Do you know that the city of Melaka is listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site for its historic attractions and unique blend of cultures?
Most of us are familiar with the A Famosa and The Stadthuys which showcase the footprints of the Portuguese and Dutch in Melaka. But a trip to Melaka is incomplete without a visit to the landmarks that show the prevalence of Chinese culture in the local community.
Planning to visit Melaka soon? Read through to know how learning Mandarin can make your trip more enjoyable and memorable and how to find the right Mandarin tutor!
Experience a Chinese cultural trip in Melaka
Travel back in time with Chinese history
Cheng Ho Cultural Museum (located at Jonker Street) is one the most visited landmark in Melaka and the biggest museum in the state. Visitors will be able to learn more about the background of Admiral Cheng Ho, look at galleries and exhibits of the estimated size of his ships during the expeditions and how his arrival at Malacca helped develop a diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
Appreciate the art of Chinese calligraphy
Are you fascinated by ink-written Chinese characters during Chinese festive seasons or old Chinese reading materials? You can check out the Sim Mow Yu's Calligraphy Museum (located at Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho) which showcases the contribution of the late Datuk Sim Mow Yu as an educator who championed Chinese education in Malaysia as well as his calligraphy writings.
Satisfy your cravings with Chinese food
You cannot leave Melaka without tasting their special chicken rice ball! Commonly served in many local restaurants, you will truly enjoy the various combination of chilli and soy sauce that comes with soft rice balls with steamed or roasted chicken!
Learn the core of Chinese characters through Mandarin lessons
Language and culture learning go hand in hand, both elements are equally important. Your holidays in Mandarin-speaking countries or regions will be more memorable if you can master the expression of spoken (pinyin) and written Chinese characters.
Just as we need to learn our ABCs before learning to speak or write words and sentences in English, the Mandarin language is also no exception. The only difference is, Chinese characters are made up of lines that are derived from various strokes and patterns.
The beauty of Chinese character is that a character can just be formed with just one stroke while another can take ten strokes for it to mean something. For example, the Mandarin character for one is written in one stroke as 一 ， while pencil in Mandarin is written in ten strokes as 笔。
Besides remembering various basic strokes (bihua) 笔画, you also need to recall the stroke order (bishun) 笔顺 such as which stroke comes first in terms of left or right or top to bottom, or even inside and out.
Find amazing Mandarin classes in Melaka
Feeling slightly overwhelmed after looking at the various basic strokes of Chinese characters? Don’t worry, because you don’t have to learn them on your own. With the help of a good Mandarin teacher, you will master them in no time!
If you are located in Melaka, you might want to look for a Mandarin lesson near you, so check out these amazing learning platforms to kickstart your Mandarin learning!
1.Mandarin Class Melaka
Mandarin Class Melaka caters to various students regardless of age groups or language levels. Whether you are starting from zero or you want to solely improve on your Mandarin speaking skills, you will be exposed to a systematic teaching method.
The learning packages offered include Spoken Mandarin course, KIDS Mandarin course and also the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) Preparation course. You will be learning from an experienced Mandarin teacher that can switch between languages such as Malay or English, according to your preference. Physical classes will be held at Taman Semabok Perdana while online classes are available for arrangement.
2.Easy Mandarin Melaka
Located at Lorong Pandan, Easy Mandarin Melaka offers Mandarin classes for both children (starting from age 6) and adults, where they mostly cater to group classes. Home tutoring and online classes can be arranged upon request.
At Easy Mandarin Melaka, the Mandarin lessons for children’s classes follow the syllabus taught in SJK© schools. This is to help children whose mother tongue is not Mandarin to master the different components of the language comprehensively since most subjects will be taught in Mandarin at Chinese medium primary schools.
Through Superprof, you can select a private Mandarin tutor to match your preferred time, budget, learning style and expectation. All of the tutors’ profiles are updated with their current occupation, previous academic experiences as well as their teaching methodology.
The rates for your Mandarin lessons are fixed and constantly displayed on the website. Some tutors might include transportation cost for home lessons. You don’t have to worry about any hidden additional costs or administration fees that you need to pay upon booking your lessons.
As you browse through, you might notice that some Mandarin tutors have participated in Mandarin debate competitions, Chinese essay competition or have studied in China or Taiwan. Let’s say you are interested to pursue your tertiary education in China, you can select a Mandarin tutor with a similar experience. You not only can learn Mandarin from him or her but also get some valuable tips to do well as a university student in China.
Deciding on the most suitable Mandarin tutor
You might be cracking your head to decide where and who to learn Mandarin now given that Mandarin tutors are almost everywhere in Malaysia and there are so many good reviews and recommendations.
Here are four factors to help you narrow down your options, using the D.A.T.E acronym to have the best Mandarin learning experience!
To some, this could be a real and practical thing to consider. As everyone has different learning preferences, some of you may prefer a private Mandarin tutor that can come over to your home to have face to face sessions. Likewise, some would want to participate in group classes that are nearby so that they can meet new friends during their Mandarin lessons.
If distance is not your main concern, then you can opt for a flexible learning platform such as Superprof, where you can switch between online classes or physical classes, after arranging with your Mandarin teacher. With online learning, you can even take lessons from Mandarin tutors in Ipoh even when you are learning Mandarin in Kuala Lumpur.
Every Mandarin classes come with different packages and pricing. It takes time to master a new language, so it can take months and even years to reach the proficiency level that you desire or need.
Budget is something that you must bear in mind because you can only learn effectively without worrying about your lesson fees in the long run. You should also calculate the cost of your transportation if you are opting for physical classes.
Before registering, look through the teaching methods offered by various Mandarin tutors. Through Superprof, you can access an extensive database of Mandarin teachers all over Malaysia. Don’t be hesitant to learn from Mandarin teachers from other regions such as Johor Bahru or Mandarin tutors from Seberang Perai if you find that you are more comfortable with their teaching methods.
You can ask about the scope of language levels in terms of the difference between the basic, intermediate or advanced level, in terms of vocabulary, speaking, writing and reading. You should also take note of how you will be assessed for every language component and the ratio of theoretical and practical teaching methodology during lessons.
Experience of learning
Each Mandarin learner is unique as you may have different expectations and needs. If you regularly consume Chinese media, you can even request your Mandarin tutor to teach using famous Chinese songs or Chinese dramas, so it can be fun and interactive!
If you are planning to sit for a Mandarin proficiency test, you might prefer to learn by following a fixed syllabus. On the other hand, you may learn Mandarin to communicate with your Chinese speaking friends, so you can choose a slightly flexible learning method that emphasizes more practical conversations in casual settings.
Your Mandarin lessons will lead you to many destinations
There is a Chinese proverb that goes, “To learn a language is to have one more window for which to look at the world.”
Take your time to immerse yourself in the Mandarin language, starting from the basics and enhancing your conversation and reading skills with the help of a reliable Mandarin tutor. Exploring Melaka will never be the same again!