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Thread: I've decided to learn Chinese.

  1. #21
    Senior Member Ren Ying Ying's Avatar
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    memorizing will bore you to death. i suggest you just start reading and looking up the words as you go. the more you look it up, the more familiar you will become with it.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Ying Ying View Post
    memorizing will bore you to death. i suggest you just start reading and looking up the words as you go. the more you look it up, the more familiar you will become with it.
    Then I'll probably have to look up 95% of the words.

  3. #23
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogeyman View Post
    Then I'll probably have to look up 95% of the words.
    I still think when you practice writing the characters, it will help with your memorizing it.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  4. #24
    Moderator kidd's Avatar
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    Ren Ying Ying is right. You will be bored to death if u just memorised from the dictionary. You will most probably give up within one week if u use this method.

    Just start reading some simple chinese novels. Writing will also help (like what Suet Seung said). Make use of the qiqi site. Copy and paste the characters u don't know to online dictionary or the dimsum program. It will help u find the characters faster. After a seeing it a few times, u will remember the words. It might also help if u study the characters. You will then be able to recognise the pattern.
    什麼是朋友?朋友永遠是在你犯下不可原諒錯誤的時候,仍舊站在你那邊的笨蛋。~ 王亞瑟

    和諧唔係一百個人講同一番話,係一百個人有一百句唔同嘅說話,而又互相尊重 ~ - 葉梓恩

  5. #25
    Senior Member HuangYushi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogeyman View Post
    Bought a Chinese-English dictionary for $40. It contains 3000 of the most commonly used words. Will try hard to memorize the characters...
    3000 is about the average number needed to read the newspapers, which is also what a person would need to read wuxia novels, as these were initially serialised in newspapers.
    Jin Yong's Ode to Gallantry [侠客行].
    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean0208
    what about SPT, I need my SPT fix ASAP, pretty pleaseeeee...
    Soon ... SOON!

  6. #26
    Senior Member libby96's Avatar
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    i only started to take chinese seriously last year... it depends on whether you want to learn it. but last year, i hadn't started high school yet, and in the last year of primary, you can fool around a lot, so, i watched a lot of tv back then. chinese tv, with simplified chinese subs. it sort of worked for me, because it deepened my interest in the language (hot male celebs). but i've taken chinese lessons since year 1, but my grades there hae suddenly improved, since i can speak and read some mando now.

  7. #27
    Senior Member john-e's Avatar
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    This site looks like it's got just about everything you'll need...

    http://www.chinese-tools.com/
    john-e

    Sixty years ago I knew nothing; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of your own ignorance. - Will Durant

  8. #28
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help! I borrowed two Berenstain Bears books from the library yesterday. They are completely in simplified Chinese...so I'll probably take my time to read it (with the dictionary of course).

    So sad...I have to read beginners books. But I guess all things start at that; I can't just skip the whole process.

  9. #29
    Senior Member shen diao xia's Avatar
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    Another way to get started is to go to the Karaoke lounge with friends that only sing Chinese songs. Listen at first, try to recognise characters and than try to sing yourself .

    I've been doing this but unfortunately need to take it more seriously to reach 3,000 characters.

  10. #30
    Senior Member sarakoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangYushi View Post
    3000 is about the average number needed to read the newspapers, which is also what a person would need to read wuxia novels, as these were initially serialised in newspapers.
    Not only newspapers but pretty much everything outside of ancient literature, academic journals, and other stuff using technical or obsolete characters. The average Chinese middle school graduate knows about 3000 and I'm pretty sure the average American high school freshman wouldn't have much trouble reading everyday things.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Oh man, I feel so bad inside. Yesterday, I told my mom to read the Chinese version of the Berenstain Bears to me...

    And guess what? I couldn't understand half of those descriptive words/phrases. It sounds like the Chinese language is meant to be written in Mandarin because it just sounds utterly awkward in Cantonese.

    So...any encouragements? They are all gratefully welcomed!

  12. #32
    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Hi!
    Great to know that you are deciding to learn Chinese. I study Second Language Acquisition and must say that the best way to learn is to actually take classes and interact with native speakers. You can also watch series in Chinese and have some language learning aids too. Memorizing words from the dictionary or just learning from books without any real interaction with teachers and native speakers will not do you any good. I had some friends that tried that and believe me, it did NOT work out at all... It became a disaster... Therefore, my advice to you is to take classes first so you can establish a real foundation and then go from there... Good luck!!!!
    Respect other people's opinions and views. If we learn how to do that than all of these fights and arguments will not occur.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinie View Post
    Hi!
    Great to know that you are deciding to learn Chinese. I study Second Language Acquisition and must say that the best way to learn is to actually take classes and interact with native speakers. You can also watch series in Chinese and have some language learning aids too. Memorizing words from the dictionary or just learning from books without any real interaction with teachers and native speakers will not do you any good. I had some friends that tried that and believe me, it did NOT work out at all... It became a disaster... Therefore, my advice to you is to take classes first so you can establish a real foundation and then go from there... Good luck!!!!
    Thanks Trinie for your help!

    But I don't really see that happening right now. I absolutely HATE going to Chinese schools on Saturdays and Sundays (that was what I use to do back then). I did that for a couple of years a while ago, but it didn't help one bit. I was too busy socializing with people sitting next to me.

    I think the best option for me right now is to get a set of vocabulary words every couple of days. But how am I going to get these lists? I have a dictionary, sure...but it it starts according to the sound of the words. So I'll be starting with "Ah", "Ah", "Ah", "Ah"....

    That's no good. So can anyone help?

  14. #34
    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogeyman View Post
    I was too busy socializing with people sitting next to me.
    Are you doing that in Chinese?
    Because that would help you A LOT.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

  15. #35
    Senior Member sarakoth's Avatar
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    I think you should start with very basic texts (think Dr. Seuss) and expand your vocab by reading.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ View Post
    Are you doing that in Chinese?
    Because that would help you A LOT.
    No, English.

    Can someone provide me with a list of the 100 most commonly used words?

  17. #37
    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogeyman View Post
    No, English.
    That's not going to help you learn Chinese.
    忽见柳荫下两个小孩子在哀哀痛哭,瞧模样正是武敦儒、武修文兄弟。郭芙大声叫道:「喂,你们在干甚麽?」武 修文回头见是郭芙,哭道:「我们在哭,你不见麽?」

  18. #38
    Senior Member HuangYushi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogeyman View Post
    Can someone provide me with a list of the 100 most commonly used words?
    Reading word-lists is not the most effective way of learning to read.
    You have to use materials that make reading a bit more meaningful and perhaps even entertaining. Then, you can learn to read and write in the appropriate context. Here's an example:

    一、二、三、四、五、六、七、八、九、十。
    小明上楼,小明上去楼上。
    十、九、八、七、六、五、四、三、二、一。
    小明下楼,小明下去楼下。
    小明上楼又下楼。
    小明下楼又上楼。
    今天是星期日。
    明天是星期一。
    明天上午小明要去上学。
    小明的学校在山下。

    The text above contains 30 different characters (you can't call them "words" per se because "words" can be made up of a single character or a combination of 2 or more characters) from a total of 400 that are needed for 1st Grade Mandarin in public elementary schools in my country.

    After learning to read the text, you can learn write the characters, using the correct stroke-sequences. Also, take note of the punctuation used, some of which are different (in form or function or both) from those used in English.

    Finally, you can recite the text and write it out in full from memory.

    ---

    So I'd like to suggest that you sign up for a proper course that teaches you to read and write. The course will provide you with a regimented study schedule and milestones (checkpoints) to achieve.

    In my work as a teacher, I've met parents who say that they can teach their children Mandarin at home because they are fluent in the language. Unfortunately, these parents (regardless of how well-intentioned they are) are often unable to keep a proper and regimented schedule for learning, unlike what a school-based programme/environment can do/provide.

    HYS
    Jin Yong's Ode to Gallantry [侠客行].
    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean0208
    what about SPT, I need my SPT fix ASAP, pretty pleaseeeee...
    Soon ... SOON!

  19. #39
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangYushi View Post
    一、二、三、四、五、六、七、八、九、十。
    小明上楼,小明上去楼上。
    十、九、八、七、六、五、四、三、二、一。
    小明下楼,小明下去楼下。
    小明上楼又下楼。
    小明下楼又上楼。
    今天是星期日。
    明天是星期一。
    明天上午小明要去上学。
    小明的学校在山下。
    Well, I can already understand 95% of the above text. I also know quite a number of characters from other harder texts.

    As of now, I can't say I'll go to school...

    Maybe I'll think about it in the future. It will just cost me unnecessary money if I don't pay attention to the teacher.

  20. #40
    Senior Member HuangYushi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogeyman View Post
    Well, I can already understand 95% of the above text. I also know quite a number of characters from other harder texts.

    As of now, I can't say I'll go to school...

    Maybe I'll think about it in the future. It will just cost me unnecessary money if I don't pay attention to the teacher.
    I was just using the text (which I happen to have on hand during the post) to illustrate the benefits of attending a regimented learning programme, as compared to reading character/word-lists that do not seek to put the characters/words into meaningful contexts.

    Good to hear that you will consider school in the future.
    Jin Yong's Ode to Gallantry [侠客行].
    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean0208
    what about SPT, I need my SPT fix ASAP, pretty pleaseeeee...
    Soon ... SOON!

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