Have you considered learning Chinese?

As some of you might know, I’m not Chinese. I’m 100% American born and raised. I started studying Mandarin around 2009, and am pretty much completely self-taught. I see questions on the forums every so often about learning Chinese. I’ve also had some personal messages sent my way. I decided to make a little FAQ based on my (ongoing) experience of learning the language. Please feel free to check out the article in the new “resources” section up above, or click here, and if you have further questions feel free to leave them in the comments!


40 thoughts on “Have you considered learning Chinese?” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. I was considering to learn chineese for my future work, but i choose japanese because in Japan it would be easier to find a better job with such education (Chemestry engineering) than in China. I am Russian btw.

  2. I really want to, specially that i’m in my tender age. I don’t mind learning japanese, chinese, korean, thai cause rather than future, i want myself first immersed in enjoyment. Seek happiness first. I know it’s a bit exaggeration of a comment, but thanks deathblade-sama for considering us. 😀

    1. I’m just gonna ask, Sir Deathblade, is there any apps in playstore where you have to answer corresponding characters? Cause i guess the reason i learned english in te first place was because of a certain app like that. If there’s any, then I’ll really be grateful.

      1. There is, I’m using it now, Busuu 6.3. It have some languages tests with involve you hear/read and chose or write what is it, maybe there is something better but this one is good.

  3. I really wanna learn chinese too but i’m afraid that it’ll be too difficult to study it becoz i’m pretty stupid but thank u so much for considering us.

    1. Ey yoh bro! you know it’s not difficult, as you can guess my english is not my first language, and i’m not the smartest person in the world, but if you apply yourself to learn it you’ll succeed 🙂

      1. You’re right Zero, I started learning english with a playstation 2, the will to read some books and internet. I can’t talk english (or don’t have the courage to do so, haven’t tried), but I can read and write enough for me.

  4. Are you crazy??? Learning chinesse is too unbelieveble difficult, too much word with a lot different meaning. I was already give up years ago. I rather choose jappanese, france or german

    1. Haha @dikibulin. Its not that difficult. I am bilingual in both english and chinese. Although i prefer reading in english and conversing in chinese. All i can say is press on! Keep it up. Anyone who needs help can find me as well. I will try my best to help if i am able to!

  5. Thanks D.B.
    I’m currently teaching myself Japanese and want Chinese to be my third language. Your FAQ page will probably be alot of help.
    @dikibulin Japanese Kanji are actually characters from Chinese. Japanese is only considered easier to learn because some native English speakers find it easier to pronounce Japanese words than Chinese.

  6. Wow thanks for that huge info dump Deathblade! Will definitely refer to it.

    I’ve been reading ahead for some DE/ ISSTH chapters and then checking my translations with the official chapters once posted to answer any questions I had.

    Unfortunately I’m still at the super-slow rudimentary level, but wuxiaworld is definitely an amazing incentive to go for the fluency badge!

  7. i already speak dutch, german and english. at the moment i am learning japanese as my 4th language. i do plan to learn chinese in the future but i don’t think that wil be within the next 5 years.
    that is because i only learn a language if i am around native speakers. fortunatly i have found a tutor for japanese, chinese and korean.
    but i wil take note to the information you have profided.

    (ps. sorry for the bad english. i have dyslexia(an additional challenge to the learning of a new language))

  8. i started reading xianxia stories last year april
    and since then the thought of learning chinese never left my mind
    but it would at least take years and a looooot of time before i would have the ability to read,understand and enjoy those stories in their original language
    and in those years
    there would be probably be many many stories already be out and have hundreds of translated chapters
    the genre started pretty much really at the time when i started reading too
    there werent many translated xianxia stories at that moment
    and from april-july there was a huge ammount of them
    with many different types of xianxia stories
    even the wuxia and casual chinese stories became enjoyable
    it was like the transported to another world and virtual reality mmorpg trend

  9. Starting from when I was around 8, I attended a Chinese language school on weekends every week for 4 years and because I have no motivation, even now I’m only able to speak it, without the ability to read or write… and I myself am Chinese.

  10. Im Chinese but I can’t read it. Heck it’s tough. For example the number 3 in Chinese has tons of different meanings. I’ll stick to the translations as it’s much more enjoyable to read in the language your used to. Though I have to say informal Japanese Is easier than chinese. Goodluck anyways

  11. I’ve done a bit of MTL work so I could read ahead on a few novels but really I just don’t have the patience to practice consistently for real mastery. Picked up to many computer languages in my misspent youth I guess my head is full. When I am in the mood I can do a reasonable MTL of a chapter in about four hours but I usually only bother when the translator goes on hiatus. The mountain fight before the stillwater arc in desolate era is a good example, by the time the fight was translated I had already had Ning in collage for a while.

    Anyway a lot of effort to make a decent polished MTL even if it is no where near as hard as it used to be. I don’t speak or read Chinese, Korean, or Japanese but I have MTL’ed them.

  12. Deathblade, please help me with this problem.

    I was born and raised in China, until I was 6, where I was immigrated to the USA out of a greencard visa/whatever. I became a US citizen only recently(2 years ago) as I changed my mind about living in China and College started for me in the US.

    I was raised to understand in terms of speech in Mandarin and Cantonese, but if you were to told me to write chinese or even read it, that is a different story. I think i can understand the most basic of chinese letters like “me, you, I, age, blade, etc” I’ve sat down by myself and read a newspaper and marked words I can read with a highlighter and found out that I can read about 100-200 characters. Not bad right? NOPE! I wish to learn how to read chinese properly, and eventually even write it as I am going back to China for a year or 2 after college graduation, it would be bad if I was in GuangZhou and I did not know how to read street names or even signs.

    Would your learning resources help me? Should I take classes for Chinese?

    1. I am not deathblade but I will still answer your question
      You have already a really big advantage and that is your pronounciation. So you don’t need to look too much(OFC still has to work on it due to your american dialect).
      I would reccommend actually to take class(if possible) and get a learning app . Learn all the vocabulary(yes I mean it) + reading part (writing is important but if you only focuse on reading not so much).
      You should never regress and always learn half a hour a day and have fun ! It will take a long time just like any other language. But it’s soo worth it ..also for resume (belive me).

  13. I am chinese living in germany. I had really poor chinese until I come across chinese novel. Now I am finished with HSK 6. I can easily read chinese version. But the level from 4 to 6 was the heaviest. Too many ‘words’…
    HSK1-3 basic ? can be learned in 1month easily.

    So I guess I thank you guys 😉

  14. Hello, I am also born an American. I grew up learning a bit of Chinese outside of school and from just talking to my parents but I am not completely proficient in it. I started a club at school for translating Chinese webnovels, heavily inspired by you guys and other websites like gravitytales and shitoyukitranslations. Some of my friends in the club were born in America but moved to China and recently came back, so they are proficient in both English in Chinese. I would just like to ask how did wuxiaworld had developed into what it has become now and if there are some better ways of finding audience than just by spreading using word of mouth.

  15. Oh man yeah! Why not! I think this is awesome DeathBlade! Thumbs-up! <3

    I really am heartily willing to learn though self-taught. The only thing maybe that would impair it was the intonation or syllabication whatever how you read it then… However, the usefulness being able to learn how to read and comprehend would cover that loophole. Do u know this is one of the most important language i wanna learn?

    Hope to learn much from it 😀
    Thanks btw <3 <3 <3

  16. I have a stupid question that am too lazy to google 🙁
    If the Chinese pictographs don’t say anything about the pronunciation of the word, then how can you be sure that the current pronunciation is the same as in ancient Chinese ?

    1. Good question, we know that pronunciation of ancient Chinese is different from modern Chinese for sure and we have linguist study this. However, Chinese poems written 2000 years ago still rhyme perfectly today, I think this is very cool

  17. I am a native Chinese speaker, I’d like to share some experience.

    Typically Chinese kids manage to communicate in Chinese with adults around year 3. We start to learn read and write Chinese characters in year 6, in primary school. We could start to read simply Xianxia or Wuxia novels at age of 10 or 11, with vocabulary about 3000 characters.

    I started to learn English at age of 12. I passed TOEFL, IELTS, GRE after learning English for more than 10 years, and then entered Graduate School in Canada. I can read English Wikipedia but reading English novels could still be a bit difficult for me. I think you may expect similar experience during learning Chinese.

    Anyhow, we have at least 1,000,000 novels of all kinds on the internet, Xianxia and Wuxia is only one type of them. Writers now post 100 million word new chapters daily on Qidian, and we have another website called Jinjiang which is equal important to Qidian. That is to say learning Chinese will be very rewarding if you really like Chinese novels.

    As Mr.Deathblade suggests, the best way to learn Chinese (mandarin) starts with learning Pinyin. For our Chinese kids, the second step is to learn to use a dictionary (e.g. Xinhua dictionary), but I don’t know whether this apply to you.

    Good luck to all of you who want to learn Chinese!

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