CHINESE PROFIENCY TEST (HSK)
HSK is the abbreviation of Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi and is an international standard skill test for persons who are not native Chinese Language speakers. HSK is the official Chinese exam for foreigners, similar to Cambridge for English. The test was introduced in 2010 by the Chinese government.
Third, the principle of examination
HSK follows the principle of “combined teaching,” and the examination design is tightly integrated with the current situation of international Chinese teaching. Furthermore, it emphasizes the use of teaching materials, with the aim of “promoting teaching by examination” and “promoting learning by examination.”
HSK pays more attention to the objectivity and accuracy of evaluation and also on to the development of candidates’ ability to apply Chinese in daily life.
HSK sets clear test goals to help candidates plan and effectively improve their ability to apply Chinese.
Fourth, the form of the examination
1. Paper-paper HSK test (Paper-based Test)
2. Network HSK Tests (Internet-based Test)
The online exam is based on the Internet, and computer-based examination, which examines the candidate’s ability to communicate in Chinese, and the content, standards, and effectiveness of the test are the same as the paper and pen exam. Chinese online examination is convenient and flexible, safe, and stable, and supports online examination management, online payment, and online simulation.
Speaking Chinese, for many, it remains something exotic. But is it that hard?
With nearly 1.3 billion speakers worldwide, Chinese is one of the most important languages worldwide. But there is an aura of insuperability around: learning the language would be incredibly difficult.
The script, the Chinese themselves are most proud of it, it is a ‘logo graphic script’, in which a drawing shows a field of meaning. To read a newspaper smoothly, you have to master about 2,500 characters, but there’s a lot more, about 80,000. It is still the oldest script in use worldwide. People are also attracted by the aesthetics of the character.
Can you write those characters by just copying them? No, there are strict rules attached to that. Per character, you have to draw a few dashes, in the correct order. In the long run, computers can automate the writing process.
Linguists have poured all the sounds into a clear table, there are different combinations possible. But then there’s the tone. There are four different tones. Depending on the tone you use, the meaning changes.
How do you make these characters beautiful sentences? Surprisingly, that’s not even that hard. The Chinese use ‘syntactic simplicity’: many things that make a language difficult, such as singular/plural, do Chinese not have. The order of the sentence is crucial. Chinese is also an extraordinarily contextual language; the social context plays an important role. “Have you eaten yet?” could mean, “How are you going?” Cultural knowledge is crucial.
Chinese: Mandarin or Cantonese
Mandarin is considered as the primary language in the Republic of China. Cantonese is spoken in the south of the country, Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, while many dialects are also spoken in the countryside. However, Mandarin is considered as an official language – Standard Chinese – throughout the Republic. HSK only examine mandarin.
Learning Chinese for Mandarin Proficiency
Learning Chinese requires a different approach of learning than when you want to learn other languages. Chinese Language is a tone language.
What is a tone language?
A tone language is a language in which the meaning of a word completely changes if you just pronounce a syllable in the word in a different tone. In Chinese, pronunciation, and spelling are separate systems. This is different from, for example, in English, where the pronunciation is directly associated with spelling. So, the pronunciation of the English word ‘dictionary’; you read it out loud as ‘dic-tion-ary.’ You emphasize the first syllable. If you pronounce the sounds, others will understand you instantly.
What does that mean for the way you learn?
Being accurate in pronunciation and the word learning are key to mastering Chinese Language. You start by learning the tones, then with the pronunciation of words, and then you continue with the pronunciation of sentences. Only then will you use grammar to construct your sentences. So that’s completely different from learning another language. The approach to reading, writing, listening, and speaking are much more mixed up, and you can develop all the skills at once.
A roadmap for learning Chinese (How to Learn Mandarin for HSK Tests)
- Step 1: Start with the tones – Master it first
Depending on the tone used, the meaning of a word changes so it is essential to get this right before proceeding. As a beginner, make sure that you pronounce the tones in each syllable well before you try to pronounce words of two or three syllables.
- Step 2: Learn Chinese Characters – Vocabulary enrichment
After learning the tones, you will focus on the syllables in a word. Every syllable must be clearly pronounced in the right tone. This will probably be the most challenging aspect of learning the Chinese language. It is essential to learn this well with the help of a language coach before proceeding with the next step: the pronunciation of short sentences. Every syllable counts in the pronunciation of Chinese.
- Step 3: Construction of Sentences
Once you can pronounce short sentences, consider taking the next step: create your own Chinese phrases by using grammar and the sentence patterns you’ve learned.
- Step 4: Learn Hanzi – (Chinese Characters is called Hanzi)
It is recommended not to start with learning the Chinese characters (Hanzi) before you can read short conversations. Start with the tones and reading patterns and then gradually move to write Chinese Characters