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Mandarin Chinese 1 courses equip you with knowledge of the core fundamentals of the Mandarin dialect and prepares you for more advanced studies in the language. While this may be the first in a sequence of Mandarin classes that you are planning to take, you should not assume that it will necessarily be the easiest one. It's possible you may encounter more trouble in this class than in more advanced ones because of the initial challenges that learning Mandarin Chinese presents. Throughout the course, you will be expected to familiarize yourself with several different ways of representing Chinese text, including Pinyin Romanization, simplified characters, and traditional characters. For students who grew up speaking a language based on the Latin alphabet, this can present a large obstacle from the very first day of instruction. Additionally, students must learn to work with both hand-written and typed forms, which can cause additional stress. If this challenging subject has you down, get connected with a Mandarin Chinese 1 tutor in your area for one-on-one instruction.
Certain features of spoken Mandarin also present a bit of a learning curve. For example, Mandarin Chinese's use of four tones can create a stumbling block for new students. English makes extremely little use of tones, while Mandarin speakers rely on tone as a significant factor in determining the meaning of a spoken sentence. These initial difficulties must be surmounted before students can proceed with the main work of Mandarin Chinese 1, which is learning the core vocabulary needed to express yourself and communicate with others in the language.