Best Tips To Learn Chinese In 5 Minutes—How To Study Chinese When You Are Too Busy

Best Tips To Learn Chinese In 5 Minutes—How To Study Chinese When You Are Too Busy

We all have those days when we're too busy, with all our time and energy spent on family, friends, or work. And if you study a tonal language like Chinese, days like that can be a problem!

You need to find or make the time for the Chinese language; there's no other way to improve. Even studying for 5 minutes can make a huge difference! How on earth can you study Chinese in only 5 minutes? I hear you ask.

Just a few minutes of learning Chinese will build up over time. This post will show how and give you the best tips for studying Chinese in just 5-minute chunks!

Want to memorize Chinese characters faster? 💡
Pandanese employs spaced repetition, mnemonics, and gamification to teach you 6,000 Mandarin vocabulary and hanzi.

5 top tips to learn Chinese in 5 minutes  

Learning Chinese can be difficult compared to other languages, but here are the 4 most effective ways to catch up with Chinese on your busy days. In only 5 minutes!

1. Use a Spaced Repetition System. 

The Spaced Repetition System (SRS) uses flashcards as an evidence-based learning tool. You spread out information to small study sessions and review them systematically. Newly learned and more difficult flashcards appear more frequently than older and less difficult ones. It takes advantage of the spacing effect—a psychological discovery proving that spaced repetition enhances our retention and improves our long-term memory. 

Chinese is a character-based language; you need to know at least 2000 – 3000 characters and Chinese words to read a newspaper. The SRS can help you learn Chinese characters more quickly and effectively, ensuring you remember them for a long time. 

It can be difficult to utilize this technique alone but don't worry. Pandanese can help you with that. Pandanese is an online language platform using top-notch memory aids like the SRS, mnemonics, and retrieval practice to help learners study better and quicker with its Mandarin flashcards. The Pandanese App is now available for Chinese learned to review on the go.

You can learn Chinese spending only a few minutes on Pandanese. It will allow you to learn and review new vocabulary efficiently. At the same time, you will have some audio lessons to hear how each new word is pronounced and reviewing vocabulary from before to improve your memory.

2. Watch 5-minute tutorial clips on YouTube.

Another effective way to maximize benefit in 5 minutes is to watch YouTube. There are plenty of excellent Chinese tutorial clips from native speakers that provide you with accurate and practical information in just five minutes. Here are some recommendations: 

a) 5 Minute Chinese

5 Minute Chinese-min

5-minute Chinese Youtube channel home page

This channel has over 300 5-minute clips, varying from beginner to intermediate levels. You can learn Chinese vocabulary and the most basic phrases in Mandarin Chinese. The teacher offers explanations in English, so you will be able to understand.

b) 5 minute Cantonese

5 minute Cantonese-min

5-minute Cantonese Youtube channel home page

If you want to study Cantonese Chinese, this channel is your best option. Not only focused on grammar and vocabulary, but 5-minute Cantonese also gives much information about Chinese culture.

See also: Chinese For Beginners: Should I Learn Mandarin Or Cantonese?

Want to learn Chinese faster?🚀
Learn Mandarin vocabulary and hanzi the smart way with our unique approach that combines spaced repetition, mnemonics, and gamification.

c) ShuoshuoChinese说说中文


ShuoshuoChinese说说中文 Youtube channel home page

Though this channel has longer videos, there are 5-minute clips like the one in the image above. ShuoshuoChinese说说中文 provides great content with a modern feel, making it fun and easy to learn Chinese.

3. Focus on learning radicals.

When you only have a little time, focusing on the core of the language is always a great idea.

In this case, it's Chinese radicals. They are the raw building blocks that make up Chinese characters. Based on the radical in each character, you can guess what it means and how it sounds. You can think of radicals as root words in English. Mastering the Chinese radicals can accelerate your vocab learning—a bonus for busy people like you!

On top of that, there are only 214 radicals in total, making it quite easy to divide them into multiple 5-minute sessions.

4. Communicate in Chinese online.

There are plenty of apps and online services that allow you to communicate in Chinese.

Some apps like Tandem and HelloTalk allow you to message a language exchange partner. Many native Chinese speakers use these services to make international friends. You can even practice your speaking skills by talking with a native speaker.

If you only have a little free time to chat, the apps and online forums allow you to read and post anything in Chinese. Many language learners use this option similar to a social media post but write in Chinese. Then native speakers can correct their Chinese grammar with a click of a button.

helloTalk correction-min

Someone's Chinese grammar was corrected for them on HelloTalk, Black Cat Wanderlust

5. Read, watch, and listen to everything in Chinese.

Being constantly exposed will increase your comprehension and understanding of the Chinese language.

To help you read in Chinese, try reading funny phrases in Chinese, going on Chinese forums, or learning the many Chinese idioms. Not only will you be exposed, but you will understand when each phrase is used in its context.

Finally, watching TV shows, movies, the news, or Chinese songs will greatly increase your Chinese listening skills if you have that much free time. Chinese media genre ranges from vampire horror movies, fantasy films, drama, romance, comedy, etc. Thanks to streaming services, there are plenty of Chinese channels and shows. Netflix has plenty of Mandarin Chinese mediums for you to watch, and you can add Chinese channels on Roku to incorporate them into your daily media consumption. Check them out!

Frequently asked questions

How can I learn Chinese in 5 minutes?

  1. Use Pandanese's Spaced Repetition System 

  2. Watch 5-minute tutorial clips on YouTube

  3. Focus on learning radicals 

  4. Communicate in Chinese online

  5. Read, watch, and listen to everything in Chinese

Final thoughts 

The more exposure you have to Chinese, the better. But this type of learning style takes 5 minutes in your day to learn Chinese. Even though learning Chinese for 5 minutes every day won't make you fluent in Chinese, it will certainly help you practice and keep momentum, helping you improve. Especially on your busy days!

About Pandanese
Learn over 6,000 Hanzi with Pandanese’s Chinese characters flashcards with our easy mnemonic stories and SRS system to build your Chinese vocabulary.

The easiest way to learn Chinese & build vocabulary

Learn more than 6,000 hanzi and vocabulary in a single year.