FAQ

Mandarin Language Learning

First, certainly, the Chinese are not smarter than other people in the world, nor other people in the world are less smart than the Chinese, so Mandarin is neither harder nor easier than other languages. Second, Mandarin is very different from the English language, but not “harder” than the English language. Choosing the right method is the most important aspect to learn Mandarin well and easily, and this is what mmMandarin can provide.

Yes, we can focus your lessons on only speaking and listening. The difference about mmMandarin is that its method will also provide a chance for you to study speaking and listening with your eyes wide open. You will also naturally start recognizing some characters during our lessons, without any extra burden on your memory. We would like to emphasize, though, that with a proper way to teach characters, the learning of characters will be more fun, easier and, of course, much more useful. Remember, the most important aspect of learning Mandarin is the method, which can make the study much more efficient. So, in terms of what to study and how to study, we focus on the how to study first. 

With all the different technologies that exist today, students need to learn character recognition, not handwriting. Nowadays, in China, only clerks and calligraphers need to study and be proficient in character handwriting, so do not worry about this issue. With mmMandarin’s method, you will learn character recognition and we will teach how to input using a computer or a mobile device.

A total of 500 hours to learn 3000 words is enough to become very proficient for most dailylife and professional situations. These 500 hours could be finished in 2 years of dedicated study. If you are trained properly and disciplined about studying, you can even reach a higher level in a shorter period.

90% of native Chinese do not speak with good tones, so do not worry about tones that much. However, without correct tones, there is no chance to feel the beauty of the Mandarin language and, of course, this can lower understanding.

Learning tones correctly in the beginning is very crucial. Students that have learned Mandarin, but still struggle with tones should take pronunciation classes to correct old habits. To correct an advanced student’s tones, is like breaking a table to make a chair. Not easy, but, with practice and a good method, definitely possible. mmMandarin’s pronunciation program can definitely help you fix your pronunciation problems.

As opposed to what official entities say, you do not need thousands of hours to learn Mandarin. 1000 hours is more than enough to reach an advanced level of speaking and reading. The method is the most important thing. First, do not go slow at the beginning and intermediate levels. 500 hours in 5 years is not the same as 500 hours in one year. At those levels, studying Chinese is like walking on marsh. If you are too slow or stopping often, you will sink into the mud. Second, if you decide to learn a new language, Chinese is the correct language to choose from because of the professional opportunities and cultural significance it can give you. So buy the ticket to learn Chinese. Just be careful to not jump on the wrong train and start with a less effective method.

Everywhere in the news, China is labeled as a strong economy and that it will become more and more important overtime. Having a high level of proficiency in Mandarin can help people stand out, especially since people think the language is so difficult. In financial terms, according to research by MIT Professor Albert Saiz, over a lifetime, knowing a foreign language can add to almost a USD 50,000 return on investment. Imagine spending a few thousand dollars with mmMandarin programs and earning this return over a lifetime. 

mmMandarin Programs

First, with mmMandarin, students all over the world learn Mandarin with the help of native, qualified and certified teachers. It is not self-learning, but actually coached learning. We believe this is still one of the most effective ways to learn a language: with a good teacher.

Second, mmMandarin is a structured curriculum, so students join the online classroom not for an informal chat, but rather for a real class, with a real lesson, where they can see real progress.

Third, mmMandarin’s use of a tone marking system trains students on correct pronunciation, which is crucial for being understood in Mandarin.

Fourth, mmMandarin is a fast and efficient way to learn Mandarin.

Lastly, and most importantly, mmMandarin is VERY easy to use. Accessing our online classroom is as easy as opening a website. When we were creating an online classroom, our goal was to get the student started with class in less than 60 seconds. No logins, no passwords, no downloads. With mmMandarin’s method, a teacher creates a unique classroom link for the student, sends it and the student can refer back to the materials forever.

Ideally, the conversational course is an opportunity to give students who don’t have as much speaking time in class to practice conversation, and to allow students who have already studied Mandarin the chance to maintain their speaking level. Absolute beginners do not need to choose the conversational course just because they are worried about reading Chinese characters. The standard mmMandarin Course provides a structured method to deal with reading and character recognition, which makes the general learning easier and faster.

StudyHSK focuses primarily on the skills and vocabulary needed to pass the HSK exam. The HSK exam is more focused on reading comprehension, character recognition, listening and writing. Of course, our teachers will help students go beyond what is needed to pass the test, but if a student only has a limited time to prepare for the exam, the focus will be on the critical skills to pass the HSK.

The placement test used by mmMandarin considers the "audio" and "visual" abilities which are related to Mandarin "listening and speaking" and "reading, character recognitions, and compositions," respectively. There is also a test on students keyboard imputing abilities. The test will be done online, and will include 7 segments including reciting, repetition, antonyms, listening (words and sentences), retelling a passage, writing compositions, and keyboard imputing.

mmMandarin is authorized by the Sinology Institute to issue certificates of completion to students. Sinology Institute is an official Mandarin school in Beijing licensed by the Chinese government authorities and the Ministry of Education.

Yes! With the certificates, you will not just say you know Chinese, but, say clearly your level is "intermediate" or "above intermediate". This can only give you an advantage over others since many people study Chinese but still only very few people can reach intermediate levels or above. 

Every lesson takes two hours to be completed. Every lesson is composed of nine steps.

  1. Review Vocabulary
  2. Review sentences
  3. New Vocabulary Character recognition
  4. Application of New Vocabulary
  5. Listening Practice
  6. Make Sentence
  7. Answer Questions
  8. Free Conversation
  9. Lesson summary

The focus of all lessons is to give as much speaking time as possible to the students, so the lessons are tailored and the teachers are coached to help the student speak as much as possible.

The teachers at mmMandarin are trained and certified by the Sinology Institute, a Mandarin school and Mandarin language research institute located in Beijing China. Teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree, and many have Master’s degrees on Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. 

Regardless of your level, mmMandarin has a program for you. It is excellent for absolute beginners who are choosing a Mandarin program that will give results fast. It is also a great resource for students with previous study experience who want to refresh or improve their speaking skills. It is also good for current students who have inadequate class hours and need more conversation practice.

At least HSK 4, which means pre-advanced and above.

We are not teaching you the rules or theory. We are teaching you the method to pronounce correctly. And we want you to learn pronunciation as if you learning how to swim or to ride a bike. Pronunciation is also a physical skill because you have to train your muscles to be able to pronounce Mandarin naturally correctly.

Our proprietary smart tone mark system allows the student to visualize the pitch and tone changes of pronunciation materials, rather than over reliance on Pinyin. This system shows the tone changes of “yī”, “bù”, “third tone variations” which are usually considered the most confusing points in Mandarin.  Students have the chance to combine visual clues for correct pronunciation.

The 3S system, which stands for the Separation of Speech and Script, intends to teach Chinese speaking and listening with approaches different from the ones used in teaching reading and character recognition. Under this methodology, the study of script (characters) will accelerate learning Mandarin speaking and listening.  Chinese characters will not be an extra burden or the biggest barrier for foreign students to learn Mandarin.

Miscellaneous

Definitely. Sign up for a free trial here for a conversational or a core course, a StudyHSK Course.

You can pay via Paypal or Bank Transfer.

Contact us

If you cannot find an answer to your question, please email us at admissions@mmMandarin.com.