8 types of Chinese language learners

Chinese Learners

8 types of Chinese language learners

The Chinese language is getting increasingly popular all around the world, and we are witnessing a huge growth in numbers of people learning Mandarin. This is not a surprise given the fact that China is a global superpower and the second largest economy in the world.

Its rising influence inspires many individuals to begin studying Mandarin, but it’s impossible to guess the exact number of people learning it at the moment. What we know, however, is that Chinese language learners differ by their styles and the overall level of knowledge.

They all study the same language, but their habits and methodologies are often completely different. In this post, we will show you eight types of Chinese language learners. Just like different types of English language learners, Chinese learners have different language learning styles. Let’s check them out!


1. The Beginner

chinese teaching method

The first type of learner on our list is, of course, the beginner. This is a person who decides to learn Mandarin for a practical reason – to get a job abroad, establish stronger relations with Chinese business partners, or similar.

If you are this type of learner, make sure to arm yourself with patience. Although Mandarin is not as difficult as most people believe it to be, it is totally different than your mother tongue. This means you are going to need some time to get used to the new language, so be ready to work hard.


2. Chinese Popular Culture Lover

tips to learn Chinese

Many people learn Chinese because they’re interested in Chinese history

Chinese popular culture lovers are individuals who adore Chinese dramas, TV shows, theatre, and music. They really enjoy the learning experience because their motives are not business-related. For this reason, Chinese pop culture lovers represent a group of highly passionate learners.

However, they often lack consistency. Since there are no ultimate goals or deadlines to push them to the limit, they tend to skip lessons and make big breaks between classes. As the Chinese pop culture lover, we suggest you create a calendar of activities to make your studies more systematic and organized.


3. Chinese Language Major Students

Chinese language major students are professional learners. It’s their career choice, so they are willing to give their best to master the art of Mandarin. Chinese language major students get in-depth knowledge, but they are sometimes not as passionate as culture lovers. Our advice is to search for something that really makes you thrilled about studying Mandarin, just like the group we described above.


4. Mr. Know It All

malaysian mandopop singers

We all know this type of learner. It seems like every group must have at least on Mr. Know It All who acts as if Chinese is his mother tongue. To make the situation even worse, Mr. Know It All is usually not that good at all, but he just loves to show off. If you recognize yourself in this description, we strongly encourage you to pay more attention to studying instead of bragging – it will help both you and your classmates.


5. Mr. Shy Guy

Far away on the other side of the spectrum, Mr. Shy Guy is too afraid to speak his mind and practice his knowledge. Mr. Shy Guy lacks communication skills, which stops him from showing the high level of Chinese proficiency to the peers.

We know that introverts lack confidence, but they should be able to recognize the peculiarities of the classroom environment. Namely, it’s not possible to learn Mandarin without making a lot of mistakes along the way. Just look around and you’ll see other people struggling with Chinese, too. Take it easy and relax – it’s the only way to enjoy the process.


6. The Utilitarian

Utilitarianism is a theory by which the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain. That’s exactly the description of the utilitarian Chinese language learner. It’s a person who is studying just about enough to pass the final exam, refusing to invest any additional effort whatsoever.

The utilitarian’s only goal is to obtain a diploma, regardless of the level of knowledge. While the end sometimes really justifies the means, we recommend you to invest some more effort here. After all, if you have the opportunity to learn Chinese, why wouldn’t you seize it?


7. The Romantic

mandarin movie

Gentle Tai-yu & Chen-hsin

The romantic is a special type of the Mandarin language learner. This person is in love with his/her Chinese-born partner, so she/he wants to make the relationship even stronger by studying Mandarin. Unfortunately, romantics often lack both the talent and consistency, so their efforts give little results. But if you are one of those precious learners, don’t let that discourage you – keep trying and you will be able to learn Chinese at least to some degree.


8. The Master

The last position on our list is reserved for the master level learners. These individuals are already fluent, so even people coming from China praise their proficiency. In such circumstances, the only thing left for you is to spend more time in the Chinese-speaking community and learn all those little details that distinguish native speakers from foreigners.



As one of the most popular languages globally, Mandarin attracts all sorts of learners. Although all students have the same goal in mind, they differ drastically in terms of learning methodology, style, and diligence. This post revealed eight types of Chinese language learners, so let us know in comments which type of learner are you.

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About the author: Audrey is a proactive journalist who likes to get knowledge, analyze and present fresh ideas. Her background and various interests determine her genuine passion for writing on https://www.edugeeksclub.com/  and other websites. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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