26

I found the same situation, living in China for quite some time, and unlike some other people who have answered, I understand exactly what you're asking. It was quite annoying to try to learn new words when the native speaker just tells you the meaning of 3 characters together and doesn't know or can't explain each character's meaning. I think the answer is ...


19

There are Chinese-language-only reasons like the many mutually-unintelligible dialects/topolects, the huge difference between spoken and written Chinese languages, but this doesn't explain why subtitling is ubiquitous, even when the entire show is in perfect Mandarin. This is because subtitles are somewhat required under PRC state authorities, so there are a ...


17

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 ...


13

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 characters ...


12

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 ...


8

Some reasons I'm surprised weren't mentioned above: 1) Written stroke order is still the primary system for looking up characters in a dictionary! Yes, you can break them down by radicals & composition, but if you don't know stroke count/order (because you've never written them yourself) you'll likely fail to find what you're looking for. 2) If you ...


8

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 ...


8

try "http://www.wannalearn.com/" search "chinese" "http://www.openculture.com/freelanguagelessons" scroll down to "chinese" section "https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Main_Page"


8

You can find some bookstores near the Elementary Schools (小學). If you see some signs like 國小參考書, go to find 參考書 (references) or 評量題 (examinations) for the first or second grade (一、二年級). 參考書 include the teachings in the textbooks and some Q&A. 評量題 have only Q&A. You should know that all of them are totally in Chinese, no English. (Ask your ...


7

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, there ...


7

I found this report provided by the institution that runs the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). The report was about the tests that took place in year 2010, which was ten years ago, so things may have changed a bit, but I think we can still get a general idea from it. According to the report, before November 2009, HSK had three levels: elementary, intermediate ...


7

The Gan-Hakka hypothesis is most famously put forward by Sagart (2002), based on certain unique shared innovations in both Southern Gan varieties and Hakka: 屋下 as the usual word for "house", compared to Cantonese 屋企. Use of 倈/孻 (beginning with /l/) as the usual word for "son". Similar words for "here" and "there" ...


6

You might come across the phrase 虛詞 which literally means "empty phrase" but refers to function words. I've heard people describe them as "meaningless" especially function words in classical texts but of course they have important grammatical functions. As for lexical terms, each character had a well defined meaning in Old Chinese but nowadays many of them ...


6

There are not just different accents in different regions. There are different spoken languages, using essentially the same written language. And on this point, very distinctive English accents such as Jamaican or deep country accents from Appalachia are sometimes subtitled on American English language television.


6

「奇」 is not a person riding a horse - that is probably a learning mnemonic, meant to remind you of the word 「騎」. This character has received some attention in the question What is the glyph origin of '奇'?. 「怪」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*kruːds/, strange) is comprised of semantic 「心・忄」 (heart, mind) and phonetic 「圣」(/*kʰuːd/). 「圣」 (Mandarin Pinyin: kū, to dig) is ...


5

Most of the answers involve SRS, rote and methods. I use Anki. I have thousands of words in my deck. I've tried rote. They work but they're mind numbingly boring. Here's my take. Read. Read a lot. What's the use of memorizing if you're going to spend so much time memorizing, no practical usage? Read things you're interested in. Not just from books, but from ...


5

Old post, but those answers make the language hobbyist in me cry, so... Are you willing to pay for the privilege? If you are, I recommend Complete Cantonese from Teach Yourself, Basic Cantonese from Routledge, Colloquial Cantonese, and if you want something fun to start with then the Berlitz Cantonese phrasebook with CD. And a heads up, you want something ...


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 ...


5

I have done some software translation and there are couple of ways you can go about learning UI-related language. The first thing is to start using applications (including your operating system) in Chinese. This would be the first step if you're serious about this, because otherwise it's hard to get a good grasp of the really common words Note that words ...


5

I can give a short answer to this question. I would say both. When I entered primary school and started to learn Hanzi systematically, Pinyin is the very first thing to learn, and we learn the sounds of Hanzi by checking their Pinyin. The following picture of a typical primary school 语文 textbook shows how this work: But the other guess of yours is also ...


5

Tl;dr: Isolated use is largely impermissible (points 3. and 4.), because they are classical Chinese. Evidence for which is outlined in point 2. With other excellent answers detailing the glyph origin of 奇 and 怪, I shall adopt another approach at your question. On 奇怪 as a compound word Compound words (複合詞) are rarer in classical than modern Chinese, but ...


4

I'm not sure what your question is. As a native speaker, I think the words you refer to are function words (虚词), which have no direct meaning but has the function of organizing the sentence. The words have direct meaning are notional words (实词).


4

I learnt Japanese for five years before I started learning Mandarin, and it helped a lot! I had a huge advantage over the other students who were learning Mandarin as their first Asian language. I knew how Chinese characters were constructed, and how the radicals affect pronunciation and meaning. I understood lots of Chinese words that had Japanese ...


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. Learn ...


4

maybe you want to check this: http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/calendar/iain-baxter/


4

At a high level, the answer is yes, reading Chinese and an alphabetic writing system stimulates brain parts differently. For instance, in http://www.pitt.edu/~perfetti/PDF/Reading%20in%202%20writing%20systems.pdf, it says that Not only did results show more bilateral activation for Chinese in occipital and fusiform regions, they showed more activation in ...


4

the answer to your question turns out to be a complex one. firstly, when we talk about characters (i.e. 'squarish East Asian writing symbols with a certain shape, sound, and meaning'—not a good definition but maybe an understandable one), one has to know that there are (historically speaking) both 'simple' shapes (such as e.g. 馬 ma 'horse') that are really ...


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