Improving Your Chinese Listening Skillskriswarner88
One of the most important parts in learning to communicate in the Chinese language is your ability to listen and comprehend. You can learn to speak, learn the tones and pronunciation, but you still need to be able to underrated what is said back to you.
The first thing is to be aware of context and body language. There is a of information available for understanding what is being said that is not related directly to the words.
Next, be aware and accept that you are not going to understand everything that is said all the time, the first time round.
Learning a language and trying to comprehend what is said to you is like a game where you have to try to understand as much as you can, in the knowledge that there will be guesswork involved.
Repetition is crucial. Put yourself in situations where you can ask the same question over and over again. With a question like ”How’s business?”, there are a only half a dozen potential answers, and before long you will be able to understand the response. Not bad, pretty good, awful… whatever. Then have a response ready for each one, and try and work out the response to the response. Then repeat.
Being prepared to not understand and to risk making a fool of yourself over and over again — that is a precondition. It’s okay to not understand.
In a language class I once did, one student only ever learned to say one phrase: “Please repeat that.” Which started out as funny, and then quickly got tedious. But asking people to repeat what they just said is fine. Do it.
Then there are videos and audio apps … and TV shows and the news in Chinese … there are lots of ways of listening to Chinese. But the best way of doing it is to be talking to someone live in your reality space.
As you get better, you will understand more, but even after years of learning there will still be points in conversations where you lose the thread. It’s okay. Fake it or ask for clarification, or change the subject. But keep listening.
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