How To Learn Chinese On Your Own

I’ve just learned how to say “they’re busy” in Chinese, from my Chinese textbook which is written in Japanese (without CD, because it’s a grammar book).

他们很忙。
Tāmen hěn máng.

I want to remember it.
To remember, I need to recall it from my memory several times, at least once.

So I’m going to use translation to recall the Chinese sentence. On Notepad, I type the translation: 彼らはとても忙しい (they are busy).

And then, I translate it into Chinese while recalling the pinyin, the tones, and of course, the Chinese characters.

Oddcast Text-to-Speech

And then, I use online Text-To-Speech service to read the Chinese sentence out loud: http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php

I listen to all the Chinese speakers’ voices (Liang, Hui, Lily, etc.).

So now I know how to pronounce it.
I click Say It button several times and I tell myself: OK, so when you hear this next time, you’ll know it means ‘they’re busy’.
I repeat what Liang says a few times (because he sounds most natural to me).

And then, I say it to Google Voice Search on my tablet. (Change the language setting to Chinese first →普通话(中国大陆)).

Google Voice Search

Google Voice Search recognizing my voice

I try a few times until Google Voice Search shows me the correct Chinese sentence.

Yay! I did it! I can speak Chinese! 😀

Only one sentence: they’re busy, but anyway, I’m happy about it.

And then I continue to practice the next sentence. ###

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