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Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #76
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
zhu and ju should be different, as well as xu and shu
03-07-2014 11:46 PM
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Sargon of Akkad Offline
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Post: #77
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-07-2014 10:41 PM)G_global Wrote:  Sarge, agree completely, though some of these stories (particularly with the girl in the club) take it to a further extreme. I haven't seen that kind of blockage before.

To add to the difficulty, Cantonese usually speak pu tong hua very lazily, and so in SZ, it adds to the mix of problems. In BJ, I think there is more of an expectation inherently that someone may speak some Chinese, while in SZ, very little. In HK, it seems, none at all (PTH or Cantonese).

Just to be clear, these are not the majority of cases. And the story with the cab driver and the girl in the club were extremes, and they stuck out in my mind because it's rare for things to be that weird. As Suit said, most people react very positively the moment you open your mouth in Chinese.

Quote:Sarge, where in Japan are you based? Do you ever come through China?

I'm currently based in the Osaka area (though I'm often in Kyoto and Kobe). No immediate plans to go to China. Right now I am as broke as one can possibly be, though I would like to make a quick trip back to China when I get the chance.

Though I certainly prefer the living standards, mentality and culture of Japan over China any day, I would enjoy spending some more time there short-term.

BTW, unlike China I haven't encountered any of this language weirdness I described above in Japan. I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost everyone here will give me the benefit of the doubt and speak to me in normal Japanese. In China, I normally had to make some extra effort to demonstrate that I could speak the langauge, while here, 99% of the time, people will just talk to me in normal Japanese before I've even opened my mouth. Generally, I don't feel I'm made a big deal of as a foreigner here, even though I'm usually the only foreigner in sight. In China, on the other hand, you can never truly shake the feeling of being an exotic animal escaped from the zoo or something.

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: 03-08-2014 05:12 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
03-08-2014 04:16 AM
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Post: #78
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-07-2014 11:46 PM)clever alias Wrote:  zhu and ju should be different, as well as xu and shu

(Pinyin) zh-, ch-, sh-, r- are all articulated by curling the tongue upwards at the roof of the mouth.

(Pinyin) j-, q-, and x- are "sharper", formulated at the teeth. The x- ("hs-" in Wade Gyles) is more of a "hissing" sound. It's not exactly a "sh".

the "-u" following the former is a clear "oo" sound (like the French "ou"), while
the "-u" following the latter consonants is an /y/, pronounced like the "ü" in German and Turkish "ü" or French "u".

"zh-" and "j-" are voiced, while "ch-" and "q-" are unvoiced.

"r" is not quite the same as an English "r", it's more like a cross between an English "r" and a French "j". This is why 容 is written transcribed as "rong" in Pinyin and as "jung" in Wade Gyles.

"z" is more like "dz", "c" like a slightly lisped "ts".

Also, "t" and "d" are pronounced by placing the tip of the tongue at the roof of the mouth behind the teeth, not like a an English "d/t".

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: 03-08-2014 04:46 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
03-08-2014 04:28 AM
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Post: #79
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-08-2014 04:16 AM)Sargon of Akkad Wrote:  [quote='G_global' pid='673101' dateline='1394250077']
Generally, I don't feel I'm made a big deal of as a foreigner here, even though I'm usually the only foreigner in sight. In China, on the other hand, you can never truly shake the feeling of being an exotic animal escaped from the zoo or something.

Funny, my girl and I have a running joke in China about this very idea, when I walk around people look at me like I'm a dongwu, or animal, from the zoo. What you describe is exactly the same thing I say to her, hence the nickname.

The other nickname is banana, but for a completely different reason. Banana

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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03-08-2014 04:53 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
qu xu ju and yu should all be umlauts. simple as that
03-08-2014 05:00 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-08-2014 04:53 AM)G_global Wrote:  Funny, my girl and I have a running joke in China about this very idea, when I walk around people look at me like I'm a dongwu, or animal, from the zoo. What you describe is exactly the same thing I say to her, hence the nickname.

The other nickname is banana, but for a completely different reason. Banana

Yeah, that kinda stuff starts to get on my nerves after a few months. At first, it's funny and interesting, but after a while, especially in less international cities, people start acting like they've made first contact with an alien species every day. Eventually, you become numb to it and don't mind. Nevertheless, you start thinking "it's great that my very presence was able to cause such a reaction in you, but I'm sorry if after the 3,973rd time, I can't share the same exitement about this encounter with you.

Generally, I have a love-hate relationship with that country. Depending on your mood you can either love the shit out of it or be annoyed by everything around you. Sometimes both at the same time. With Japan, on the other hand, the only thing here that I didn't love the shit out of was the initial vibe mismatch with the local women and resulting blowout marathon I experienced last year. Now that I seem to have learned to work my way around that somewhat, I can't really complain much about this place. China can be a lot of fun, due to its batshit insanity, kitsch-overload and overall zaniness, but it would probably drive me mad after more than a year or two at a time.

(03-08-2014 05:00 AM)clever alias Wrote:  qu xu ju and yu should all be umlauts. simple as that

That's the most important part, yes, but the preceding consonants are also pronounced somewhat differently.

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: 03-08-2014 05:34 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
03-08-2014 05:27 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-08-2014 05:27 AM)Sargon of Akkad Wrote:  China can be a lot of fun, due to its batshit insanity, kitsch-overload and overall zaniness, but it would probably drive me mad after more than a year or two at a time.

Yes, I think it's been healthy for me to take a "China break" after every year in-country.

When I get back in May, I'm going to be looking to push the envelope, but we'll see how that goes.

Keep in mind, China newbies. Very few Westerners spend more than two years in China before throwing in the towel for good.

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03-08-2014 11:37 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I was there for 2 years continuously. didn't really bother me after I got used to it, but if I as already having a shit day then it would be the type of the sit that sends me over the edge. Day already sucks and then some little fucker decides to say 妈妈,他像猴子!would be the tipping point until the next day
03-08-2014 01:25 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-08-2014 01:25 PM)clever alias Wrote:  I was there for 2 years continuously. didn't really bother me after I got used to it, but if I as already having a shit day then it would be the type of the sit that sends me over the edge. Day already sucks and then some little fucker decides to say 妈妈,他像猴子!would be the tipping point until the next day

As I said, it would all depend on my mood. The attention I got numb towards after a while, but yeah, this is something I would say to and would hear from others back then, that it was only an issue if you were already having a bad day.

When I say things would drive me "mad" after a while, I'm not referring really to the staring and the "hellOs", even though that may contribute somewhat. I mean generally, the Chinese as a collective group require...patience. It's a combination of many small things that aren't an issue by themselves: the spitting, the pissing, the nose-picking, the poor hygene, the lack of manners, the pollution, the poorly written and sappy love songs, the shirtless fat-guy burping and shamelessly slapping his belly on the street, the kitsch overload, the slight mockery the Chinese can make of their own history...the overall complete disregard that a Chinese crowd has for its surroundings. Sometimes when you're in the wrong mood, it can just rub you the wrong way.

At the same time, it can be those very things that make you fall in love with the place. It's the this whole..."ghetto"..."bootlegged" attitude and the informality...this sense of just not giving a fuck that just makes you think "FUCK yeah". Just not for more than a year or two at a time...if possible.

Ideally, if I had unlimited free time and resources, I would choose to spend three months of the year in China and the other nine in Japan.

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.
03-08-2014 02:12 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
There are to be sure plusses and minuses. The spitting and hacking gets on my nerves the most, to the point that I rarely walk around alone without headphones playing music to drown it out.

When I head back to the USA for brief interludes, I definitely get annoyed plenty by things there as well. And the unavailability of some things I take for granted in China (or the ridiculous cost) makes it pretty irritating as well. All in all though, I prefer living in China to any non-New York City in the USA i've ever spent time in. It grates on you, to be sure, but don't forget why you left the USA in the first place.

Full disclosure, for financial and health reasons, i am strongly considering relocating to Thailand sometime this year. It is still a short trip back to China for work, and there are too many lifestyle benefits to ignore (game not being one of them, as I'll relocated with my Taiwanese girlfriend).

Back on OP topic, Memrise seems very effective so far for learning characters. Its a bit pedantic and oriented towards very slow learners, but for a free program, very effective thus far. I did the Chinese language for menus and it already made an impact, starting on HSK1 now.

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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(This post was last modified: 03-09-2014 02:55 AM by Global Entry.)
03-09-2014 02:52 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Ya, I keep coming back because it's so damn cheap and I get to use my white man advantage. Also, the thin women, drinking freely in public and the impossibly cheap public transportation.

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03-09-2014 07:18 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-09-2014 02:52 AM)G_global Wrote:  There are to be sure plusses and minuses. The spitting and hacking gets on my nerves the most, to the point that I rarely walk around alone without headphones playing music to drown it out.

When I head back to the USA for brief interludes, I definitely get annoyed plenty by things there as well. And the unavailability of some things I take for granted in China (or the ridiculous cost) makes it pretty irritating as well. All in all though, I prefer living in China to any non-New York City in the USA i've ever spent time in. It grates on you, to be sure, but don't forget why you left the USA in the first place.

Full disclosure, for financial and health reasons, i am strongly considering relocating to Thailand sometime this year. It is still a short trip back to China for work, and there are too many lifestyle benefits to ignore (game not being one of them, as I'll relocated with my Taiwanese girlfriend).

Back on OP topic, Memrise seems very effective so far for learning characters. Its a bit pedantic and oriented towards very slow learners, but for a free program, very effective thus far. I did the Chinese language for menus and it already made an impact, starting on HSK1 now.

be careful about focusing too much on characters. read as much as you can
03-09-2014 11:12 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
im not sure i understand the distinction you're making. How do I read without focusing on characters?

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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03-09-2014 11:28 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
yea that's my fault, that was terribly worded.
what I meant is a lot of people like to just cram as many as characters as possible, and that's something you need to do, but you need to see the language used in a natural way to really get a good grasp of it. of course, at the beginning, all you can do is cram characters. but youre going to reach a point where you'll start learning words that you wont know how to use. some of my favorite words in Chinese are phrases I never say in engish. ive seen my fair share of people that just cram a list of vocab and are helpless in conversation because they actually have extremely limited exposure to how the words they've learned are practically applied.
03-09-2014 11:35 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I see. If you have any suggested early level reading materials (online would be great), that would be helpful. I actually did the memrise for restaurant menus, which took me from learning a few characters to reading phrases (food items, but still phrases) pretty quickly, which seems to be kind of what you're talking about. It was helpful seeing those elements in context as far as learning them was concerned as well. I retained a lot more (I hope - time will test whether that's true).

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Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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03-09-2014 11:44 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Quote:what I meant is a lot of people like to just cram as many as characters as possible, and that's something you need to do, but you need to see the language used in a natural way to really get a good grasp of it. of course, at the beginning, all you can do is cram characters. but youre going to reach a point where you'll start learning words that you wont know how to use. some of my favorite words in Chinese are phrases I never say in engish. ive seen my fair share of people that just cram a list of vocab and are helpless in conversation because they actually have extremely limited exposure to how the words they've learned are practically applied.


I completely agree with CA on this.

First of all, blindly memorising words and meanings without context is a much slower way to keep them in your head than learning them in context.

Second, blind memorization of words makes you more likely to make the common mistake of shoehorning the phrases, formulations and habits of your native language into that of the language you're trying to learn. The result is that at best you'll sound ridiculous and at worst incomprehensible. If you want to see how it sounds to a Chinese person when one just randomly shoehorns phrases of a Western language into Chinese, there are plenty of examples of it working the other way around. Just look at all those poorly translated signs in English I'm sure everyone has seen, many of which are so bad you can only tell what they're saying when you read the original Chinese...then laugh when you realise they just translated it word for word...

干菜类 (dried vegetables/dried vegetable sorts) is translated as "Fuck vegetables"
...since “干” (dry) can also mean "to do" or slang for "to fuck".

In a supermarket "一次性用品" is translated as "A time sex thing", since the “性” in "一次性" (disposable) can be either "type/kind/nature" or "gender/sex/sexual".

Also, for some reason, people keep translating "可乐" as "cock" instead of "coke".

Some English words may have multiple possible translations in Chinese depending on the context, while some Chinese words may have multiple meanings in English. Many words in English and in Chinese have certain phrases that accompany them. If you don't know what phrases to use a word with or how it's formulated, you'll occasionally end up making the reverse version of the mistakes I showed above.

Best way I've found to learn words is to read a text where you understand most of the vocabulary and simply look up the words you don't recognize. Focus more on reading the text over again rather than the words you didn't remember. I've been doing this recently with online newspaper articles, but any text will do.

In terms of learning to speak, I really think there is no efficient substitute for speaking it with as many people as possible. Best way for me is simple to make as many friends and acquaintances or date as many women as you can who either don't speak English or don't want to speak it.

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: 03-10-2014 01:21 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
03-10-2014 01:07 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
since youre starting at zero, it may take awhile. I don't know anything to read, but check out 喜羊羊与灰太狼 you can find weeks worth of that shit on youku for free
03-10-2014 02:06 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-10-2014 01:07 AM)Sargon of Akkad Wrote:  
Quote:what I meant is a lot of people like to just cram as many as characters as possible, and that's something you need to do, but you need to see the language used in a natural way to really get a good grasp of it. of course, at the beginning, all you can do is cram characters. but youre going to reach a point where you'll start learning words that you wont know how to use. some of my favorite words in Chinese are phrases I never say in engish. ive seen my fair share of people that just cram a list of vocab and are helpless in conversation because they actually have extremely limited exposure to how the words they've learned are practically applied.


I completely agree with CA on this.

First of all, blindly memorising words and meanings without context is a much slower way to keep them in your head than learning them in context.

Second, blind memorization of words makes you more likely to make the common mistake of shoehorning the phrases, formulations and habits of your native language into that of the language you're trying to learn. The result is that at best you'll sound ridiculous and at worst incomprehensible. If you want to see how it sounds to a Chinese person when one just randomly shoehorns phrases of a Western language into Chinese, there are plenty of examples of it working the other way around. Just look at all those poorly translated signs in English I'm sure everyone has seen, many of which are so bad you can only tell what they're saying when you read the original Chinese...then laugh when you realise they just translated it word for word...

干菜类 (dried vegetables/dried vegetable sorts) is translated as "Fuck vegetables"
...since “干” (dry) can also mean "to do" or slang for "to fuck".

In a supermarket "一次性用品" is translated as "A time sex thing", since the “性” in "一次性" (disposable) can be either "type/kind/nature" or "gender/sex/sexual".

Also, for some reason, people keep translating "可乐" as "cock" instead of "coke".

Some English words may have multiple possible translations in Chinese depending on the context, while some Chinese words may have multiple meanings in English. Many words in English and in Chinese have certain phrases that accompany them. If you don't know what phrases to use a word with or how it's formulated, you'll occasionally end up making the reverse version of the mistakes I showed above.

Best way I've found to learn words is to read a text where you understand most of the vocabulary and simply look up the words you don't recognize. Focus more on reading the text over again rather than the words you didn't remember. I've been doing this recently with online newspaper articles, but any text will do.

In terms of learning to speak, I really think there is no efficient substitute for speaking it with as many people as possible. Best way for me is simple to make as many friends and acquaintances or date as many women as you can who either don't speak English or don't want to speak it.

yeah, like in English we LOVE using the passive verb. in Chinese, when in doubt, don't use it.
or when words need funny prepositions that they don't need in English. One of the funniest moments was a classmate who thought he was hotshot and never came to class had to give a presentation and he gave the clunkiest speech ever because he missed out about half of the prepositions he needed.
and finally the words that all translate the same in English. except for pronunciation, I hardly ever use pleco anymore, way too vague
03-10-2014 02:11 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
im not quite on zero, lesson 37 on pimsleur but i felt id plateaued and it wasn't helping my comprehension, so i decided to take a different tack. I do think I'd be further along if I didn't have to deal with the multiple accents one encounters in a melting pot like Shenzhen. A friend once told me to learn to read and the rest could come from there - he was pretty well spoken in Chinese, a Belgian guy.

I'm not sure if thats entirely accurate but I figured I'd try someone different for a while. I did successfully spend an entire evening and nite with a girl I met who spoke no english recently, without relying heavily on google translate (which sucks anyway) but I can't do that too often, no doubt my gf wouldn't appreciate it if she found out.

I've referral links for most credit cards, PM me for them & thanks if you use them
Strip away judeo-christian ethics ingraining sex is dirty/bad & the idea we're taking advantage of these girls disintegrates. Once you've lost that ethical quandary (which it isn't outside religion) then they've no reason to play the victim, you've no reason to feel the rogue. The interaction is to their benefit.
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03-10-2014 02:42 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-10-2014 02:42 AM)G_global Wrote:  I'm not sure if thats entirely accurate but I figured I'd try someone different for a while. I did successfully spend an entire evening and nite with a girl I met who spoke no english recently, without relying heavily on google translate (which sucks anyway) but I can't do that too often, no doubt my gf wouldn't appreciate it if she found out.

You could try making friends with guys. Though it can often be difficult finding cool local guys to befriend, as there's a good chance of them fetishizing you as the exotic zoo-animal/status symbol and using you to show off to their friends and acquaintances with the whole "Oooh, look at me, I'm friends with a foreigner."

Basically, the more exited and eager they are to befriend you, the faster you need to run in the opposite direction.

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.
03-10-2014 03:36 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
would there be any interest in a rvf wechat?
03-17-2014 12:15 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I want to try to add value here by linking a website that's rocking my world in terms of learning characters.

hanzicraft.com - lets you type in a simple character and see a bunch of expressions that it's also found in. Good example is http://hanzicraft.com/character/火

Where you can see
火 = fire
火车 = train (literally, fire-car)
火山 = volcano (literally, fire-mountain)
焰火 = fireworks (literally, flame-fire)
火锅 = hot-pot (literally, fire-pot)

Also breaks down each character into its smaller components, if there are any.

Thanks for the thread guys, I've been following it (and others) for some time.
05-12-2014 09:12 PM
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Post: #98
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
The most important part of language learning is getting a girlfriend/native speaker. My wife has picked up fluent english in less than 4 years and its due to the fact that I refuse to speak Chinese.
I guarntee the exact same could work for you guys if you wanted to learn Chinese. Everyone knows when a foreigner posts or asks about 'language exchange' its code for girlfriend.

For those with an interest in the language, I told a guy on the subway 'who was in clear violation of my space/and the rules' to stop eating his shredded meat sandwhich. He smiled at me arrogantly before I told him to Fvck off and gave him the finger. He went ballistic and kept saying "How dare you say fvck my mother!". I wanted to knock his block off but you know how it works in China, the guys are all talk if they don't have 'the swarm' to protect them.

Anyway I later learned that its universally accepted here that Fvck u, means fvck your mother...

Some other useful words I've picked up here:
Tamada - Fvck u
Sexy - Eat Sh1t
Polkeye - B1tch
Du ley mon - Your mother is a cvnt.
Gweylo or Wygoren - Foregin dog/ugly foreigner
Laowai - foreginer (your name)
Bai se de mogwai - White Devil
Mmm Goy - Excuse me (politely) if they won't move, I use Mmmm Goy Ni Jew (means excuse me you fat pig)
Pandilla - Too expensive

while I said before I don't speak the language, I've sort of picked it up just by trying to find ways to swear at people and I have a pretty good handle on Mandarin and Cantonese if I need to get my point across. You will pick it up just by living here and you'll use it on a daily basis. It's always great when people are talking sh1t about you behind your back and they think you don't understand. Often times I've pretended I don't know whats going on only at the end to call someone out for being a turd in their own language. The look of utter shock is priceless.

BTW, Chinese DONT LIKE IT when you speak to them in their language. They think its cute that you know a few words but when you speak it fluently, you are a danger to their business dealings. Back talking, especially about foreigners, is what Chinese do best and you are depriving them of that. Dashan is long forgotten among the current adult population but he would be the goto guy for all things language learning.

Sargon, I lived in Tochigi Japan, kick my ass everyday for leaving... don't come here, Japan is far superior in almost every way. Even the Chinese youth here are obsessed with Japanese culture. My Cantonese friend who just went over to Japan for the first time was blown away. He came back and said "This is the way China SHOULD BE!!!". The two are as different as honey boo boo and a beautiful, feminine woman. You want to meet women in Japan, go out to the country side villages, the city girls are flakes no matter what country you are in.
(This post was last modified: 05-12-2014 10:33 PM by BadWolf.)
05-12-2014 10:03 PM
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BadWolf Offline
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Post: #99
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Oh and btw
Quote:I am thinking about going to China to volunteer for a couple of weeks or a month teaching english to Migrant children. It will be good for college applications, get my volunteer hours for high school completed, and also be a great opportunity to perfect my Chinese. Does anyone know of a program that I can get involved with for doing this? I lived in China for 3 years while in middle school so I'm experienced and know the culture.

This is an EPIC SCAM

English teachers get paid 50 dollars an hour to teach. Migrant workers don't need english classes, neither do their children, they need SKILLS and college.
Whomever the 'organization' is, they are making MONEY off of you.
05-12-2014 10:36 PM
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ChrisGambi Offline
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Post: #100
RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Bad Wolf - you have much much more experience in China, i have one been here for one year, however, even using the 150 words i can speak to date, has gotten me so much goodwill, from shop girls who suddenly became warm, cab drivers who suddenly gave up to trick me, and even in business meetings. GIven that you don't speak Chinese, how did you come about these experiences?
05-13-2014 07:15 AM
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