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Thread: Learning Mandarin

  1. #1
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    Default Learning Mandarin

    I am considering taking up some course to learn basic Mandarin.
    Basically want to pick up some conversational and basic reading skills.
    I have absolutely no background with this language and will be starting from the scratch.

    Hope to give something like 6 months(weekend study) for this pursuit.

    Is it a reasonable time frame for achieving my objectives ?
    Can you recommend some tutor / classes ?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Not sure is this helps??


    =======================
    Learn Chinese In Three Minutes

    English: He's cleaning his automobile
    Chinese: Wa Shing Ka

    English: This is a tow away zone
    Chinese: No Pah King

    English: Is there a fugitive here?
    Chinese: Hu Yu Hai Ding?

    English: Small Horse
    Chinese: Tai Ni Po Ni

    English: Did you go to the beach?
    Chinese: Wai Yu So Tan?

    English: It's very dark in here
    Chinese: Wai So Dim?

    English: Has your flight been delayed?
    Chinese: Hao Long Wei Ting?

    English: I thought you were on a diet?
    Chinese: Wai Yu Mun Ching?

    English: Your body odor is offensive
    Chinese: Yu Stin Ki Pu

    English: You know lyrics to the Macarena?
    Chinese: Wai Yu Sing Dum Song?

    English: I got this for free
    Chinese: Ai No Pei

    English: Phew! Does this bathroom stink!
    Chinese: Hu Flung Dung?

    ============================
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    I reccommend the course offered by the National University of Singapore Extension.

    http://www.nus.edu.sg/nex/

    The course material is good and contains CDs of the lessons. This course places a strong emphasis on leanring to write the characters from the start, while other courses want you to be able to speak a bit before they teach you the writing. Lessons are at Park Mall. It helps to be in a class with other students of the same level.

    Its not a cheap course, but it is a good one. Two nights a week, from memory. Has 3 levels of beginners, then three levels of intermediate so you can keep going if you want to.

    For a cheaper course, a friend reccomends the Hua language school at United Square. Very affordable. Again two nights a week.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Thanks Matman.
    Will look those courses up.

    Catchlights, I wish it was that simple

    Came across this article. http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html
    Apparently Mandarin is probably one of the most difficult languages to learn.
    But I will give it a shot

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    catchlights, that one more like learn English in 3 minutes for Chinese who don't know English

    rahul, learning Chinese requires alot of memory work for vocabulary, as for grammar and sentence structure they are not complicated. have patience and good luck

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by rahul View Post
    I am considering taking up some course to learn basic Mandarin.
    Basically want to pick up some conversational and basic reading skills.
    Can you recommend some tutor / classes ?
    Try this. Only $17.90 from Challenger.


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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    Try this. Only $17.90 from Challenger.

    Ok. Saw some other such audio books at Popular. Ranging from 50$-300$.
    Might be a good option to explore before I commit to some classes.
    Has anyone tried using one of these books ?
    Any particular one to recommend ?

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Personally I think chinese is one of the most complex languages.... (compared to languages with fixed number of characters to form words (such as english 26 letters, german, korean, hebrews 22 letters...)

    have patient, dun give up, in singapore shld be able to find chinese friends to speak to you easily

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    catchlights, that one more like learn English in 3 minutes for Chinese who don't know English

    rahul, learning Chinese requires alot of memory work for vocabulary, as for grammar and sentence structure they are not complicated. have patience and good luck
    one thing about chinese is that chinese sentences dun have spacebar and the readers need to have a very good voca in order to mentally separate the characters into phrases, nouns etc...

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    one thing about chinese is that chinese sentences dun have spacebar and the readers need to have a very good voca in order to mentally separate the characters into phrases, nouns etc...
    is it...

    let me try...

    怕路哟。。。 请问你在那里仿佛好呢?

    我觉得应该是每个字就是一个空把了。
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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    is it...

    let me try...

    怕路哟。。。 请问你在那里仿佛好呢?

    我觉得应该是每个字就是一个空把了。
    see, your entire sentence is one chunk without spacebar, i have to mentally separate them into "那里" , "仿佛", ... hee

    if i not familiar with the words, i may separate like this 请 - 问你 - "在那" - "里仿" - "佛好" which totally meaningless

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    what's with the space thingy?

    in Chinese there's no 'spacing' so to say because the word is written as a character, remember Chinese words evolved from pictures, each character is a word. you put the spacings in English because that's how a word is identified. you don't need spacings to identify Chinese characters.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    what's with the space thingy?

    in Chinese there's no 'spacing' so to say because the word is written as a character, remember Chinese words evolved from pictures, each character is a word. you put the spacings in English because that's how a word is identified. you don't need spacings to identify Chinese characters.
    oh. what i meant is that bcos of this space thing learning chinese is a bit hard.

    if u have never read a chinese Bible, try to read one. u will understand what i mean. bcos u aren't familiar with chinese biblical term and names, when the entire sentence is one whole chunk, u will have a lot of difficulty in reading.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    oh. what i meant is that bcos of this space thing learning chinese is a bit hard.

    if u have never read a chinese Bible, try to read one. u will understand what i mean. bcos u aren't familiar with chinese biblical term and names, when the entire sentence is one whole chunk, u will have a lot of difficulty in reading.
    that's really a problem with vocabulary, in this case specialised vocabulary. to be even more specific, you're referring to pronunciative translation of foreign language (especially nouns) into Chinese, where Chinese words are used not for their meaning but for their sound to construct the word. it has nothing to do with spacing.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    give u a simple ex , for this word 历 代 志 上 , if u dunno how to separate the word properly, u will not be able to know its meaning. also, the person reading will need to have a good knowledge of word, in this case, biblical terms.

    so for chinese, if reading normal sentence, he must know a good pool of chinese phrases in order to separate the words correctly in order to know what that sentence mean.

    if this 历代志上 has a space, i think u immediately will guess what this thing mean
    Last edited by Paul_Yeo; 24th January 2007 at 08:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    give u a simple ex , for this word 历 代 志 上 , if u dunno how to separate the word properly, u will not be able to know its meaning. also, the person reading will need to have a good knowledge of word, in this case, biblical terms.

    so for chinese, if reading normal sentence, he must know a good pool of chinese phrases in order to separate the words correctly in order to know what that sentence mean.
    eh, don't blur yourself leh, that's a vocabulary problem, you go tell a Chinese teacher Chinese is difficult to learn because of the lack of spacing that teacher will either roll on the floor laugh till dead or pull out all the hair.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    oh. what i meant is that bcos of this space thing learning chinese is a bit hard.

    if u have never read a chinese Bible, try to read one. u will understand what i mean. bcos u aren't familiar with chinese biblical term and names, when the entire sentence is one whole chunk, u will have a lot of difficulty in reading.
    u mean like...

    哪摩哦弥陀佛 - then must split into many gaps ar?

    hmm... if bible put more blanks hor, how many more pages u reckon it will add?
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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    give u a simple ex , for this word 历 代 志 上 , if u dunno how to separate the word properly, u will not be able to know its meaning. also, the person reading will need to have a good knowledge of word, in this case, biblical terms.

    so for chinese, if reading normal sentence, he must know a good pool of chinese phrases in order to separate the words correctly in order to know what that sentence mean.

    if this 历代志上 has a space, i think u immediately will guess what this thing mean
    makes me wonder how to space 他妈的

    anyway, from what i know, if u really do more gaps, kids not even wanna touch chinese...
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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    that's really a problem with vocabulary, in this case specialised vocabulary. to be even more specific, you're referring to pronunciative translation of foreign language (especially nouns) into Chinese, where Chinese words are used not for their meaning but for their sound to construct the word. it has nothing to do with spacing.
    oh...hee... a simple ex 需要您的关心与代祷, this is not a translation of foreign lang.

    for a person who doesn't know how to properly separate this sentence into phrases, he will have problem understanding and evening looking up the dictionary! should he check up the word 关心 or 心与 ??

    if the words are spaced out, think u can read it easier 需要 您 的 关心 与 代祷 . i think this separated with spaces, people not familiar with chinese can easier lookup the dictionary.
    Last edited by Paul_Yeo; 24th January 2007 at 09:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Learning Mandarin

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo View Post
    oh...hee... a simple ex 需要您的关心与代祷, this is not a translation of foreign lang.

    for a person who doesn't know how to properly separate this sentence into phrases, he will have problem understanding and evening looking up the dictionary! should he check up the word 关心 or 心与 ??

    if the words are spaced out, think u can read it easier 需要 您 的 关心 与 代祷 . i think this separated with spaces, people not familiar with chinese can easier lookup the dictionary.
    i think you'll kill the chinese language if you become the education minister ... heng ah

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