Chinese language - your biggest obstacle to delving into China
Travel to China is a wonderful thing that you cannot miss in your life. During the tour, you will enjoy the unique landscape, food, people and culture. Unfortunately, in China, it is not an easy thing to communicate with locals because most of Chinese cannot speak English at all.
In places where a lot of foreigners travel, many signs are in Pinyin or English, some of those translations from Chinese are hard to understand. But when you go to places less traveled, Chinese symbols are the exclusive. You may feel embarrassed when unable to read the sign on the washroom doors. Chinese language has become the biggest problem to keep you get closer to many things in China. Even though you take a tour package, this gap definitely prevents you from experiencing the wonderful Chinese culture. So, it is ALWAYS a good idea to learn a few words of the local language before you travel to China.
Is it possible to learn Chinese for your trip to China within a short time? Absolutely. It is not some kind magic, but a practical and straight-forward guide from us.
Learn Chinese within a short time is absolutely possible to a traveler. You need not spend hundreds of hours studying Chinese grammar or Chinese character writing.
What you need to do is to learn:
1.Basic expressions which can help you getting around everywhere.
2.Remember some most useful characters as symbols.
If you are totally a newbie to Chinese, you’d better have a basic view of Chinese language first.
Basics of Basic Chinese
Chinese is the universal language in China. Standard Mandarin is the official and dominant spoken language used by Chinese. The Chinese characters, or symbols, are the written form of the Chinese language. Pinyin, a Romanization system, is used to represent sound of characters.
For example: renPinyin, spoken part
人Character, written part
You can refer to Chinese 101 for more detail introduction of Chinese language.
Learn tourist Chinese effectively
If you know nothing or little about Chinese, then pick up a practical, simple pocketbook. As a self-taught beginner, you will start by pinyin, everyday expressions, situational conversations, and commonly-used vocabulary which help you communicate and get around easily in China. Here are some well-written books I have found!
Use body language such as pointing, gesturing and pantomiming will all help you get your point across. Hand your pen and paper to the person across the counter when you don't understand how much something costs; most people will get the idea and write down the number. Carry around a pad of paper on which you can write figures and draw pictures.