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How can I improve my spoken Chinese?


#1

I regularly repeat the phrases here and try to alter them when speaking but I just feel I am not able to have many conversations. I can understand people pretty well as I’ve done a lot of listening but outputting Chinese just isn’t going well. I try to talk to my girlfriend in Chinese everyday but I find that I end up having to respond in English. Does anyone have any tips?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Charlie


#2

If there’s one thing I recommend (with the limited information you have provided here),
is to spend time with people who don’t speak any English, and don’t care too much to learn it either.

I think the problem with speaking to your girlfriend is that she knows English. So naturally your inclined to resort to English when you hit a block. If you can’t find Chinese people that only speak mandarin, ask her to designate a certain amount of time where she won’t use English no matter what. Perhaps take her for dinner once a week and during that dinner only mandarin can be used. I’m sure if you pay for the meal she will have no problem with that, lol! Also maybe make some brief notes while your having those conversations so that you know what you need to go learn after when your studying by yourself.

Don’t stress it too much and know that we language learners are all going through the same emotions. Learning languages to a high level is not easy, and many small streams make mighty rivers!!

Peace


#3

Two methods that have helped me:

  1. Get a tutor who will force you to speak in Chinese.
  2. Develop a habit of talking to yourself in Chinese. In the morning, say what you plan to do that day. Or in the evening, say what you did that day. Or during the day, describe what you are currently doing or thinking about.

#4

One of my tutors suggested rehearsing a few conversational topics to help manage the conversation. It is easier to respond in a conversation if you can anticipate what may be asked or said. After you memorize some high frequency phrases you can start to mix and match and improvise a bit better. I have some highly useful phrases in my tool box to fall back on when I hit a road block… 但是我还有很多地方需要学习!


#5

Get a new girlfriend or boyfriend who does not speak English.


#6

Find a topic you enjoy talking about, learn the vocabulary, then engage in a conversation with someone about your favorite topic.


#7

Avoid locals that want to use you for free English practice. Such peops come across super friendly, and will usually speak to you first in Mandarin to assess their chances of sucking you in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone in my face trying to practice their spoken English without even listening to a reply. Best to politely tell such peops to jog on within the first couple of minutes.

I don’t mind helping a genuine friend with their English, to a certain extent, but won’t tolerate being used.

The cost of English classes in China is mostly out of reach to the general public, and competition is fierce for jobs in foreign companies or local companies that require employees to read and speak English. As such, many people will act according to their own interests, it’s only natural in such a competitive environment where a job could mean the difference between living a sustainable life, and poverty with no prospect of finding a partner or having a family.

Beware the unscrupulous woman that will gladly take her knickers off and give you the best blowjobs you’ve ever had in return for your native English ability, and, or naivety.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Otherwise, you’ll get walked on at every turn.

All the best with your studies.