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Anyone else studying Chinese?


34 posts in this topic

Posted

Anyone else studying Chinese?

I've been studying Chinese for about a year now on and off.

Maybe we can share resources and tips. :alpacacrush:

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I want to learn Mandarin really bad, but everyone I talk to says it's really hard :alpacasad:. Is it true? Like, compared to other languages at least. I've learned French, which some people said was hard, but it's not too bad. I'm a native English speaker myself though.

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I want to learn Mandarin really bad, but everyone I talk to says it's really hard :alpacasad:. Is it true? Like, compared to other languages at least. I've learned French, which some people said was hard, but it's not too bad. I'm a native English speaker myself though.

 

I think it's harder when you start because it uses many characters. Characters are combined to create words, but once you start knowing more it gets easier because  the same characters are used in words, but different combinations create different words.

To get started you could take a look at the HSK which is a standardized Chinese test. It's divided into 6 different categories, 1 being the lowest, 6 being the highest. You start with 150 words in HSK 1, another 150 in HSK 2, another 300 in HSK 3 and 600 more in HSK 4. (HSK 5-6 have a lot more words but most people stop at HSK, then continue their studies with other materials)

The grammar is a lot simpler than French because it uses particles, the grammar is very similar to English unlike Japanese.

There's no passe compose, futur simple etc.

A website that explains the grammar very well is this one : https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/

 

I think that I used one of those android apps like hello Chinese to get started with the basics.

I hope this helps you! :alpacaheadshake:

 

 

 

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I think it's harder when you start because it uses many characters. Characters are combined to create words, but once you start knowing more it gets easier because  the same characters are used in words, but different combinations create different words.

To get started you could take a look at the HSK which is a standardized Chinese test. It's divided into 6 different categories, 1 being the lowest, 6 being the highest. You start with 150 words in HSK 1, another 150 in HSK 2, another 300 in HSK 3 and 600 more in HSK 4. (HSK 5-6 have a lot more words but most people stop at HSK, then continue their studies with other materials)

The grammar is a lot simpler than French because it uses particles, the grammar is very similar to English unlike Japanese.

There's no passe compose, futur simple etc.

A website that explains the grammar very well is this one : https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/

 

I think that I used one of those android apps like hello Chinese to get started with the basics.

I hope this helps you! :alpacaheadshake:

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much :alpacacrush:

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No problem! :alpacaheadshake:

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Posted (edited)

你好! I'm a Chinese major at a US college & I've been studying Chinese for about 7(ish) years now. I'm nowhere near fluent but I also tutor & I'm currently working on a site that lists a bunch of resources for other Chinese learners for my department haha. Chinese also isn't my native language.

So far what I recommend is downloading Pleco, which is a mobile app that works as a Chinese-English dictionary. It's very useful for looking up characters you don't know & offers a lot of other features too. I personally like to use yellowbridge.com which is similar but it's a website haha, & it offers stroke order (I think Pleco does too but I honestly haven't used it yet)

Chinese is mostly hard after you get through the basics because you need to know a lot of characters to be literate, & the best way (I've found) to help with memorization is to keep flashcards and/or a character notebook. When I was in high school learning Chinese, I made flashcards on quizlet (which offers characters & pinyin) & my teacher also required us to learn new characters & write them down in a character notebook. I'm not too sure where you can get them online, but I think they can be found at an Asian stationary store.

cnnotebook.thumb.jpg.d4fe1a22e48d5d52f32

Keeping a character notebook also really helped me improve my writing, especially the ones that are split into 4 quadrants which is useful when you're just beginning to learn how to write.

I also recommend just using your Chinese daily to get practice & get used to speaking it. I have friends who I try in talk to in Chinese sometimes so that really helped. If you don't really have friends maybe we can add each other on WeChat haha?

Try watching Chinese-language shows too! I've watched a lot of dramas in class & on my own too. One of my favorite shows is 爸爸回來了 even tho I don't understand majority of it yet ahah 

Edited by angelol
grammar stuff~
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I've been studying for around six years, on and off? I think Chinese is a really fun language to learn. :)

I'm ethnically Chinese, but did not grow up around the language.

I listen to a lot of Chinese music! I love the voice China and 我是歌手。 I'm not a big drama person but I love Chinese movies, especially romcoms and Wong Kai Wai's works (cantonese)

I can kind of hold conversations and can understand the gist of most conversations, but by writing(well, typing)/reading is a lot better than my speaking! I lived in China for around a year, and I definitely improved a ton so you should go if you get the chance!

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I'm ethnically Chinese and my parents tried to teach me as much of the Mandarin language as possible, but when I started highschool I started to really hate my culture due to constant bullying and didn't want to learn it anymore. Now I'm having a lot of regrets haha :$ 

I am ok with listening and spreaking but reading and especially writing is a pain! I'm going on a trip to China this summer and would like to brush up my language skills! Personally I really enjoy watching romantic comedy movies, does anyone know short dramas? Nothing over 10 episodes because I always have a hard time keeping up with longer shows.

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Posted (edited)

reviving this thread because i'm on the same bus as a lot of the ppl in this thread with my weird half-baked chinese (fluent speaking/listening, sad reading and incapable of writing) and i've found that Decipher http://www.decipherchinese.com/ has helped a lot with character learning!! they have an ever-growing collection of chinese articles that are categorized by HSK difficulty and also have a system that allows you to save certain characters as flashcards :)) it's really the best!!

Edited by mouffette
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Can other people please put more tips. I am not Chinese and it is so hard. I don't even know why I decided to learn a new language or I should have at least chosen an easier language to pronounce D: I learned Chinese for 4 years in high school and now in uni my dumbass decided to take more classes. 

I know I have to speak with other Chinese speakers, but I know none. Is there anyway you can remember the tones and get better at listening. I have such a hard time with that. I can remember the pinyin but never the tones and I can't even pronounce them right. It is so frustrating. I'm so close to dropping that class and take Portuguese or Japanese since they are way easier to pronounce. 

I'm good with memorizing characters but the speaking and listening part is so confusing.

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Posted (edited)

I think I'm pretty much in the same boat. I've been self studying for a year, with mostly no set goal in mind. I somehow (no idea how) got to the point where I can read the subs on TV dramas. (books are still out of reach) What I've been doing is watching the dramas with the subs reading and listening at the same time. I read on reddit some person could only read English and after watching shows for a few years took the subs out and could understand the colloquial language.

There's tons of listening material on Ingkee, and YiZhiBo, they're Chinese livestreams and they've been pretty popular lately, on Ingkee you can even filter out the location if you want to watch a speaker from a specific region.

On Chinese forums there's  a post about different vloggers on bilibili

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/54326-bilibili-and-the-world-of-chinese-vlogging/

Pronunciation is out of my reach since I probably won't be able to talk to Chinese speaking people for a while.

 

The other day I saw some girl on live stream and her Chinese pronunciation was super good, she claims that she was only there for 4 months teaching English. I don't know how she achieved that level, maybe I can link to her lately. I read on Dashan's quora that tones come "naturally", maybe imitating the speech is better than trying to recall every tone.

Ari in Beijing made a video about how he imitates speech, so maybe that might help? Haven't tried it though, but people said the video was helpful.

 

I hope this info can help everyone. If I made any mistakes feel free to correct me or add on. :alpacacrush:

 

Edited by echo
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I took Mandarin for around five years, but my first language was Cantonese, which is a dialect of Chinese. 

For anyone trying to learn any language, I recommend watching a show or movie with subtitles on, so you can get used to the pronunciation and grammar and you know what they're saying if you don't know what a word means. 

If you ever go to a formal Chinese school, a lot of the time, they'll recommend that you take a year of pinyin, which is pretty much just a class specializing in how you pronounce the language. Unless you're completely horrific at pronunciation, just skip it. Chinese pronunciation is difficult, but you don't need an entire year of the class. Just listen to some sort of Chinese audio for an hour every week and you'll be fine.

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Posted

Can other people please put more tips. I am not Chinese and it is so hard. I don't even know why I decided to learn a new language or I should have at least chosen an easier language to pronounce D: I learned Chinese for 4 years in high school and now in uni my dumbass decided to take more classes. 

I know I have to speak with other Chinese speakers, but I know none. Is there anyway you can remember the tones and get better at listening. I have such a hard time with that. I can remember the pinyin but never the tones and I can't even pronounce them right. It is so frustrating. I'm so close to dropping that class and take Portuguese or Japanese since they are way easier to pronounce. 

I'm good with memorizing characters but the speaking and listening part is so confusing.

 

The tones may seem hard to pronounce but they're very simple. You literally just have to raise your pitch/lower pitch/keep pitch the same/bend the pitch. You may think you sound funny when you do it because you won't necessarily hear a native using the tones when they speak because it's so precise and fast, but if they talk slowly you will definitely hear it. My life long friend is Hong Kong'ese'/Chinese so I've just somehow got this tight grasp of Mandarin. As for listening I definitely recommend you watch Chinese movies I suggest 'Our Time' because it's really popular, I won't spoil the plot and I think it's the Chinese you want to learn. You could listen to Chinese songs because the music videos always have lyrics on them so you become familiar with the characters and it's more easier to understand singing than speaking (imo at least). You might like to listen to Jollin Tsai or Rollin Wang. As for everything else flash cards help, but most importantly memory.

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I don't think anyone mentioned using apps yet, but there are a lot more apps for Chinese now. I was testing the app Memrise for a while & it was pretty good. They have videos of native speakers which will help with exposure to the language. (btw some of these apps require you to be able to type in Chinese, so if you don't already have a Chinese keyboard installed it's pretty easy to do)

I remember I had the hardest time with the tones in the beginning too. I did a lot of practice on my own just by practicing the different tones with ma. I have the most trouble with fourth tone bc I've been advised to just sound like you're angry but I speak pretty softly so it probably ends up sounding like neutral/fifth tone.

Besides looking into Chinese pop culture, you could also start by learning children's songs.

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I agree 100% memrise is good I used it a lot! After memrise or if you prefer to use your own decks there's Anki. They have a IOS app (about $20) and the Android one is free.

(add on to typing from bb_trash) For typing once you have the keyboard set up is to use Anki.

In Anki you can set your cards so you can type out the answer, when I make cards I'll usually have the words show up and then I'll type it. Usually I use this for sentences though.

You could also make it so you head the word and then write it out, because on Android there's whiteboard mode and it allows you to draw onto the card. I guess on PC you could do the same on either paint or a notebook next to you IRL.

Lately I've been watching Demon girl, I think most of the vocab used in it is pretty basic. Also I adore watching typical love triangles.

The show is dubbed so the speech is super clear, also has Chinese subs embedded. You could probably also find the English subs on Viki(?) but I haven't looked into it.

idk if I'm the only one but I can't choose between writing in simplified or traditional, I really like how traditional looks, but then most of the content is in Simplified. I want to learn both in the end, but the decision is hard. I think I'll do Simplified first, then Traditional, but I feel like I'll never be satisfied until I know both. :alpacaconfused:

Edited by echo
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