Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

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Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby OldBoring » 2016-01-04, 11:48

大家好!

This is the place for everyone to discuss about everything concerning Chinese language and culture, as well as facts, stories, news, anecdotes, curiosities, etc. about the Sinosphere — in English or in other languages.

This thread is aimed at people who can't or beginners who aren't ready yet to write in Chinese.
For people who wish to write in Chinese, there's the thread Let's speak Chinese / 说中文.
For questions about Chinese there's also the appropriate thread.

Best regards,
OldBoring

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby Meera » 2016-01-11, 19:11

I am a total novice at Mandarin and I'm thinking about learning it :whistle: It is very nice language but it sounds very hard :blush:
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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby OldBoring » 2016-01-12, 2:55

Welcome to the Chinese forum, Meera!
And yay! Finally someone replying to this thread!

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby Meera » 2016-01-12, 19:40

Thanks, Youngfun!!
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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby OldBoring » 2016-01-16, 7:59

Have you begun it yet? What material will you use?

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby Meera » 2016-02-05, 19:25

OldBoring wrote:Have you begun it yet? What material will you use?


Yeah, I just started yesterday. I am using Chinese Practical Reader. It was the textbook my library had.
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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby schnaz » 2016-02-08, 0:10

Best wishes Meera on your new adventure. I believe that those of us who speak non-tonal languages are like people who drive cars with automatic transmissions. All you have to worry about is the accelerator and the steering wheel whereas a tonal language speaker is like someone driving a vehicle with a manual transmission who in addition to the accelerator and steering wheel has to contend with shifting the gears. And all this shifting takes place in the larynx.
"What a revoltin´ development this is." Daffy Duck

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby OldBoring » 2016-02-12, 10:18

And people never think about the opposite: people who learnt to drive with the manual gear have trouble when driving cars with automatic gear.
For speakers of tonal languages, it's very difficult to speak non-tonal languages, and have a hard time understanding concepts such as word stress and sentence intonation.

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-02-21, 2:50

Meera wrote:
OldBoring wrote:Have you begun it yet? What material will you use?


Yeah, I just started yesterday. I am using Chinese Practical Reader. It was the textbook my library had.

Oh, Practical Chinese Reader? The one produced by the PRC government with Gubo and Palanka? Yeah, we had to use that in college, too. It's so full of pro-PRC propaganda. It's part of a series, and the other books in the series keep going on about how glorious the pro-Communist writers were and such. :lol:

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby Meera » 2016-02-21, 17:28

vijayjohn wrote:
Meera wrote:
OldBoring wrote:Have you begun it yet? What material will you use?


Yeah, I just started yesterday. I am using Chinese Practical Reader. It was the textbook my library had.

Oh, Practical Chinese Reader? The one produced by the PRC government with Gubo and Palanka? Yeah, we had to use that in college, too. It's so full of pro-PRC propaganda. It's part of a series, and the other books in the series keep going on about how glorious the pro-Communist writers were and such. :lol:


I'm using this one :
http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Chinese ... ese+reader

and Hahaha that's okay I'm sure pro-communist literature will be interesting :twisted:
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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-02-21, 19:59

Oh, that one! OK, yeah, I think that was like a spinoff of the previous series or something. I think it's like Gubo and Palanka got married and had this...Canadian(?) son who's the main character of that series. :lol: I've never actually seen it before, only heard of it. I think. :P

The pro-communist stuff in the other series from what I've seen so far is actually really boring and gets old fast. :lol:

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby Meera » 2016-02-27, 17:52

I think some schools use this book for teaching Mandarin so it can't be to communist :P lol jk.
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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby OldBoring » 2016-02-27, 19:46

I don't think a pro-communist textbook is necessarily a bad thing.
I used to learn Chinese in weekend schools using textbooks from primary schools in China smuggled taken to Italy by the headmaster in his luggage.
It gives a perspective on the political and social situation of China, that helped me understand more about current Mainland China.
Of course, it's a good thing only if your focus is Mainland China.

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Re: Questions about Chinese / 关于中文的问题 / 關於中文的問題

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby Meera » 2017-01-07, 20:16

I was playing around on the coursera mandarin (Hello Chinese) course and it's really fun. The only problem is you can't take the tests unless you pay but still the class is so much fun. I probably posted this in the resources but if you are interested in Mandarin at all, it is worth checking out.


By the way does anyone have any good recommendations of Mandarin films or dramas?
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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-28, 17:56

OldBoring wrote:I don't think a pro-communist textbook is necessarily a bad thing.

No, although it gets tiresome when you keep seeing all this propaganda about how awesome Lu Xun, Lei Feng, Mao Zedong, etc. are and how awful the Qing Dynasty was and how great plays criticizing it are and how some little kid who's so talented it's creepy wants to draw a sea of flowers for the Dear Recently Departed Leader Zhou Enlai to stand in. :lol: But well, that's just how PRC material is, I guess, or was at the time at least.
Meera wrote:By the way does anyone have any good recommendations of Mandarin films or dramas?

Yes. Eat Drink Man Woman (飲食男女 Yǐn Shí Nán Nǚ, 1994) by Ang Lee, who also directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍 Wòhǔ Cánglóng, which is also in Mandarin, and Brokeback Mountain lol). It's a movie that, in addition to having a good plot line, does an impressive job of portraying the sophisticated techniques of gourmet Chinese cuisine. Unfortunately, it's hard to find it with simultaneous subtitles in both Mandarin and English, and I don't think it's available on YouTube.

There's also a Singaporean movie called I Not Stupid Too (2006), which is mostly in Mandarin. (It's actually the sequel to another movie called I Not Stupid, which I've never seen :P). It's basically about how Singaporean society puts way too much pressure on kids; much of the plot is applicable to other Asian societies as well.

From Mainland China, one well-known director is Zhang Yimou, and some of his movies are very famous. One of these is Raise the Red Lantern (大紅燈籠高高掛 Dà Hóng Dēnglong Gāogāo Guà, 1991), which is available online with simultaneous subtitles in both Traditional Chinese and English (it's also available with subtitles in quite a few languages, including Arabic, French, Indonesian, Japanese, and Persian, though no Hindi unfortunately :P). There are a few others I've heard about but never seen like 菊豆 Jú Dòu (1990), To Live (活着 Huózhe, 1994), and Red Sorghum (红高粱 Hóng Gāoliáng, 1987). All of these take place in Mainland China in the three decades before the establishment of the People's Republic. Beijing-based journalist and activist Dai Qing criticizes some of these movies for being inaccurate and catered too much to Western tastes, so I found another Taiwanese movie called Five Girls and a Rope (五個女子和一根繩子 Wǔ ge nǚzi hé yì gēn shéngzi, 1990) by Hung-wei Yeh, a somewhat morbid (but hopefully more accurate!) portrayal of misogyny in early 20th-century rural China.

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby OldBoring » 2017-05-15, 20:51

Huh, movies based on the novels of the Nobel prize winner. Such cliché.

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby lingoman » 2017-05-19, 4:32

Meera wrote:I am a total novice at Mandarin and I'm thinking about learning it :whistle: It is very nice language but it sounds very hard :blush:


Starting to learn a new language could be difficult at the begining, but once you really get into it, you have fun and make progresses. I was there, as that was how I learnt my English. :-)

So, don't be daunted by the difficulty.

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby księżycowy » 2017-05-19, 16:38

Has anyone used (or seen) the Integrated Chinese textbooks? If so how are they? Especially in relation to the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks. I want to do my do diligence and ask before I drop 60+$ on it.

I'm curious about getting them, as they have both traditional and simplified textbooks, and I'd much rather start with traditional characters. I was going to get into the NPCR series, but they seem to considerably favor simplified characters.

I notice that the audio is now freely available for the new fourth edition now too, so that's an added point for IC in my mind. But does it have an answer key....?

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Re: Discussion group / 杂谈 / 雜談

Postby księżycowy » 2017-06-24, 11:57

Ok, given my success with my last post let me try this: does anyone have an recommendations for a good, comprehensive textbook (or series of textbooks) that use(s) traditional characters?
I'm trying to weigh all my options.

A few musts:
-audio
-an answer key (whether in the book, or available elsewhere)


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