758 reputation
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bio website hackingchinese.com
location Sweden
age
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen 19 hours ago

I'm a language student and teacher who has quite a lot of opinions on how to learn languages more efficiently. Since I think there is a severe lack of people discussing how to learn (rather than just what to learn), I'm running a website called Hacking Chinese, welcome!


Mar
28
comment Is there a rule of thumb for distinguishing male and female names in Chinese?
Still, I think in most cases you can guess correctly with >95% accuracy?
Mar
15
comment Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ
So this is still speculation, but it seems like the underdot is used to mark vocalic consonants in some Indian languages. Now, the i in zi, ci, si is not miles away from a [z], but is still treated as a vowel, so perhaps this is where the ẓ came from? (Or, the other way around.)
Mar
14
answered Table of Chinese characters taught in primary school, grouped by grade
Mar
9
comment Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ
That's what I tried to speculate about. IPA generally only uses small caps (e.g. ʙ and ɢ). A small caps z would be virtually identical to a lower case z, so I don't think the capitalisation you mention is significant. This Wikipedia article also mentions that capital versions of small capitals are also obsolete in general: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/….
Mar
8
comment Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ
Regarding the original question, I don't know, but it might be a rest from when upper/lower case was used in handwritten IPA?
Mar
8
comment Chinese [Topolectical] IPA Placeholder: Ẓ
I disagree, I think that adults learning Chinese can benefit a lot from seeing actual phonetic transcription of Chinese sounds, rather than Pinyin. Often, mimicking someone else just isn't enough. This isn't unique for Chinese, it's the same reason IPA is sometimes used to teach other languages as well. Of course, this shouldn't be the first thing students do (unless they happen to be very familiar with IPA already), but I definitely think that it's beneficial.
Mar
7
awarded  Yearling
Mar
5
comment Is there a significant difference in meaning between “欢迎你到中国来” and “欢迎你来到中国”?
I don't know how this relates to the other answers here, but the 來到 construction is the norm in Taiwan. I have spoken to several people from the mainland who comment on this and point out that the 規範 way of saying it in China is 到...來. I have heard several people say that this kind of construction is one of the reasons they can say that I have studied mostly in Taiwan, although this seems a bit unlikely since pronunciation (mostly 輕聲 usage, or the lack of it) is more likely to give me away.
Feb
27
comment How do you idiomatically transate 你这个人?
Perhaps a variation of @StumpyJoePete's answer works too, just leaving out the <insert word of varying level of insult> and say "Why, you little..., how can you..." After all, it's not uncommon to omit the word of insult in English!
Feb
27
comment How do I know when I am “fluent”?
Fluency is a very vague word and the definition varies from "can string words together quickly" to "near-native ability" depending whom you ask. In other words, it's kind of meaningless without further explanation. I also think fluency is much more about production that perception. My own take is that fluency is when you can talk about almost anything (within reasonable limits) in a coherent and fluent way. It needn't be error-free or with near native pronunciation, it just needs to be relatively effortless and understandable.
Feb
26
comment Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?
Perhaps nitpicking, but the 的 we're talking about here isn't pronounced [tɤ] in modern Chinese since it's a neutral tone and a reduced syllable. [tə] is probably better, which actually strengthens your observation since the sounds are the same instead of just similar. I have no knowledge at all of Old Chinese and can't contribute there, sorry.
Feb
26
comment What qualities does Hong Kong Mandarin have?
Regarding laziness, I think "relaxed" is a better word when talking about pronunciation. :)
Feb
22
comment Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?
I think this is entirely region-dependent in this context. Mandarin spoken by southerns contains more 講 and Mandarin spoken by northerners contains more 說. I had (almost) only heard 說 in this situation before arriving in Taiwan. Since, I have almost exclusively heard 講.
Feb
22
comment What is the difference between yǐqián (以前) and zhīqián (之前)?
"I think both terms can mean "in the past", but it seems to me that if you are referring to an event that occurred prior to some other event in the past, 之前 sounds better." Someone told me this years ago and it has stuck with me all this time. As far as I can recall, this way of thinking has never lead me astray.
Jan
27
comment Usage of 師傅 in Mandarin
I haven't heard anyone refer to strangers as 師傅 in Taiwan, but I have seen it in numerous textbooks teaching Chinese (produced on the Mainland).
Jan
15
comment How to translate: 人是铁,饭是钢,一顿不吃烦得慌. What is the logic?
Google isn't a waterproof source of language usage, but if you get 8 hits on one phrase and 2 190 000 on another phrase, you can be quite sure the first one wrong (or at least extremely uncommon).
Dec
8
comment What does the sound “app” mean in Chinese?
Perhaps a bad example then (but would you really say L-E-D display, for instance?), but I still think the general tendency is there (of not making words of acronyms in Chinese, I mean).
Dec
8
awarded  Popular Question
Dec
7
comment What does the sound “app” mean in Chinese?
This is part of a larger trend, too, people say L-E-D for LED as well, for instance. My guess is that these are more easily accepted as new words (even though they are original abbreviations) in English because they don't violate morphological rules as much as they do in Chinese. Also, I suspect that single-syllable foreign words pronounced in the middle of a Chinese sentence will be much harder to understand than a three-syllable abbreviation, which is obviously not a Chinese word.
Nov
25
comment Asking a cafe/restaurant if they have Wi-Fi *and* electricity for using a device
Really?I Know lots of places that offer WiFi but not power.