Learn Chinese with Fast Track Chinese

How to Learn Chinese Quickly

Learning to speak Chinese is essentially about learning a vocabulary, and learning to use that vocabulary to express yourself. This article explains how you can use the tools provided by Fast Track Chinese to accomplish these tasks more quickly.

Learning Chinese vocabulary

In Fast Track Chinese words are grouped into 10-word chapters. For each word we show you by examples how to use the different meanings of the word. To learn words, read through a chapter and use quizzes to memorize the words. The tool automatically marks words as known according to your answers.

Known words are included in spaced repetition tracking. Tracking ensures that you retain the vocabulary that you have learned, by scheduling words for requiz. Fast Track Chinese will periodically quiz through your whole vocabulary, so it will detect words that you have forgot. Once you have learned a word, the need to requiz will decrease exponentially, so this approach adapts well to memorizing a very large vocabulary (thousands of words).

Learning to recognize words in spoken Chinese is a complementary skill that you'll also need to acquire. If you have the opportunity to listen to native speakers, this skill will start to develop quickly after you have learned some common words and start to pay attention to what is being said. To get you started, we have Chinese to English audio quiz. This quiz is designed to train your ear to recognize words that you know, which will provide the foundation for developing listening comprehension skills.

Learning to speak Chinese

Learning a vocabulary only gets you halfway through to acquiring a language skill. The other half involves interpreting the meaning of individual words to understand a sentence, and developing the ability to form sentences yourself.

As your vocabulary grows, Fast Track Chinese starts to use sentences in quizzes (see the screenshot). Sentence questions help you learn the different ways that a word is being used, and prepare you to start constructing sentences yourself, using the next quiz.

Sentence building quiz (shown at right) is the hardest quiz that we have. In this quiz you build sentences using the words that you have learned. This will help you develop the skills that you'll need to express yourself, so that you can start to speak Chinese yourself.

Learning to read Chinese

If you only want to learn to speak Chinese, you can learn using pinyin. If you also want to learn to read Chinese, you can change a setting in site options to hide pinyin, either for all words, or just the words that you mark yourself. This setting affects both learning material and quizzes. As an example, here is the same sentence building quiz that was shown above, but this time with pinyin turned off.

Dictionary and translator

We have two more tools that haven't been discussed yet; dictionary and translator. Using the dictionary you can use to find new words to add to your vocabulary. With translator you can machine-translate simple sentences and inspect the component words and their meanings.

If you'd like to try the dictionary or translator, click here. For more information about reading support, see Tags. For more information about quizzes, see Quizzes.

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