There’s an interesting website that I found, it’s all about modern and traditional China, travel, study, news, business, Chinese learning material, tools and resources, forum and language exchange club.
By beakee on Flickr
One can even type one’s name and get it translated into Chinese~! Though not all names are available for translation, there’s still quite a wide range available. There are various bilingual dictionaries available; however, to those with basic grasp of Chinese may still face difficulties. Fret not, use it as a tool to guide your learning process and you can always double check with your tutor.
People sometimes find it difficult to learn Chinese because it’s all memory work. It is pretty different from other languages such as English or Korean, because the words show no hints as to how it is pronounced. Due to the increasing cross cultural flows, people are picking up foreign languages like never before; hence, many languages have a Romanized version to aid learning. However, one cannot learn Chinese through Romanizing the words only.
By think cink on Flickr
If not, it might end up like this:
1. That's not right - Sum Ting Wong (Something wrong)
The correct way of saying it should be: 有点不对 you3 dian3 bu2 dui4
2. Are you harbouring a fugitive? - Hu Yu Hai Ding (Who you hiding)
The correct way of saying it should be: 你是不是偷藏通缉犯?
ni2 shi4 bu2 shi4 tou1 cang2 tong1 ji1 fan4?
(Taken from http://www.chinese-tools.com/forum/read.html?q=17%2C16793%2C30592#msg-30592)
The above is meant to be a joke (to be read with a false-Chinese accent), created by somebody who posted on the forums of Chinese-tools.
It is important to get the basics right in learning Chinese, which means putting in some effort to memorize words. Once you get past the first few stages of learning, everything else would become easier.