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Education Learning Chinese
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Global_Cocksman Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Learning Chinese
(10-06-2014 02:52 AM)ball dont lie Wrote:  I think language is mostly about effort. Trying hard goes a long way. On the other hand, I've lived in China for 10 years and speak at a near native level, read the newspaper, 600 page novels, etc... I want to temper people's idea of sucess. No one is going to have "great" Chinese in 12 months unless they go native, never speak their first language, demand perfection from themselves. To get decent at Chinese takes a few years unless you are a full-time student and give it 100% all day, every day.

It took my about 3-5 years before I would say I was really good, living a mostly Chinese life, studying 5 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Again, I agree its mostly hard work. Chinese is not Spanish. Or even Russian. Its a slow going effort.

10 years... Goddamn. Are you a masochist? Or ABC or something? I know the girls aren't worth 10 years of staying for, lol.

Anyway, have you noticed any major benefits to being fluent on the native level, other than the obvious: being able to get around the country, doing business, knowing when you're getting ripped off and being able to confront them, etc?

Also, I'm not sure if it's the same with Mandarin, but I've heard lots of foreign guys who become fluent in Japanese end up sounding and talking like Japanese women, because they mainly only talk to Japanese women or learn from a Japanese girlfriend. Have you experienced something similar? Like picking up Chinese girl lingo or vocab and being called out for it by Chinese guys, or did you mainly learn by studying and talking to anyone and everyone in China?
10-14-2014 04:23 AM
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Fast Eddie Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Learning Chinese
I've been studying Chinese off and on for a few years now but haven't made a lot of progress lately due to other priorities. I notice that my biggest shortfall is with listening comprehension. I just can't distinguish the words at all, or when I can, my brain processes the meaning at an unbelievably slow pace.

Does anyone know of any good dialogues or other audio material that one can listen to? I think if I spent a good couple hours a day while at the gym or commuting listening to audio, my comprehension would improve.
03-10-2015 05:07 PM
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Isaac Jordan Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Learning Chinese
Just wanted to leave this here for anyone else thinking about learning Chinese. I minored in Mandarin for 3 years in college, spent a summer abroad in Shanghai, and couldn't agree more with everything he writes:

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
03-11-2015 08:25 AM
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micha Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Learning Chinese
(03-11-2015 08:25 AM)Isaac Jordan Wrote:  Just wanted to leave this here for anyone else thinking about learning Chinese. I minored in Mandarin for 3 years in college, spent a summer abroad in Shanghai, and couldn't agree more with everything he writes:

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard


Having read that it seems almost impossible to believe claims of near fluency in one year.

Or is the "only speaking" and using pinyin aspect of the language really so much easier, so that speaking freely within one year can be achieved?
03-11-2015 03:56 PM
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Isaac Jordan Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Learning Chinese
(03-11-2015 03:56 PM)micha Wrote:  Having read that it seems almost impossible to believe claims of near fluency in one year.

Or is the "only speaking" and using pinyin aspect of the language really so much easier, so that speaking freely within one year can be achieved?

It really is so much easier to focus solely on speaking/listening.

Reading and writing the characters, even if one only sticks to the Simplified set, easily comprise 80% of the difficulty in learning Mandarin. If you were to move to China and immerse yourself fully in the language/culture, you could certainly be verbally proficient in a year, if not close to fluent. It's memorizing all those damn characters that take so much time.

If I could do it over again, I'd focus entirely on speaking, listening, and reading, but NOT writing. With everything being electronic these days, one could just learn the pinyin that accompanies new vocabulary, and as long as you can recognize the right set of characters there's no pressing need to be able to draw it from memory.
03-11-2015 05:07 PM
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El Chinito loco Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Learning Chinese
(03-11-2015 03:56 PM)micha Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 08:25 AM)Isaac Jordan Wrote:  Just wanted to leave this here for anyone else thinking about learning Chinese. I minored in Mandarin for 3 years in college, spent a summer abroad in Shanghai, and couldn't agree more with everything he writes:

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard


Having read that it seems almost impossible to believe claims of near fluency in one year.

Or is the "only speaking" and using pinyin aspect of the language really so much easier, so that speaking freely within one year can be achieved?

It's bullshit when someone claims fluency. Never heard of someone speak Chinese fluently within one year of learning.

The vast majority of new learners of Chinese have really fucked up tones and mispronunciation. Most Chinese people they encounter are just too shy to criticize it.

If you want a good example of a white guy speaking Chinese decently go listen to some sinica podcasts. I mentioned this before but one of the co-hosts on there (Jeremy Goldkorn) has excellent Chinese. However, if he was on the phone i'd still know he wasn't a native Chinese speaker but his accent is still 99% better than the typical.
(This post was last modified: 03-11-2015 05:46 PM by El Chinito loco.)
03-11-2015 05:44 PM
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