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I think to learn a language including Chinese, you would need to first learn the fundamentals, such as the vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. After that, native speakers go their own way to develop into a more proficient speaker/writer/communicator.

This process takes time and results are uncertain (maybe). Any suggestions about more effective ways to improve Chinese for beginner and intermediate levels?

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  • tv & movie watching. HK/TW material might be preferable content-wise as the majority of mainland entertainment borders on unwatchable.
    – Mou某
    May 28 '15 at 14:27
  • reading Mickey Mouse and other comics translated to Chinese manhuatai.com/milaoshu/m.html
    – user6065
    May 28 '15 at 15:28
  • Thanks for the ideas. What do you think about playing a Chinese RPG game? I found it a quick way to learn good sentences in context... Not sure if any one agrees?
    – Danke Xie
    May 29 '15 at 5:23
  • I used to watch shows dubbed in Chinese or with Chinese subtitles, which was helpful when the original language wasn't one I was fluent in.
    – user5714
    May 29 '15 at 7:05
  • I think building vocabulary is the most important at this point and needless to say, practicing as often as you can.
    – imrek
    May 29 '15 at 17:24
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Thanks for everyone's comments. I think I got some answer to this question.

To improve Chinese beyond intermediate level, one can "use the language in context".

Single-person activities include

  • Reading Chinese in cartoon book with a topic you are interested in or familiar with
  • Watch Chinese drama/movies or translated drama/movies with Chinese voice/subtitles
  • Play Chinese RPG games in which you would see how the language is used in practice, and how people with different social status address each other.
  • Switch your phone or computer to Chinese language, and you can learn some new words and sentences. (though I think this one is intermediate level).

Multi-person activities:

  • Talk and interact with other learners or native speakers.
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  • One more suggestion: personally I find it really helpful if I write out new characters and words, since memorizing Chinese characters is harder than memorizing words in the Latin alphabet, at least for me. I would write an answer, but doing so on a phone is difficult.
    – user5714
    May 29 '15 at 21:03
  • Agreed. Writing is important in Chinese -- both for learning the characters, and expressing yourself with clear words. I guess it's the same as English, though writing is more important. That may be why handwriting is considered to be more important in China than in the west.
    – Danke Xie
    Jun 1 '15 at 5:33
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I have one suggestion, and one suggestion only

Stay exposed to real Chinese used in real life and learn through real life settings

I'm currently a freshman at a college where many non-native speakers come to learn Chinese. And after several language exchange opportunities, I found that even though the Chinese program at my college is one of the toughest, many of them struggle make themselves understood in a intuitive way. Chinese's grammar isn't that strict but it's also subtle enough that it's gonna be really wired if you use some word wrong. So my suggestion is that no matter how to do it, be constantly exposed to Chinese to develope this instinct. Good luck!

Edit: I'd assume simplest way is make some Chinese friend or even come to a Chinese speaking country

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Many young people in China use the APP like QQ or WeChat chat on the Internet,so you can find someone to be your friend.It is a funny way to learn Chinese.APP QQ and WeChat

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