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Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
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Sargon of Akkad Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
You can also just type in the radical directly based on the stroke type (i.e. dot, horizontal, vertical, rising, falling rightwards, falling leftwards): this'll present you with a list of possible characters with that stroke combination. It's also useful if you need to write an uncommon character.

Disclamer: I am not the Sargon of Akkad from Youtube and I have no relation whatsoever to that person...also, I don't give a shit about videogames.
05-09-2013 10:36 AM
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FretDancer Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I recommend the iOS app called Pleco. A very powerful English-Mandarin dictionary which you can search in English, Pinyin, And chinese characters.

A must have!
05-10-2013 01:41 AM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-10-2013 01:41 AM)FretDancer Wrote:  I recommend the iOS app called Pleco. A very powerful English-Mandarin dictionary which you can search in English, Pinyin, And chinese characters.

A must have!

i like nciku.com but you should always check multiple sources for proper usage
(This post was last modified: 05-10-2013 01:54 AM by clever alias.)
05-10-2013 01:48 AM
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FretDancer Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I wanted to bump this thread to ask for some opinions to the mandarin speakers / learners over here.

I am currently thinking on starting some Mandarin lessons. More specifically, a blog that provides free video lessons of situational but very useful Mandarin Chinese. Situations could vary, for example: At the airport, ordering drinks, looking for apartments, booking at hotel, at the train station, at a pub/bar, at the billiards, etc.

I could prepare useful lessons in this situation and explain the vocabulary and grammar involved more deeply inside the video lesson. All the teaching and video editing would be done by me.

Now you could be thinking, who would want chinese lessons from a non-native speaker? Well, I actually think learning from a non-native speaker who is already on an intermediate-advanced level is really really good idea. Why? Because that speaker had to went through many phases to learn how things are properly used and not used, meaning that he could answer learner's doubts and questions because he himself had to go through with it.

As of right now, I'm not thinking on charging for the lessons. But I figure I could probably monetize the blog using advertising and similar stuff.

Anyways, I want to know what you guys think!
05-23-2013 10:02 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
learning from a non native speaker, especially one who speaks the same native language as you, is great. theres a.condition, however.
you better speak that shit FUCKING PERFECTLY. like fucking da shan good. i only had two nonchinese teachers/tutors. one had a masters in classical chinese, the other was a newspaper editor in beijing.
without any qualifications, i would not, but my standard of profiency is higher than most.
05-23-2013 10:51 PM
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theArbiter Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I'm very critical when it comes to language learning lessons on the market, so feel free to disregard what I say if you feel it to be too extreme.

(05-23-2013 10:02 PM)FretDancer Wrote:  More specifically, a blog that provides free video lessons of situational but very useful Mandarin Chinese. Situations could vary, for example: At the airport, ordering drinks, looking for apartments, booking at hotel, at the train station, at a pub/bar, at the billiards, etc.

I could prepare useful lessons in this situation and explain the vocabulary and grammar involved more deeply inside the video lesson.

When I read this, my thoughts were "this sounds like every typical lesson out there" (I could be wrong, but this emphasizes: what is your unique selling proposition?).

Now, you don't have to be unique to make useful material, but what separates you from the pack? Why would people listen to your stuff instead of the other stuff?

I would recommend that you double check your material with native speakers. If you can, have the dialogue spoken by native speakers (if its a conversation b/w 2 people, then I think it's fine to have one non-native speaker), though I understand this can be a lot more work if this is only a small gig.

I think it would also benefit if you make it clear to the listener that all your material has been double checked by native speakers, and what you are teaching is authentic and very commonly used vocabulary. Personally (and I don't know if the market is similar to me), I always get super skeptical when I hear a non-native speaker especially when his/her accent sucks ass.

I do think that a non-native teaching a language has enormous benefits, since as you said, you have been a learner yourself, so you have direct experience as to what the difficulties are and how to distill it into something smooth. That's why there's often native speakers that suck at teaching their language, since they pretty much have no sympathy for the learner.
05-24-2013 02:50 AM
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FretDancer Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
@clear_alias: Yes, I also believe is a very good approach everyone should try no matter what language they are learning.

I believe my pronunciation is pretty good. Like I said in another thread, for me speaking is not so hard, understanding 100% what other people say at their normal speed is the hard part because of many factors like unknown vocabulary, speed, accent, slang, etc.

This is my first time being completely submerged in a full chinese speaking environment. Back in my country I can only study by myself, rely on media and some chinese speaking friends.


@theArbiter: Thats good, if you are putting your money on something, that is the attitude you need to have. However I really don't plan on charging for this. I really just want to do this because I believe I can improve myself with chinese even more by teaching, also I believe a good blog with good traffic can yield some benefits in the future.

Truth is, there is only such an extent to where your product can actually be different from others. Having great pronunciation, great way of teaching, good video quality and editing can make me different from others, but there's no arguing there is still and always will be other high quality stuff out there, or competition if you could say that. I have some native speakers friend who might be interested in participating and make all just more fun and comforting for the learner.

-----

Thanks for the replies, really appreciate the input.

-----

On another note. Apart from the Pleco app I recommended before, I also recommend Powerword. It is a similar application like Pleco but its in chinese. I always use Pleco but I double check with Powerword for new words that I might have some doubts with.

Lastly for my fellow Spanish speakers, there is an app called 西班牙语助手 (xibanyayu zhushou). It is very similar to Powerword but it is Spanish - Chinese dictionary.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2013 10:53 AM by FretDancer.)
05-27-2013 10:51 AM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
on a different note, if you don't already know who he is, i seriously suggest checking out 大山, guy is pretty awesome.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2013 12:43 PM by clever alias.)
05-27-2013 12:27 PM
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nmmoooreland20 Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-19-2013 04:12 PM)FretDancer Wrote:  For those living in China and in the educational/academic departments:

With today's technology (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.) communicating in written chinese is way much faster and easier. However this has had consecuences for me as a learner. For example, I tend to forget how to write characters that I don't use often, however I can read them without problems. This is because I don't usually write anymore like I did when I started learning, since most of the communication is through the internet.

I am curious if this phenomenom is also affecting native chinese? What are your thoughts on this?

On this point, is there a good resource for practicing writing in pinyin (the form that would be used on computers/smartphones). Ever since I started augmenting my Pimeleur/Chinesepod conversational practice with Memrise reading practice, my understanding of both has shot up. I feel like adding writing practice will only further enhance results. Don't want to learn stroke writing, but typing would be useful, I'd imagine.
06-25-2013 09:12 PM
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chinadawg Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I agree that learning from a non-native speaker is a good idea, especially when you are early in the learning process. As stated they will have been through the things that you are going through, a native speaker will have learnt pronunciation and listening naturally so it won't be as easier for them to help.

Can second the recommendation of Pleco. Its fantastic. I upgraded to get the better flash card system and stroke order diagrams, total cost of $20, so much value for your money. Fret have you tried the instant character recognition upgrade that uses the camera?
06-26-2013 12:01 AM
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T5_Income Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Don't listen to Pacific, the 4 tones are the FIRST THING you should learn if studying Mandarin

MA-to scold
Ma-Question Particle
ma-Mother
mA-Horse

Tones are everything and if you don't learn that from the beginning you are screwed.
06-26-2013 08:15 PM
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T5_Income Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
And yeh, DA SHAN, (Big Mountain) Is awesome, hes from Toronto too Smile
06-26-2013 08:15 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
pacific never said dont learn the tones . . .
he said to pay attention to frequency, which sounds better than not paying attention, but its not really important
06-26-2013 11:02 PM
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T5_Income Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-13-2013 02:45 PM)Pacific Wrote:  Here is a tip that I figured out from listening to my friends who are non-native speakers speaking mandarin. This is in regards to the accents that non-native speakers find nearly impossible to get rid of no matter how long they have learned Mandarin Chinese.

Note: This is for the advanced students only, don't worry about this if you are just a beginner, it may confuse you more.

There are 4 tones in Mandarin. Generally when teaching, students are taught that the tones are flat, rising, lowering then rising, and lowering. However, what really distinguishes a native speaker from a non-native are the relative pitches. The rising/lower description of the tone tells you how the pitch should be changed for that syllable, however, it is also important how much higher/lower it changes, and where the starting point is (from those two reference points, you can determine the ending point, so it's not necessary to mention that even though it's also important what your ending pitch is relatively).

When you guys get more advanced, and can speak Mandarin fairly fluently, start thinking about the relative pitches of the start and end point. The starting pitch of a tone 1 is not the same as that of tone 2, 3, or 4.


Strange dude because I don't see any mention of the word "frequency" in his post. He is saying tone and pitch is for more advanced learners, while I am advising that should be the FIRST thing students learn as Mandarin is a tonal language. Changing the tone changes the entire word like horse or mother in English are both "Ma" in mandarin depending ENTIRELY on tone. Thats why students learn tones first.

Never try troll me again. I will bulldoze you.
06-27-2013 12:12 AM
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chinadawg Offline
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Post: #40
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(06-27-2013 12:12 AM)T5_Income Wrote:  Never try troll me again. I will bulldoze you.

Mate, chill out a little. Lets keep things civil. Its easy to have misunderstanding on a forum, especially as many here don't have English as a first language (don't know if this applies to clever_alias). We are here to share information and advice, not argue.
06-27-2013 04:47 AM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
never try and teach me chinese, unless youre a native speaker, i speak and read and far better than you.
hes mentioning that there are 4 tones. however, the tones have distinct freqiencies relative to one another. hes exactly right. a 4th tone is falling, a 3rd tone is falling then rising. however the starting point of the fall is different. because the 3rd tone starys falling at a relatively lower frequency, even without the rose at tje end it is distinguishable from a.falling 4th tone. you dont even need to raise the 3rd tone at the end because the end, and most chinese dont because.its a more natural way of speaking. this is why foreigners have a funny, gutteral way of saying.3rd tones
06-27-2013 05:28 AM
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theArbiter
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Post: #42
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(06-26-2013 12:01 AM)chinadawg Wrote:  Can second the recommendation of Pleco. Its fantastic. I upgraded to get the better flash card system and stroke order diagrams, total cost of $20, so much value for your money. Fret have you tried the instant character recognition upgrade that uses the camera?

Haven't tried it, but I was tempted on getting that add-on. However when I was in China I started messing around with Pleco on a daily basis heavily. I started learning the Radical-based character search. So if I see unknown character(s) I can quickly find it using this kind of search without using the camera-based recognition.

For those who don't know how it works and want to know (extremely helpful), here's a quick explanation:

  1. In pleco, press the button labeled 'Rad' next to the button labeled 'Key'
  2. A list of chinese radicals will appear, along with circled numbers before them. These numbers represent the number of strokes the radicals to the right consist of. If you take a closer look at each radical group for each ascending number you will quickly notice and confirm this.
  3. Let's say you find a character you don't know, let's say this character is 借 (to lend). If you are already know basic radical theory, you can quickly find this character. With a quick look we can see that the character has the radical 人 (at the left of the character), which is made of two strokes. Find this radical on Pleco on group 2 (2 strokes) and press it
  4. Now all characters with this radical will appear.
  5. Now count the remaining strokes in 借. It has 8 remaining strokes, now find group number 8 in Pleco after selecting the previous radical.
  6. Skim through all the characters for group (8) and you will find 借.

Voila. You can find any character using this method in a matter of seconds depending how good you are with radicals and mentally calculating remaining stroke counts.
(This post was last modified: 06-27-2013 02:03 PM by FretDancer.)
06-27-2013 02:01 PM
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theArbiter Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(06-27-2013 05:28 AM)clever alias Wrote:  never try and teach me chinese, unless youre a native speaker, i speak and ryou dont even need to raise the 3rd tone at the end because the end, and most chinese dont because.its a more natural way of speaking. this is why foreigners have a funny, gutteral way of saying.3rd tones

This.

Of course, every Chinese course will teach you what the four tones are.

Every Chinese course will tell you to pronounce the third tone with a rise at the end and they will pronounce it this way.

However, little do people know that you only "rise" this dip when the character is at the end of a sentence.

If a third tone is in the middle of a sentence, you just "dip"; you never rise. And guess what? Most syllables are in the middle of a sentence, so you'll be correct more often than not.

Say the average sentence length is 7 syllables (it probably is more). Then, your probability of a correct pronunciation is (7-1)/7 = 85.7% if you just pronounce the third tone as a "low dip" tone.

If you are aware of this and quickly learn this, then you learn a sound WAY easier to pronounce, and WAY more accurate. Win win, yeah?

I speak a dialect of Chinese, but I have poor Mandarin skills. I went to Chinese school when I was growing up and subconsciously learned to NEVER rise the third tone.

Skip ahead to years later when I'm flipping through Chinese courses. I noticed the third tone always being taught with a "rise" at the end; I would always "feel" that something was odd about this pronunciation.

It wasn't until around 2 years ago that I read up on this phenomenon somewhere. I guess we do internalize certain things at an early age, huh?

Chinese speakers (native OR non-native) just don't recognize things like these, so they can't consciously teach you this. It's not even exclusive to Chinese.

Take an English example: an ESL teacher will probably explain how to say "What" + "do" + "you" + "want?" and then in quick conversation later say "Whatcha want?" not realizing that there is a specific rule as to why this happens. Students get confused.

It's simple, fundamental observations like these that most language courses overlook which makes 99% of the language learning material in the market out there so appalling.

But hey, stop rising the third tone and tell me how good it feels. Noworry
06-27-2013 05:19 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
exactly, sounds soooooo much better without the huge rise at the end
06-27-2013 07:09 PM
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chinadawg Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(06-27-2013 02:01 PM)FretDancer Wrote:  [*]In pleco, press the button labeled 'Rad' next to the button labeled 'Key'
[*]A list of chinese radicals will appear, along with circled numbers before them. These numbers represent the number of strokes the radicals to the right consist of. If you take a closer look at each radical group for each ascending number you will quickly notice and confirm this.
[*]Let's say you find a character you don't know, let's say this character is 借 (to lend). If you are already know basic radical theory, you can quickly find this character. With a quick look we can see that the character has the radical 人 (at the left of the character), which is made of two strokes. Find this radical on Pleco on group 2 (2 strokes) and press it
[*]Now all characters with this radical will appear.
[*]Now count the remaining strokes in 借. It has 8 remaining strokes, now find group number 8 in Pleco after selecting the previous radical.
[*]Skim through all the characters for group (8) and you will find 借.
[/list]

Voila. You can find any character using this method in a matter of seconds depending how good you are with radicals and mentally calculating remaining stroke counts.


Nice. Not tried that yet.
06-27-2013 10:50 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #46
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
900 million people speak this language.
whos learning it now? speak up
03-04-2014 10:40 PM
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Global Entry Offline
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Post: #47
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I'm working on it, sporadically. I've been focused more on learning characters now. i speak it pretty basically to get around Shenzhen, converse with taxi drivers, shop keepers, girlfriends and the like well enough. But i have serious issues not with being understood, but understanding, especially with people who have heavy accents when speaking PuTongHua (like most Guangdong people, cantonese or otherwise).

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03-05-2014 02:58 AM
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Sargon of Akkad Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
^^I'm currently working on improving my written Chinese, mainly by reading newspaper articles and writing down the words I don't know.

Disclamer: I am not the Sargon of Akkad from Youtube and I have no relation whatsoever to that person...also, I don't give a shit about videogames.
(This post was last modified: 03-05-2014 03:24 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
03-05-2014 03:23 AM
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Yeti Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I'm learning Chinese now through classes in NYC.

I'll check back in in a year =)
03-05-2014 06:14 AM
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clever alias Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
im slogging through a review ive put off too long. also boning up on my chengyu game
03-05-2014 01:31 PM
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