Questions tagged [learning]

Questions about learning various aspects of Standard Chinese or other Chinese languages and dialects.

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51
votes
12answers
5k views

Is there a lot of value in learning to write Chinese characters?

I have noticed that a lot of my friends that study Chinese at university spend a lot of their time learning to write Chinese. I would estimate more than 50% of their Chinese study time is spent on ...
34
votes
11answers
57k views

Is it easier to learn Chinese after learning Japanese or vice versa?

For those who speak both Chinese and Japanese, would first learning Chinese make it easier to learn Japanese? Knowing that Japanese Kanji are derived from Chinese characters, how hard is it to do the ...
25
votes
15answers
4k views

Techniques for learning and retaining characters

For many of us, memorizing characters is a difficult thing. In Chinese, just because you can speak the word doesn't mean you can read it. Just because you can read it doesn't mean you can write it. At ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

Why do native speakers often say a character has “no meaning”?

Many times I will know all the characters in a name but one & I'll ask what that one character means. 9 times out of 10 the response is, "That character has no meaning". While it might be true ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Are children's books a good starting place for beginners?

I was wondering if Chinese children's books might be a good starting place for adult Chinese language newbies (regardless of whether it be Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, whatever), in particular for ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Useful resources for learning Taiwanese?

My girlfriend is from Fujian and speaks 闽南语, so I am trying to learn so I can communicate with her family better. The struggle is finding any useful resources (even in Chinese), so I'm wondering if ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

What is the best way to teach a child Mandarin?

My son is almost 8 weeks old. I don't speak Mandarin (yet, currently in progress) and am looking for ways to start him on learning Mandarin early, maybe at about 1 year of age. What is the best way ...
14
votes
5answers
14k views

How many characters do Chinese pupils know at different ages?

I'm looking for data that would let me estimate how much written language young Chinese at different ages know, in terms of number of characters they can read/write. Examples of materials that would ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Resources for learning Cantonese

I'd like to learn Cantonese. Does anyone know some good resources (books, websites) that provide a thorough introduction into the language? I know that the pronunciation is a lot harder than in ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

How to get started learning Chinese [closed]

I'm new on this website and my only objective is to get some answers. But the main question I have is: How and where to start learning Chinese? How to begin?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Learning Traditional first with the goal of learning both

I found this in the Mandarin wikibook: "It is considered easier for people who learn Traditional to read both sets than people who learn Simplified only, but Simplified characters are less ...
8
votes
6answers
175 views

Can I say 在..住? Why we say 我住在?

As far as I know in chinese sentences we should use adverb after subject and before the verb. For example: 我在上网聊天儿。 So can i say 我(S)在北京(adverb)住(verb)? Why do we say 我住在北京?
7
votes
8answers
833 views

Mnemonic for differentiating 买 and 卖

I always mix up their tones and/or meaning. Do you know a good mnemonic to differentiate the two? Maybe there are compound words which contain either character which could help me? I found 买卖 which I ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why chinese people always use chinese subtitles ¿?

This is my question, almost every program, TV Show, movie... everything has subtitles, one reason could be that there are many different accents in different provinces but I don't really find that ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to learn how to pronounce and remember names of Chinese students?

This question was originally asked on Academia.Stackexchange.com. I would normally not cross-post, however, I think this question might be an exception, where both sites may provide complementary ...
6
votes
1answer
207 views

Why the popular name for Pandas 熊猫 consists of its words in inverse order 猫熊?

According to Pleco dictionary the popular name for Pandas is 熊猫, while the "original" name is 猫熊. Its characters meaning order change from: popular: bear cat original: cat bear
6
votes
3answers
230 views

Early childhood Chinese language immersion accent exposure

Is it important for young children (4 or 5 years old) in a Chinese language immersion program to be exposed to more than one type of Mandarin accent? If the child only hears one accent (and one that ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Learn the characters at the same time as the language?

Should I learn Mandarin basics first through pinyin and worry about the characters later, or should I learn them together? Pros and cons?
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Resources for learning Shanghainese

I'm surprised a question like this hasn't been asked yet. It seems Shanghainese is a dying language and it's rarely spoken. I'd like to know about resources and ways to learn the language by myself. ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How to start learning Cantonese?

How can I learn Cantonese on my own? What resources can I use and what is the right way to do it? I have friends who are from Hong Kong so I have people to "talk at" I guess who will honestly ...
5
votes
3answers
560 views

Are there any resources for learners of Chinese dialects that are close to Mandarin?

I've lived in Henan provice for around 8 years and have never seen any texts for learners of the Henanese dialect. There are considerable variations in dialect within Henan between people from ...
5
votes
1answer
695 views

Selecting resources to improve reading for upper-intermediate level?

There is a great question on 'how to practice reading for beginners' at the moment that's got a lot of really useful answers, and so I figured I'd ask for some useful things closer to my level. Does ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

Meaning and use of ideograms around “language” : 说,话,语

I just arrived in this warm community and am glad to find a stackexchange about Chinese language. I merely began to learning Chinese and find it really exciting, yet many of uses and conventions are ...
5
votes
1answer
389 views

Where can I find Codecademy for Written Chinese?

Recently, my wife has been learning to program JavaScript using Codecademy. I like how it walks people through exercises step by step, and builds up concepts, etc. All the marking is automated, and ...
4
votes
5answers
812 views

Is Learning and Memorizing Chinese Characters much different than English?

Unlike English, Chinese is not a spelling language, which means there is no hint from the characters themselves for pronunciation. Therefore, we can only work on the characters individually to figure ...
4
votes
2answers
550 views

Pronouncing pinyin “c” in Shanxi dialect

I had thought I knew how to pronounce pinyin "c," like the English "ts" in "cats." But on a trip to Shanxi it seemed like most of my friends were pronouncing it like pinyin "ch." Village names ending ...
4
votes
4answers
625 views

Isn't Chinese SVO? then why is it SOV here?

Chinese is supposed to be SVO right? (as I learnt, of course) then why In this sentence "我可以跟她约会"? "约会" means to date, so It's a verb I presume, why is it SOV in here then, I have a hunch though ...
4
votes
2answers
294 views

How can I get exposure to mandarin usage and pronounciation?

I have been taking Mandarin classes at university. Due to illness I have missed a lot and fallen way behind. Now I wish to continue learning on my own. I find it very hard to remember the characters. ...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

Learning written forms of dialects

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
4
votes
3answers
208 views

I can't think In Chinese, I always instantly translate what I am reading into English

I am not sure why, but whenever I read something in Chinese...I don't know how to say this, it just doesn't click, Every word I read is instantly translated to English, If I try to force my self to ...
4
votes
6answers
487 views

Learning abstract “tone contours” for words and phrases

I'm having trouble acquiring both Mandarin pronunciation and tones (hampered by the opacity of Pinyin for beginners). I've learned various languages to various degrees and some people consider me to ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Table of Chinese characters taught in primary school, grouped by grade

Is there a table like this for Chinese characters, that lists which Chinese characters are taught for each year of primary school? (I'd like to learn Chinese, so this would be a great source of ...
3
votes
10answers
2k views

How do I know when I am “fluent”? [closed]

What in a common test for fluency in Chinese? Is it when I can; talk to a shopkeeper converse meaningfully about a film do business purely in Chinese pass HSK6 When my friends ask I don't know what ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

What are the most difficult things to learn for a westerner? [closed]

What aspects of the Chinese language are the most difficult to learn for a westerner? In particular I'm interested in thoughts on: What do you find are the main difficulties? Are there any aspects of ...
3
votes
3answers
911 views

Learning Chinese and Korean

I started learning Korean last year, and by now I'm pretty confident with the basic rules of the game; I'm also pretty interested in Chinese, and I've heard that many Korean words can be split up in ...
3
votes
9answers
526 views

What are some ways I can learn Chinese characters effectively?

What are some great ways to learn Chinese characters effectively? I recently have learnt Pinyin however; I find it quite difficult to learn the characters because of poor learning techniques. What ...
3
votes
2answers
777 views

What effective methods exist for visual learners to get Chinese grammar?

I want to learn Chinese grammar (e.g. sentence structure), however, I am a highly visual person and feel a visual learning process would help me the most. I have already taken a beginner Chinese ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

I am confused with this “ 最开始” in a specific sentence

In this sentence,毕业之后最开始在一家房地产公司做销售员,底薪一千八. the translator apparently translated "最开始" as went to work? I am confused because I can't find any thing that relates 最开始 with finding a job . Here is ...
3
votes
3answers
245 views

How can I get a Mandarin teacher while living in a small town without Chinese schools/institutions?

I've been learning Chinese for 2 months and I'm finding it too hard to learn by myself. So as I asked in the title, I'd like to get a tutor so that I can learn basic grammar and practice conversations....
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Where can I find more cartoon videos like BBC's Muzzy for a young child to learn Mandarin? [closed]

I'm not talking about instructional videos and bi-lingual videos. Just Mandarin cartoon videos which a young child, with the ability to naturally absorb a new language, can use to learn Mandarin.
3
votes
2answers
437 views

Is there a website/service that corrects Chinese Essays? [closed]

Recently, I've gotten into the habit of writing in a chinese diary each night. However, I'd be disappointed if I kept on making mistakes and instead of correcting them, reenforcing them through the ...
2
votes
1answer
26k views

Why are sites like youku and baidu so slow overseas? [closed]

When I was in China, these video sites were great for getting chinese material to watch. Ever since I came back though, these sites are too slow to watch anything. Why are these so slow and is there ...
2
votes
4answers
122 views

A few questions before taking an online course

After two months, I will be moving to Hong Kong for my Bachelor's degree. Before doing so, I decided to spend my time learning Chinese to lessen the burden in the future. As I was searching for a ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

if … then … in Chinese without any special words

I found the following example on this webpage: 你 高兴,我 也 高兴。 nǐ gāoxìng, wǒ yě gāoxìng. If you are happy then I am happy. Somehow, the translation sounds weird to me, as I would rather ...
2
votes
3answers
352 views

Does China have any website like Youtube?

I want to let learn about Chinese and I want to watch some short video to begin with. Is there any website like Youtube in China and can be access from USA?
2
votes
3answers
158 views

What tool allows a fast translation from Chinese that is both scaleable and exportable?

I am currently limited and slowed down in my progress learning Chinese, that some times I read a text from my textbook and cannot identify a character, because I don't know its pronounciation. I don't ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Resources for the Chinese section of the Gaokao?

The entrance examination for universities in mainland China includes a Chinese section. I'm looking for three things about this. 1) A source for questions that have been asked in previous years. For ...
2
votes
1answer
379 views

What are the common phrases in sports when you win the score?

Sportsmen use some phrases to encourage themselves during the game. So what do Chinese sportsmen usually say when they win the score? For example, in this video at 5:40, Ma Lin cried something like: ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

來鴻去燕 interpreting idioms

So I am studying idioms and in many cases I come across one whose words I understand but whose meaning must apparently lie in a deeper story. The Wise Talk app gives: 來鴻去燕 (lai2 hong2 qu4 yan4) ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Does anyone out there have an old textbook about learning Moiyen Hakka?

I was born in Montreal and my parents are both Hakka from Calcutta. They never taught me the language and now in my thirties, I'm realizing how important it is to me to go back to my roots. I want ...