Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

22

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 ...


16

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 ...


15

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.


13

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 ...


12

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 ...


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

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, ...


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" ...


8

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" ...


8

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 ...


6

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

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

If you're only going one week, just learn some Mandarin. The advantages of learning Mandarin is that there are a lot of free resources, cheap and useful phrase books, and most people you will run into will understand Mandarin. I've been studying Minnanhua (spoken in Fujian and pretty much mutually intelligible with Taiwanese) for about a year and I ...


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 ...


6

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

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 ...


5

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 ...


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, ...


4

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. ...


4

I think the difficulties include: The tones, while almost all western languages don't have such a conception. Remember how to write a character. There are many characters that you have to learn and remember. but the grammar is easier. In Chinese, you don't have to take care of gender, inflection,conjugation, number and particles.


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

Your pronunciation is correct. This is a common mis-pronunciation in many places in China, not just Shanxi. In fact, this is so common that nearly every modern Chinese input software supports so called "模糊音"(ambiguous pronunciation). The user can config if this function is enabled. Here's a screenshot of the config in Google Pinyin software: As you can ...


4

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 ...


4

There is not much of this available even at bookstores within China. There is even much less for non-background speakers in English. I personally have been lucky enough to get a book from Peking University Press titled "Practical Suzhou Dialect" which also includes English. I tried searching online however this appears to be a one-off. However, you could ...


4

Strictly speaking, the official spoken language in Chinese mainland is known as "Putonghua" (普通话) or "Modern Standard Chinese" (MSM, 现代标准汉语), while the official spoken language in Taiwan is called "Mandarin" (國語). Both Putonghua and Taiwanese Mandarin are dialects of Pekingese (北京話). While there are differences among them, people who speak these three ...


3

Yes, it is, from my personal experience. I guess some basic knowledge is not enough, but if you're a native speaker or have a good knowledge of the language (I have N1), it helps a lot. For me, reading and writing is easy, just need to remember a new pinyin for the characters I already know. Sometimes I need to remember the simplified version of the ...


3

Knowing Kanji can be both an advantage and otherwise. Advantage: You get a good headstart in writing Chinese. If you have been studying Japanese for a while, you probably have a sense of the patterns of Kanji. Even more important is the patience you gained while learning them. (i.e. English speakers who had not enough exposure to Kanji find it more ...


3

The main difficulty is that Chinese, having a different linguistic root from English, does not have the shared vocabulary that European languages have.. for example: English: telephone French: téléphone Spanish: teléfono Portugese: telefone German: Telefon Dutch: telefoon Danish: telefon Italian: telefono Hungarian: telefon Estonian: telefon Slovak: ...


3

For me, I found learning the meaning of all (or at least most) radicals (the parts that make up each character) the crux of it all. Once I learned the meaning and could recognise the parts it made it a lot easier to remember them long term. For example, all metals seem to have the 金字旁, and every time I see a character that has this, e.g. 钢,铁等等, I can ...


3

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 ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible