Helper: Learning Chinese and Basic Chinese

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Bub

Helper: Learning Chinese and Basic Chinese

Postby Bub » 2005-04-14, 6:19

If you are currently learning chinese or know some basic chinese then here is the board to discuss it and ask questions. Hope I can help!

DarkPlague07
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Postby DarkPlague07 » 2005-04-21, 21:44

I've studied Chinese for about 2 years or so at school. I've been trying to figure out how to type the characters. Do you know what I can do for that?

xie xie

Bub

Typing Chinese Characters

Postby Bub » 2005-04-22, 6:00

Nihao!

Thanks for replying to my post. Now about your question. Make sure the LANGUAGE BAR is avaliable for you to use. Click on it and a list of avaliable languages on your computer will be displayed. Select CHINESE and start typing!

Warning: You can only type words in pinyin not english. For example the sentence: This is mine. You would type Zhe shi wode. Not This is mine.

If you don't have the language software I don't know how to get it. If you find out please tell me. Just select ENGLISH when you're done!

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Postby 勺园之鬼 » 2005-04-22, 11:29

DarkPlague07 wrote:I've studied Chinese for about 2 years or so at school. I've been trying to figure out how to type the characters. Do you know what I can do for that?

xie xie


Haoran already explained that here: http://home.unilang.org/main/forum/viewtopic.php?p=51378#51378

:)
四海为家

DarkPlague07
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Postby DarkPlague07 » 2005-04-22, 19:57

Thanks to both of you for helping me out. :)
谢谢!

Jose

how to start?

Postby Jose » 2005-05-20, 8:23

Hello everybody,
I don't know a word in Chinese, but I'd love to start to learn it. The problem is that I don't really know how to start. I don't have the possibility to find a teacher, and that's a dreawback. I only know the Assimil's "le chinoise sans peine", but I don't know how advisable that is. Could you please gime some advice? maybe the assimil book is alright? any other book, www, or something?
thank you in advance! :D

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Postby Junesun » 2005-05-28, 11:31

Hello Jose,

I believe you have to find out for yourself what kind of teaching method works well for you, because every human learns differently. There are lots of courses for Chinese around, it's just a matter of finding one that suits your goals and your learning style.

Some comments on courses by big companies, off the top of my head:
- Assimil: focuses on teaching to understand texts. In the lessons, you'll find every sentence translated, which is supposed to teach you something about the grammar and usage of the language. You'll rarely find explicit explanations. The "phonetic" transcription of texts is non-standard and based on French, even in their English books. In order to acquire an acceptable pronunciation, you have to buy the cassettes/CDs, which are much more expensive than the books. Few exercises and none of them for learning to actively use the language. Funny cartoons to enhance learning.
- Pimsleur: focuses on listening and speaking. Does NOT teach you to read/write Chinese, not even in the standard romanised transcription (Pinyin). Teaches you to make useful conversation right from the first lesson. Constant repetition after a native speaker enables you to acquire a good pronunciation. Knowledge of grammar is kept to a minimum. The taught vocabulary and expressions don't go much beyond the needs of a tourist.
- Rosetta Stone: innovative approach of not using any word in your language, only the target language. You get pictures and words / sentences describing them, in Chinese characters, Pinyin and spoken. The rest is guesswork: how do I make this sound? How does the grammar work? What exactly does a word or phrase mean? The pictures can leave things unclear, especially when it comes to concepts that can't easily be shown in a picture (e. g. think, read, say, prepositions, ...). Matching exercises for all directions. The tool allowing you to compare your pronunciation to that of a native speaker can be very useful, especially when it comes to the tones.

There are a lot of Chinese courses online. I think the one that is most developed is at http://www.hello-han.com. The site also offers a course in business Chinese and a a-character-a-day service that could be interesting for intermediate learners.

You can find more resources at: http://languages.4status.net/english/zh.htm

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Postby 勺园之鬼 » 2005-05-28, 11:58

Junesun wrote:- Assimil: focuses on teaching to understand texts. In the lessons, you'll find every sentence translated, which is supposed to teach you something about the grammar and usage of the language. You'll rarely find explicit explanations. The "phonetic" transcription of texts is non-standard and based on French, even in their English books. In order to acquire an acceptable pronunciation, you have to buy the cassettes/CDs, which are much more expensive than the books. Few exercises and none of them for learning to actively use the language. Funny cartoons to enhance learning.


This is not completely right. I have the Assimil method, and that odd phonetic transcription which doesn't make much sense, even in French, is indeed used, but pinyin is also the standard in it. Once you get the cassettes/CDs (buy? :lol:), you can probably listen to the dialogues, I believe this is not too bad even if I never listened them. To me this method has two major drawbacks:
- the transcriptions (pinyin and that other useless transcription) are written below the characters most of the time (if not everywhere, I don't have the books here right now), which is not of any help as you will tend to read the transcription instead of memorising the characters.
- the characters are very bad taught: no explanation about their composition (except a few lines in the introduction), and no trick at all about the stroke order. You can basically not study how to write in Chinese with that method, or you will likely create your very own stroke order, which would lead to a complete failure in the learning process (no, I am not exaggerating!)

Junesun wrote:- Pimsleur: focuses on listening and speaking. Does NOT teach you to read/write Chinese, not even in the standard romanised transcription (Pinyin). Teaches you to make useful conversation right from the first lesson. Constant repetition after a native speaker enables you to acquire a good pronunciation. Knowledge of grammar is kept to a minimum. The taught vocabulary and expressions don't go much beyond the needs of a tourist.


I agree with Junesun. I never tried Pimsleur for Chinese, but I listened to that method for Korean and Japanese. I would never advise that method alone, as it doesn't teach anything about the writing systems. This might be efficient for a few usual phrases to use if you're to go to China, but you will not learn the language.

Junesun wrote:- Rosetta Stone: innovative approach of not using any word in your language, only the target language. You get pictures and words / sentences describing them, in Chinese characters, Pinyin and spoken. The rest is guesswork: how do I make this sound? How does the grammar work? What exactly does a word or phrase mean? The pictures can leave things unclear, especially when it comes to concepts that can't easily be shown in a picture (e. g. think, read, say, prepositions, ...). Matching exercises for all directions. The tool allowing you to compare your pronunciation to that of a native speaker can be very useful, especially when it comes to the tones.


I heard about that method but I never used it, the idea sounds good though...
四海为家

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Postby Rob P » 2005-05-30, 15:31

There are a lot of Chinese courses online. I think the one that is most developed is at http://www.hello-han.com. The site also offers a course in business Chinese and a a-character-a-day service that could be interesting for intermediate learners.


I have been looking for a site like that for a long time! Thank you so much :) I can't wait until my finals are overwith so that I can spend time looking at that site :)

Rob

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2005-05-30, 15:37

Two of my favourite websites used to be:

http://www.hanyu.com.cn/en/default.asp (free)
http://www.chineseon.net/main.php (paid)

That Hello-Han seems to be more complete than those when it comes to the basics, grammar, pronunciation and the like, though.
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Postby Aymeric » 2005-05-31, 13:24

I totally disagree with what has been said about Assimil's Chinois sans peine.
This is the method I have used exclusively to begin chinese, and it has led me MUCH further than ANY other method or even my regular Chinese classes with a teacher !

The weird transcription you're talking about is only used at the beginning in order for the learner to get used to the PINYIN system, which has a lot of points that are not obvious at all for the beginner, for example letters like q, r, i at the end of a syllable and so on. But otherwise, the PINYIN system is used throughout the book.

As for learning the characters, well in about three months I learned how to read AND write about 800 characters, thanks to the booklet that you can buy separately and that you should use along with the method.

To sum up, Assimil's method is to me the single best method on the market to learn Chinese.
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weijie

just came...

Postby weijie » 2005-06-16, 8:52

hi, there, guys! i'm a malaysian chinese. if any of u has problems in chinese grammar, feel free to raise questions. pls note that i'm onli available to help in translating and on grammar. they say that malaysian chinese's chinese (mandarin) is second best after china. if u also want to ask about the culture, i'll try my best to answer ur questions. if i dunno, then i'm really sorry cos "知 之 为 知 之,不 知 为 不 知,是 知 也。" (zhi1 wei2 zhi1 zhi1, bu4 zhi1 wei2 bu4 zhi1, shi4 shi1 ye3) meaning a person who admits that he knows or doesnt know about sumtin is someone deemed knowledgeable.

谢 谢

"四 海 之 内,皆 兄 弟 也"


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