I was born and raised in China and stayed in the country for more than 20 years before I came to Sydney. I used to be one of the top students in my Chinese class in high school. I received Level A in China's Mandarin Proficiency Test thanks to my standard and clear pronunciation. I have two years of teaching experience in English and Chinese. I am good at making suitable learning schedules for students of different ages and backgrounds. I usually receive very positive feedback from my students and their parents.
For this question, I would say yes and no. Chinese, as a second language, is totally different from your mother language. Deliberate efforts have to be made in order to familiarize yourself with a new language system and an alien culture. But it doesn't mean that you cannot make significant progress in a short period. It really depends on if you have a good tutor, a suitable learning schedule, and more importantly, self-motivation and perseverance.
As a beginner, it is a bit hard if you learn by yourself and a tutor or partner is recommended to introduce to you the new language system. Once you have built up some vocabulary, you will be more confident.
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