how long does it take to learn Chinese” after the first 20 hours of learning Chinese. You may not. Because that question in itself does not matter!!!