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Mandarin Chinese Study In Taiwan

Before dealing with the details about studying Mandarin in Taiwan, we can summarize some basics about studying Mandarin that anyone interested in even visiting Taiwan should probably keep in mind. First, to begin studying Mandarin in Taiwan, one should almost surely speak with a professional Chinese school or instructor.  If you need to do some research on Chinese language schools, here’s a good list of Mandarin Chinese language programs with contact information and websites.

Casually picking up Chinese by learning “on the street” doesn’t quite work as well as it often can with Western languages which are similar in nature. In Chinese, there are strict pronunciation and grammar rules you must learn in order to speak well. After just a few months of Mandarin Chinese study, though, it is possible to improve through self-study and practicing with Taiwanese friends and acquaintances.

Traditional or Simplified Characters?

It is necessary to understand that there is one essential difference between Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan and that in Mainland China: the characters. In Taiwan ‘fan ti zi’ or traditional characters are in use, while in Mainland China, simplified characters have replaced the original versions.

Under Mao, the Chinese Communist Party simplified the characters in an effort (some would say a misguided one) to make learning the difficult language easier for the masses. Many students of Mandarin Chinese in Mainland China say that studying traditional characters is a waste of time unless you happen to have a special interest in Taiwan or the study of ancient Chinese texts. Others correctly say that it is extremely useful in letting you learn the history and interrelationship of the Chinese characters.

In fact, traditional Chinese characters tell you much more about the logic and relationship of the different symbols than do the so called simplified characters.

Take Mandarin Chinese Classes Near Taipei City

Taiwan is home to many Mandarin Chinese language classes which are ranked among the best in the world. These are usually offered through the various universities in Taiwan. If your main reason for going to Taiwan is specifically to study Chinese, it is best to stay in the northern part of the island, especially Taipei.

The reason for this is, though the entire island is very beautiful and the people are generally warmer in the south, the number of good Chinese speakers decreases. The further away from Taipei you are, the more the Taiwanese language and other local dialects become predominate. Southern locations may offer less expensive and equally effective Mandarin Chinese language programs with exceptional instructors, but it can be frustrating to step out of your class and hear a language being spoken other than what you’ve learned in class.

Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation in Taiwan

Most every Chinese language course in Taiwan teaches the standard Beijing pronunciation. Don’t be afraid to speak with a Beijing accent in Taiwan. People in Taiwan may not necessarily be adoring fans of the crowds of Mainlanders that have begun to travel here, but if you’re able to pull off the standard accent they will be pretty impressed, and give you lots of praise.

Studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan is greatly rewarding and also highly frustrating. It is almost sure to be totally different from anything you’ve ever experienced before. Studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan will open doors in your life and help introduce you to one of the most fascinating cultures in the world.

Here are some great Chinese language learning resources – almost all of which are free!

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