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26

You're right that most of the time, you use a computer or cell phone when "writing" Chinese characters. In fact, many Chinese will tell you that - beside their own name (used as a signature) - they almost never write any Chinese characters by hand. Today, writing Chinese characters is more for memorization than for practical purposes. You might know a few ...


20

I think it would be easier to learn Chinese after learning Japanese and vice versa, because too many Chinese characters are used in Japanese. I would like to talk about this from three points. Pronunciations Usually, in Japanese, one character has 2 types of pronunciations, "音読 おんどく ondoku or 音読み おんよみ onyomi" and "訓読 くんどく kundoku or 訓読み くんよみ kunyomi". The ...


17

You can use a SRS (Spaced Repetition System) software, I personally use Anki to create a deck of study cards and I review them on my mobile phone. I also recommend Memrise. 2014 update: I still use Anki, but combined with Google Images Search and Forvo: When I make new flashcards, I'll add the writing (hanzi & pinyin), its pronunciation (from Forvo) ...


14

I think you are right in your desire to put as much time as possible into the speaking and listening aspects of Chinese. But there are various reasons why it's important to put in the effort to learn Chinese characters, even though the initial investment of time is quite large. As others have explained, passive recognition is no substitute for active ...


14

I generated a bunch of files for some flashcard software that uses spaced repetition to help you learn efficiently. It's still a lot of work to memorize the flash cards, but I don't know of anything easier. In total, I generated 32614 cards with 4166 characters and 18385 words. They are divided into separate files, each with about 100 cards in it. You can ...


11

It would be worthwhile for you to read over what people say in this question: Would it be bad to only speak to a child in a language in which you are not completely fluent? It raises some interesting points. The top answer from Javid Jamae provides the following points: Spend as much time as you can around native speakers (family, friends, church, ...


11

Apart from the Kanji/Hanzi, that they (partly) have in common, concerning the written part, there is nothing that can really help you with the other language: Chinese is pretty much SVO, Japanese is SOV; Chinese has tones, Japanese has no tones. When speaking, sentences do have a certain "tone", but not phonemic, i.e. it doesn't totally change the meaning; ...


10

There is nothing in the linguistic research that proves that writing the characters physically improves one's ability to recognize them in context (as in reading). If that were true, physically handicapped people who cannot write or speak would not be able to read or comprehend language, and clearly that is not the case. Virtually all of the "evidence" ...


10

Learn Chinese I could just assume you mean that you want to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese, but I'd like you to take a moment to share what you mean by "learn chinese." Since it will likely be the hardest thing you've ever tried to do, I'd recommend you consider the following: Mandarin is the most popular dialect and the official language spoken ...


9

There is an American guy (I think) who teaches people how to speak Taiwanese on Youtube. He even teaches the native Taiwanese people how to speak 闽南语. You can see the videos here. EDIT: Looks like the playlist is dead. This is the guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJo2OHi6hgs


9

Generally,there are two types of characters. "Compound character 合体" and "Single component Character 独体". And there are four Character building method "pictogram 象形","ideogram 指事"、"indicatives 会意","phono-semantic 形声". "Single component Character 独体" characters are derive from "pictogram 象形" and "ideogram 指事". e.g: pictogram: "人" means people "山" ...


9

Chinese characters and phonetics You say: Unlike English, Chinese is not a spelling language, which means there is no hint from the characters for pronunciation!!! Luckily for us, that's not true! Actually, by some estimates, almost 90% of characters have a phonetic component to them. To understand what that actually means, you have to know how ...


7

I found PART of the Japanese language easier to learn after studying Chinese. Japanese has two basic strains, an "indigenous" strain, which its own hiragana and katagana script, and the "Chinese" based strain, in which the Japanese adopted the Chinese Hanzi as "Kanji" for many words, as well as a pronunciation similar to the Chinese for those words. ...


6

I would like to answer this question with an analogy to English. In English, You may not learn how to spell the word, and you could only rememeber the pronunciation and the meanings for every word, so you can "speak" English,but you can't write them down or read them. I believe in old times, when few people could get well educated, this might happen (in ...


6

Go to the most reliable source -- order the Maryknoll Fathers' set of 3 textbooks with CDs. While it is not exactly comprehensible input in its best form (it's predictible, since it's a book and the order doesn't change), it is the best set of materials currently available, and certainly the most comprehensive. If you have the patience to work through all ...


6

This is a difficult questions, since most people are quite religious about this topic. For some reason they prefer one over the other and say this one is the best one to learn first. Learning Chinese characters takes a huge effort and most need many years for that, however once you know one set learning the other one is relatively easy. Wiki says that ...


6

There is one main difference between children's books and adult foreign textbooks: Adult foreign textbooks are designed to give foreigners the best chance to communicate in simple everyday circumstances. Children's books start with the very basics and require longer to get to the same place, however they provide you a much more solid base and a far wider ...


6

Children usually go to grade 1 at the age of 6 or 7 in China. According to "全日制义务教育语文课程标准", the character number that children should learn is: Grade 1 to Grade 2: can read 1600 characters, and write 800 characters; Grade 3 to Grade 4: can read 2500 characters, and write 2000 characters; Grade 5 to Grade 6: can read 3000 characters, and write 2500 ...


5

I learned Chinese through children's books as a child. I've suffered from NOT using children's books in other languages. What has happened in those languages is that I've learned a lot of "technical" terms, and can hold my own in "advanced" discussions. Then I trip over some grammar point or some every day phrase that every 10-year old native speaker knows. ...


5

I have read some children's books and found that they can be helpful. However, there is one drawback that I've seen, which doesn't apply to textbooks. Some children's books are designed to help children learn to read. However, the assumption is that the children already know how to speak. Thus, the book helps new readers learn characters but assumes they ...


5

As I'm a Chinese that knows a little Japanese. I can say both of them are not. If you studying them together, you will be confused because they seem similar but are actually different.


5

I agree with others who say you should work with a native speaker to help you with pronunciation. However, having a grammar book will be immensely helpful as well, since many native speakers are often unaware of their own language's grammar (many will often say "that's just how you say it" without knowing why; I've also heard native speakers assert that ...


5

There is a key difference between learning the language as a native speaker, and learning the language as a second language. Native speakers of all languages invariably learn speaking and listening skills first, and only start to learn reading and writing at school, after the age of about 3 or 4. Learning a language as a second language, reading and writing ...


5

When I was in Jiangsu province (and later, Shanghai), I was interested in learning Shanghainese and other Wu dialects. Unfortunately, there aren't that many resources, and a lot of the ones that do exist are low quality (No IPA, crazy made up romanizations, pronunciations indicated with characters, etc.) Here are a few things I found and my thoughts on them ...


5

Children go to grade 1 at the age of 7 and when they graduated from the primary school (grade 6), they should know at least 2500 characters, and the target made by the China Ministry of Education is as follows: grade 1~2: learn 1600 characters grade 3~6: learn 900 characters about your 3rd question, I think it should be the time for Chinese lessons, ...


5

This list roughly groups the 5568 most common characters over the nine years of compulsory education in Taiwan. You didn't specify if you were looking for simplified or traditional, but since I only know of this one source and it's traditional, that's what I will recommend. It should be noted that this isn't an official list of what pupils should learn, but ...


5

You can use 买进 and 卖出 to reduce the chance of being misunderstood. 买,卖 and 借 are the most bewildering Chinese words in modern commerce. He who can coin some new words and popularize them will be our hero. We just treat '十' as the goods you want to sell ^_^, the character without 十 for buy. by the way, when 买卖 is used for verb (i.e. 参与买卖的双方 participants of ...


4

No. Children's books are written -- not surprisingly -- for little native speakers. These are little people who have an astonishingly broad vocabulary at age three. And that vocabulary includes many words that foreign learners of the language never pick up (or need, really.) What kid doesn't know the sounds that every animal makes, or the words for a bunch ...


4

The great firewall being between you and the servers doesn't help, but the main reason is that they only have servers in China, not a distributed content network (CDN) like most of the sites you might regularly access (Google, Youtube, Facebook etc) so that the distance between you and the nearest server is quite great. You should also be aware that they ...


4

One advantage of learning how to handwrite characters is that it makes it easier to distinguish similar-looking characters in unfamiliar contexts. If you can't handwrite you might still be able to correctly read known words like 快乐 and 决定, but if you encounter a new word such as 决心 it's sometimes hard to tell whether the first character is kuài or jué ...



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