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Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
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Vacancier Permanent Offline
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Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Camarade FretDancer had a brilliant idea on the China is still The Great Unknown thread about a Chinese language thread similar to our Portuguese and Spanish ones. I thought this would be a terrific thing to have as there are a lot of guys in here who are either learning Chinese/Mandarin or want to learn it for various reasons. These reasons can be for game and access to hotter women and others who are planning ot move there to pursue business opportunities and lifestyle while of course having access to higher quality women.

We have a few guys in here who are currently living in China and others who are traveling from time to time there for biz or fun. And others who are in the process of moving there in the next few months such as yours truly.

I have downloaded a few of the Pimsleur Mandarin I and II course lessons. Yes they do help as the toughest part in any language, but more so in Chinese, is to get your ears used to the different sounds and tones. This would be a place to ask questions, get clarifications on words, tones, writing or even translate words/expressions of interest to us. Once things get going, maybe we could even organize a mastermind kind of group and practice talking on skype as the key with any lingo is to practice speaking it.

So let's get rolling guys!
03-09-2013 10:38 PM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
FSI Language Course
Being a teacher I've found the classroom vocab part especially useful.
http://www.learnchineseez.com/fsi/mandarin/

The iPad app "Learn Chinese Mandarin Phrasebook" has a lot of the basic greetings, numbers, even tongue twisters and a dating section.

Anyone looking to practice speaking in mainland Chinese or at least traveling here should learn the hand gestures for Chinese numbers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_number_gestures

There's also Peggy Teaches Chinese on YouTube, I like it, but your mileage may vary.
http://youtube.com/user/PeggyTeachesChinese

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03-09-2013 11:34 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I'm a big fan of the courses on Memrise. With minimal effort - about 20 minutes per day spread over 5 minute intervals - I've picked up the basics of reading Mandarin. It's so low effort that it doesn't even feel like I'm studying, but it's been more efficient than any other language learning method I've tried due to its algorithmic design based on the science of memory retention.

Start with Read a Chinese Menu to see if you like it, then move on to Mandarin Reading Survival or HSK Level 1 (China's standardized language proficiency).

I can't have sex with your personality, and I can't put my penis in your college degree, and I can't shove my fist in your childhood dreams, so why are you sharing all this information with me?
03-10-2013 01:19 AM
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FretDancer Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
大家好。

我想推荐一个很好的网站: http://www.rocketlanguages.com/chinese/ . 当我在用这个网站的时候,我需要付100美元。我不知道现在需不需要的。

反正,大家都说中文吧!

Hey guys, this is a website I used when I was starting to learn Chinese: http://www.rocketlanguages.com/chinese/ . Back in the day I payed like $100 for Premium Course level 1 or something like that, it was well worth it. I dont use it as much anymore but there still many lessons for me to learn new stuff.
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2013 01:39 AM by FretDancer.)
03-10-2013 01:39 AM
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Snowflake Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Great idea VP, thanks for starting this thread.
Would you recommend using podcasts to learn chinese? Has anyone had success using this method?
03-10-2013 09:01 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-10-2013 09:01 AM)Snowflake Wrote:  Great idea VP, thanks for starting this thread.
Would you recommend using podcasts to learn chinese? Has anyone had success using this method?

I recommend it. You will not absorb as much and as fast as you think, but it will get you used to hearing the language, which will help alot when you start having your conversations and the speakers start speaking very fast.

I only listen to one podcast: http://popupchinese.com . You can also find it in the iOS podcasts.

Also, I recommend downloading TuneIn Radio and tune in to some China / Taiwan radio stations, this will help alot too!
03-10-2013 01:45 PM
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rover Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-10-2013 09:01 AM)Snowflake Wrote:  Great idea VP, thanks for starting this thread.
Would you recommend using podcasts to learn chinese? Has anyone had success using this method?

I used chinesepod.com when learning Mandarin, it was super useful, especially when combined with a structured approach that teaches grammar etc. They have hundreds of 10-15 minute lessons/dialogues for different levels of students, from the very beginner to quite advanced.
03-10-2013 01:56 PM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-10-2013 01:19 AM)Soma Wrote:  I'm a big fan of the courses on Memrise. With minimal effort - about 20 minutes per day spread over 5 minute intervals - I've picked up the basics of reading Mandarin. It's so low effort that it doesn't even feel like I'm studying, but it's been more efficient than any other language learning method I've tried due to its algorithmic design based on the science of memory retention.

Start with Read a Chinese Menu to see if you like it, then move on to Mandarin Reading Survival or HSK Level 1 (China's standardized language proficiency).

Banana
This just saved me a shiiiit ton of money. I was about to pay to take a course to study for the HSK, instead I can just use this for the same result. This is what I love about this forum.

Can I get a hell yeah?

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03-12-2013 11:02 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
Pimsleur
03-13-2013 12:19 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I have considered learning Chinese to get an edge in the engineering market. Thanks for the links everybody.
03-13-2013 03:30 AM
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Alpharius Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
All I really got from Pimsleur was learning some basic but necessary stuff like, "I don't understand"/"I don't speak Chinese"/"Do you speak English?"/"I only speak a little Chinese".

Extremely handy when dealing with Chinese taxi drivers (demons given human form) but limited.

If you are going to impose your will on the world, you must have control over what you believe.

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03-13-2013 09:38 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
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.
(This post was last modified: 03-13-2013 02:46 PM by Pacific.)
03-13-2013 02:45 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I’ve been on Memrise ever since this thread, using it to learn characters for the first time. It’s been very effective so far, and perfect as it can be done at work.

Before this, I was exclusively learning conversational Mandarin with Pimsleur and then Chinesepod.com

Eventually will need to actually start conversing with real people to get any good at it.
03-19-2013 07:25 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
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?
03-19-2013 04:12 PM
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DVY Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I used to read and write (chinese). Have since forgotten everything, but still speak fluently w/very little accent.

Honestly the best way to learn language is pillow-talk.

2nd best way- language school in ethnic area. I picked up Russian as a kid this way when young, and Chinese as well.

3rd and least practical way- go solo to the country and struggle struggle struggle. Find some cute uni girl to help tutor you in chinese/russian.

I want to re-learn chinese reading/writing, but I think its not worth it. Retention is poor if you don't use it consistently. Language w/alphabets have better retention.

Thus if I were to further my chinese, I would try to focus more on conversational/business chinese speech than reading and writing.

WIA- For most of men, our time being masters of our own fate, kings in our own castles is short. Even those of us in the game will eventually succumb to ease of servitude rather than deal with the malaise of solitude
(This post was last modified: 03-24-2013 10:38 PM by DVY.)
03-24-2013 10:34 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
What’s a good resource to learn pinyin via self-study? I’ve picked up a bit via the ChinesePod transcripts, but an actual systemized resource would be great.
(This post was last modified: 04-30-2013 07:09 AM by nmmoooreland20.)
04-30-2013 07:08 AM
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Sargon of Akkad Offline
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(03-24-2013 10:34 PM)DVY Wrote:  I used to read and write (chinese). Have since forgotten everything, but still speak fluently w/very little accent.

Honestly the best way to learn language is pillow-talk.

2nd best way- language school in ethnic area. I picked up Russian as a kid this way when young, and Chinese as well.

3rd and least practical way- go solo to the country and struggle struggle struggle. Find some cute uni girl to help tutor you in chinese/russian.

I want to re-learn chinese reading/writing, but I think its not worth it. Retention is poor if you don't use it consistently. Language w/alphabets have better retention.

Thus if I were to further my chinese, I would try to focus more on conversational/business chinese speech than reading and writing.

Honestly, the best way to learn anything is to place oneself in situations where one is forced to do it repeatedly. Language classes and other resources are better regarded as supplements to help one along the way. I learned Chinese much more through using it on a regular basis than looking at charts and vocabulary lists alone in a basement.

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: 04-30-2013 09:37 AM by Sargon of Akkad.)
04-30-2013 09:36 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I have a major update for this thread coming up soon, but in the meantime I have a standard Northern restaurant menu in hanzi, pinyin and English if anyone wants it. I figured that menus are where I encounter and need to understand characters the most, so that should be a priority for learning to read.

It's a good resource. If anyone is interested I can send it your way.

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05-07-2013 10:43 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-07-2013 10:43 AM)Osiris Wrote:  I have a major update for this thread coming up soon, but in the meantime I have a standard Northern restaurant menu in hanzi, pinyin and English if anyone wants it. I figured that menus are where I encounter and need to understand characters the most, so that should be a priority for learning to read.

It's a good resource. If anyone is interested I can send it your way.

Osiris. I would like to see this menu you speak of, would appreciate if you can send it.

Thanks for your input man.
05-07-2013 10:43 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
I've heard from Chinese friends that it is a serious problem amongst young people, particularly those who don't go to college, because as soon as they leave the education system they rarely use Chinese to write and just use their phones and computers.

(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?

Regarding learning Pinyin, when if you are in China just find someone who speaks good putonghua who wants to practice English and get them to sit down with you and go through the charts are start learning some basic sentences. Theres less than 400 syllable sounds in Mandarin, meaning that with a focused effort you can pick up the basic sounds fairly quickly. Its initially really tough as we are not used to making in tonal sounds for a language, but after you get a hold of the basics you improve pretty quickly with practice.

I learnt the basics from a copy of the text book that the Peace Corps use in their "Survival Chinese' course for new volunteers in the country, its a great book for learning the basics and useful sentences you will use on a daily basis.
05-08-2013 01:28 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
i write characters all the time when i text
05-08-2013 04:03 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-08-2013 04:03 AM)clever alias Wrote:  i write characters all the time when i text

True, texting and emails are both very good supplements when learning to read Chinese characters.

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.
05-08-2013 08:51 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
not even for practice (i get enough from class), just normal text conversations. if i want to use a slightly less common character its a pain in the ass. if i want to write 实 its easier to draw it on my input pad than text shi, scroll through every possible shi 5 at a time until i find the right one. and 实 isnt even that obscure。i dont want to think about how annoying 湜 would be.
this is sort of conditional on having a not shit phone. apple input pads are great. samsungs i dont like. my samsung knock off sometimes is 弱智 . . . . .
05-08-2013 10:10 AM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
(05-08-2013 10:10 AM)clever alias Wrote:  not even for practice (i get enough from class), just normal text conversations. if i want to use a slightly less common character its a pain in the ass. if i want to write 实 its easier to draw it on my input pad than text shi, scroll through every possible shi 5 at a time until i find the right one. and 实 isnt even that obscure。i dont want to think about how annoying 湜 would be.
this is sort of conditional on having a not shit phone. apple input pads are great. samsungs i dont like. my samsung knock off sometimes is 弱智 . . . . .

The problem is, I think handwriten input is kind of annoying and slow. Pinyin input is extremelely fast compared to it. Also, drawing with your finger on a small screen for handwritten input makes your characters look horrible even if the system recognizes it.

However, my experience is only limited to iPhone input. Don't really know how handwritten input is on other smartphones.
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2013 09:59 PM by FretDancer.)
05-08-2013 09:57 PM
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RE: Chinese/Mandarin Language Thread
it will autoformat it so it looks the same. its not like it sends a picture of the character you drew. if you throw in the radical and then general stroke order it SHOULD pick up what youre saying
pinyin input is fast for common things. less common characters takes longer.
you gotta get used yo drawing with thumb for it to be worth it
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2013 10:55 PM by clever alias.)
05-08-2013 10:47 PM
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