After studying Mandarin Chinese in China and Taiwan for over fifteen years, it occurred to me that there is no easy way to learn the language. However, there is a right and wrong way of learning Chinese.
Most people give up trying to learn Mandarin Chinese after one month. Many people don’t go further than a beginner’s level. This is because they don’t bother learning the grammatical structure of Chinese and therefore will never be able to fluently converse.
The wrong way is to learn common phrases and hope that you can collect enough to “pick-up” the language. Unfortunately, most Chinese programs will teach you this way. I tried this and became frustrated because progress was extremely slow.
The right way is to learn pronunciation, speaking, reading, writing and grammar at the same time, while thoroughly learning a particular topic.