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9

There are books specifically designed for learners, such as the Chinese Breeze Graded Readers. These books are small, have constrained vocabulary, and relatively simple stories, but not so basic that you don't feel some sense of accomplishment after reading one. I read the book 错,错,错! which features police officers investigating a suspicious suicide. The ...


5

I built some tools to help me with reading practice. I sieved through Chinese text looking for sentences that use only the characters I know. My first attempt was with Twitter updates, but it was kind of a slow process to find and translate them. More recently, I found a huge collection of translated sentences on Tatoeba. I've collected all the sentences ...


5

中国人 is the topic of the sentence, which explains its position at the beginning. So, "As for Chinese people, ...". 爱喝茶的 is a nominalisation of 爱喝茶 "love to drink tea": hence "people who love to drink tea". Finally, 多 is just the stative verb "many". So, "Among Chinese people there are many who love to drink tea."


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My personal preference is children's books and television. If you have a China town section of your local city you should be able to find a book store with children's books in them. You usually won't find these books in a regular foreign langauges store or even large chain book stores. The alternative is to go to the children's second language section of a ...


4

Regarding starting with pinyin or characters: It's funny, I recently asked this question myself. In your case, I would recommend: Starting with basics of pinyin... getting the hang of pronunciation. TalkBank provides a pinyin chart that pronounces each for you given the selected tone. It's really cool. Just choose a tone, and click on a vowel/initial. ...


2

I had a similar experience learning Chinese (My first teacher was from Taiwan, so we learned Zhu Yin). I found that the best way to learn pinyin was through chat room practice. Live conversations gave both contextual and applicable meaning to the pinyin I was using, and therefore helped solidify my understanding of pinyin. I recommend going to ...


2

There is an (almost) one-to-one mapping from Zhuyin to Pinyin, replacing symbols with letters. In my humble opinion, Pinyin only save one from remembering symbols. Neither Pinyin nor Zhuyin is perfect. Better learn both of them. Pinyin is the result of an attempt of romanization, everything is going well except that, after all, Chinese language is quite ...


1

到 is OK. You could also use 至. 到 is more colloquial. In many cases they are interchangeable, for example: 从古到今/从古至今(from ancient times to the present), 直到此刻/直至此刻(up to now). But you could only say 自始至终(from the beginning to the end),从这到那(from here to there) because 自始至终 and 从这到那 are kinda like set phrases.


1

Your two examples are using two different structures. For the first, see jogloran's answer. In the second example you give, "的多" should be written as "得多". The meaning is "much more". Your example can be translated as "much more hard-working". We can also say "好得多" (much better), "漂亮得多" (much more beautiful).


1

FYI, I speak Chinese. 中国人爱喝茶的多 is actually an incomplete sentence. The complete form should look like this: 比起美国人,中国人爱喝茶的多 or 中国人比美国人爱喝茶的多 So, 的多 can only be used in comparison, which means 'Far more than'. And the sentence above means 'Chinese people love drinking tea far more than americans do'. As for 中国人爱喝茶的多, you should learn it in the context, ...


1

An Optical Character Recognizer like Pleco would be helpful when your friends want to order food at a restaurant on their own for example. There are also lots of free beginner materials available for Chinese. I used Chinese Pod and Living Language Language Lab and Pocket Travel Guide. I found that even in Shanghai you could not always rely on someone ...


1

I found the old edition of Routledge's Colloquial Chinese excellent (though somewhat socially outdated, e.g. it suggests using 同志 = comrade). This book was so successful that it is still in print even years after the completely rewritten new edition (by a different author) came out. Still, I believe using this book will require a lot of effort and ...


1

I have seen a few things that work well: Hand-held electronic device that will speak out the Chinese words for you (these are hard to get outside of China) Personally write down some key phrases such as 'where is the toilet' etc on a piece of paper in both English and Chinese so they can point to what they are after if they can't pronounce it themselves ...


1

I would suggest a short intensive course in Chinese done through Comprehensible Input (that's a theoretical framework for language acquisition). You can also search for TPRS-based courses or teachers of Chinese -- that's the name of the language teaching method that uses this approach. Problem is, there aren't that many out there yet. The problem with a ...



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