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Chinese is becoming one of the most popular foreign languages in Australia, and for a good reason, since if you master it, you’ll be able to access amazing opportunities all around the globe and meet wonderful people. On top of that, if you become bilingual, you’ll be able to discover the fascinating Chinese culture in a way that most English speakers can’t, as there are many aspects of the Chinese way of life that are not easy to understand if you don’t speak the language, so if you’re a curious person, and you’re looking for a way to expand your horizons, starting a Chinese course this year is one of the smartest things you can do.

What’s more, even if you’re not particularly interested in travelling or getting to know other cultures, you should still consider learning this amazing language for the positive impact it can have on your career, as having Chinese on your CV will make you more employable in Australia and the rest of the world. Now that you’re aware of this, you probably can’t wait to start learning. To help you to become a fluent speaker more quickly, here’s a short guide full of tips and recommendations to learn Chinese more effectively.

Language Trainers organizes Chinese courses in almost any destination!

All classes are taught by qualified, native speaker Chinese trainers and can be arranged at your office or home for any day of the week (including weekends) in the morning, afternoon or evening.

1. What’s Pinyin and Why You Should Learn It

The reason why learning Chinese can be so intimidating at first is because its grammar, vocabulary, and writing system are completely different from English. Fortunately for Chinese learners, pinyin was invented, as this writing system created in the 20th century makes learning Chinese much easier for Westerners. Pinyin is a way of writing Chinese using the Roman alphabet based on its pronunciation, and if you take the time to learn it, you’ll be able to make progress much faster. To illustrate this, here are some of the most important benefits of learning pinyin.

  • It allows beginners to start speaking Chinese quickly, as it helps you to pronounce even the words you don’t know properly.

  • It will help you understand the four Chinese tones thanks to its visual reminders, such as the ones in , , mǎ, and that indicate if the vowel sound in these syllables has a high level, rising, falling rising, or falling tone.

  • It allows you to type Chinese into a computer, so it’s great to chat with natives or take notes in Chinese.

2. Learn Chinese Grammar

If you’re completely new to Chinese grammar, I have good news for you: it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, although sentence structure is completely different from English, there are many aspects of Chinese grammar that are relatively easy to learn. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Unlike most languages, there are no verb conjugations, so you won’t have to worry about irregular verbs. Even when you use different tenses, verbs don’t change, so if you want to know if someone is talking about the past, the present or the future, you simply have to check the rest of the sentence for context.

  • Words in Chinese don’t have plural forms, which means nouns, pronouns and adjectives don’t change according to numbers. If you want to indicate that something is plural, you just add a phrase or a character that denotes the number of the object in question.

  • There are no articles, so you won’t have to spend time learning how to say “the”, “a” or “an” in Chinese.

Important Rules to Understand Chinese Grammar

Now that we’ve explored the easy aspects of Chinese grammar, let’s take a look at some basic rules that will help you understand the way it works.

  • Just like in English, the basic sentence order is subject - verb - object, so you won’t find it difficult at all to get used to the Chinese sentence pattern. Here’s an example.

    他 踢 足球。

    S V O

    He plays soccer.

    However, this is only true for simple sentences, as once you start to write more complex ones, you’ll find patterns like Subject–Adverbials–Verb–Complement–Object, which is where Chinese grammar starts to vary from English, but if you’re just starting, focus on mastering simple sentences first.

  • There’s another sentence structure that it’s pretty common in Chinese, and it’s called topic - comment. Whereas in English and other European languages, we give importance to the subject of the sentence, in Chinese and other Asian languages they give importance to the topic of a sentence. Because of this, if you want to express an idea in Chinese and you want to sound natural, you should say the topic you want to talk about first, and then say what you want about it. To illustrate this, here’s an example.


    Kāfēi wǒ bù xǐhuan.

    I don’t like coffee.

    Literally, “Coffee, I don’t like.”

  • Adjectives typically go before nouns, and because this is also the case in English, you won’t have a hard time remembering this. Let’s take a look at some examples.


    piàoliang de nǚhái

    a pretty girl


    tāmen chī bái fàn.

    They eat white rice.

3. Useful Chinese Phrases

In case you are planning to travel to China in the next few weeks, and you don’t have enough time to learn the language, here are some of the most useful phrases you can learn in just a few hours to help you get by.

English Version Chinese Version Pinyin Version




How are you?


Nǐhǎo ma?



Hěn hǎo

Pretty good


Hái hǎo

Not so good


Bù tài hǎo

Good morning


Zǎoshang hǎo

Good evening


Wǎnshang hǎo

Good night



What’s your name? (informal)


Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?

My name is…


Wǒ jiào…

What’s your surname? (formal)


Nín guìxìng?

My surname is…


Wǒ xìng…

How old are you?


Nǐ duōdà?

Where do you come from?


Nǐ láizì nǎli?

I’m a foreigner


Wǒ shì wàiguó rén

Nice to meet you


Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ

Thank you!



You’re welcome


Bù yòng xiè

Sorry to bother you


Mǎfan nǐ le

No problem


Méi wèntí



Hǎo de!

I don’t understand


(Wǒ) tīngbudǒng

Do you speak English?


(Nǐ) huìshuō yīngwén ma?

I don’t speak Chinese


(Wǒ) bù huì shuō zhōngwén

Could you speak more slowly?


Kěyǐ shuō de màn yīdiǎn ma?

How do you say…?


…zěnme shuō?

I don’t know


(Wǒ) bù zhīdao




See you next time!


Xiàcì jiàn!

After reading this short guide, you probably have a much clearer view on what steps to follow to master the language, so what are you waiting to get started? At Language Trainers, we’ll help you find an ideal course for you that fits all of your requirements, so if you’re looking for personalised lessons at home or online, contact us today, and you won’t regret it!

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How to Book

Take our Chinese Language Level Test.

Let us know why you need to learn Chinese and include the time and location that best suit you.

Review our quote and, if you are happy with it, receive our invoice and Agreement form.

Sign our Agreement form and submit a deposit* for the course.

Receive confirmation from our team with your Chinese tutor’s details.

Begin your Chinese training and receive your Chinese course book.

Throughout your Chinese course, the Language Trainers Academic Team will be on hand to help you with any queries.
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After the first lesson or two, our team will contact you to ensure you are happy with your trainer. If necessary, we will change the focus of the course to better suit your needs.
After finishing your course, we will send you a course attendance and completion certificate..
Our team will provide you with follow-up learning opportunities, including: self study material, language courses in Chinese-speaking countries, and more advanced courses with Language Trainers.
*Deposit payable by check, credit card, wire transfer, or PayPal. Your quote will include the number of classes and cost. A typical course lasts 30 hours per level, with classes of 2 hours each.

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