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I had made this post in another forum, but I am repeating it here, as it might help you.|
A person was concerned about how difficult it is for him to learn Chinese. The person, also, was not a native Engish speaker, as his English was very bad, like a complete beginner. But the advice I offered is very helpful for learning any language.
To the rest of the world, English is by far the most difficult language to learn, as its structure and grammar are so complicated, such that highly educated native spearkers are often puzzled by it--and English lanuguage scholars argue among themselves about what "correct" English is.
The English vocabulary is vast, and it is literally growing by the moment, as, not only are the components of words modular and reconfigurable, English absorbs into itself words of many countries, which adds to its difficulty and further problems with pronounciation.
While just watching the evening world news, in America, I cringe at all of the obvious errors in grammar and usage, and the mispronounciations of words.
The Chinese grammar is very simple in comparison, and one word does not have many meanings.
The problem that westerners have is going from writing Romanized letters to both recognizing and writing the non-Romanized Chinese words, which is a problem any westerner has with the world's non-romanized languages.
Also, there is the always present difficulty in just hearing the words in a foreign language that all people share. Before studying a foreign language, the student just cannot yet distinguish individual words, because they seem to run together too fast. Chinese people have that difficulty with English, and the English speaker has it with Chinese.
Then, too, Mandarin Chinese depends upon four tones(and one neutral tone) for word meanings. As such, it takes the non-Chinese person time and innate ability to adapt to feeling at ease speaking Chinese.
So, for westerners, it is much easier to learn western languages than Asian languages.
In the same way, it is easier for the Chinese to learn other Asian lanugages, including the various dialects of Chinese, within China, as each is as different to them as French, English, Spanish, and German are to westerners--which is exactly why China has named Mandarin as their national, standard language.
Now, the best way to learn Chinese--or any other language: think of how language is taught and learned in any country. When I teach English, I will use children's English books, along with English as a second language texts.
I present the student with an accelerated "growing up learning the language" education. So to speak, I start the student in kindergarten, to first grade, to second grade, and so on.
Then, according to the student's interest and ability, they can continue on to whatever level they desire.
So, I would advise you to begin the Chinese language the way a Chinese child would, progressing a step at a time. Also, immerse yourself in hearing the language. Listen to it as much as possible.
[Note: It would be very helpful for you to try to get American English language textbooks that are intended for American school children. Begin your learning of English the way an American child would.
Also, you should try to find English language children's books of all kinds. There are many English language children's stories on the internet. You need to search for them.
You can also search for such materials that originate in other English speaking countries.
I use this method in America to teach English to non-English speakers, and they are able to learn very quickly and more thoroughly.]