"I go to China in order to improve my Chinese."
The Chinese sentence is unnatural. We should add 是 (“is”) before “为了…”, i.e. the answer should be “我去中国 是 为了提高我的中文水平”.
Or add a comma/pause: 我去中国，为了提高我的中文水平。
I opened this discussion label because of that very issue. Is it REALLY necessary to add the 是?
Not really, if you think it has a “topic + complement” structure, which is common in Chinese. (Since you have taken the Japanese course, you would understand this better.)
With regard to formality and commonness, I should say that without 是 this sentence structure for expressing the purpose of travelling is unusual rather than unnatural. It sounds casual but sure it fits some context. Here is a contrived example showing parallelism in sentences:
- 我去中国(是)为了学中文；我去日本(是)为了学日语；但我去美国 是 为了回家。(better not leave out the last 是)
- I go to China for studying Chinese. I go to Japan for studying Japanese. But I go to America for returning home.
Anyway, it seems unimportant to a beginner. Just take it easy. But it is just bad that this course is full of weird sentences.
Couldn't I say
? Other examples had this lesson had a
为了[reason]，[thing done for reason]
structure and I don't understand why it wouldn't be appropriate here.
Is it really correct to put just 我去中国为了提高我的中文 without the 水平 for skill/level/proficiency/etc?
Literally, 提高 means "raise" instead of "improve". so you can't.
ps: In Chinese it's always better to put the adverbial before what it modifies. The following sentence is more natural:
If you really want to keep the English word order, you can use the conjunction word 以 from Classical Chinese. But that is too much for beginners:
And in practice this sentence still sounds a bit weird and nobody will know what you mean. So you'd better use "I went to China" or "I'll go to China".
You can take “go to China” as a decision in your mind, then no need to conjugate “go”.