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Having trouble learning Mandarin [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-3-1 23:24:49 |Display all floors
I've been living in China for almost a year, now, and still know only a few words in Chinese.  I'd like to know if anyone has the same problem I do:

I have an inability to learn another language.

I'd like very much to learn Chinese, but I just can't seem to be able to remember what I'm taught.  

Does anyone have any hints, tips, help?  I'm not looking for penpals.  I'm surrounded by 3200 students, so penpals are the least of my worries <grin>.  I guess what need is the equivalent of a Berlitz course, or "Mandarin for Dummies".

Chris

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Post time 2005-3-1 23:58:44 |Display all floors

learning Mandarin

Here, try this website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/chinese/real_chinese/

Also, watch chinese movies no matter how little you understand them. You will gradually learn vocabulary this way. It takes a LOT of work, patience and persistence. I'm having the same difficulty as you even after two years of struggle. But, I can say some useful everyday things. Just keep at it.

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Post time 2005-3-2 06:34:05 |Display all floors

Learning Mandarin

Thanks jdicken.  I've linked to the page and will check it out after work, today.

Chris

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Post time 2005-3-2 18:08:43 |Display all floors

Learning

I have been here for 5 months and I don't have the benefit of any classes in Mandarin.  I have to self study and I am learning very slowly.  Therefore, I have the same problem.  I have been trying to learn vocabulary by buying Kala O.K. cd's and singing along.  I also bought a lot of childrens' books.  My biggest problem is understanding spoken Chinese.  I can read pretty good now, but i can't have a conversation.

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Post time 2005-3-3 00:35:14 |Display all floors

May be you can try

I know your trouble, I think if you talk a lot with Chinese will improve much better.Many of chinese people are very friendly,if you want to talk with them, they'll speak slowly and expain important grammar for you.Some of them are oral lauguage.

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Post time 2005-3-3 05:21:55 |Display all floors

learn the tones

I agree with amy_see above.  Conversation is really important.

But, first, take get a chinese friend, or a tutor, to teach you about the tones and the proper pronounciation.  Practice saying them over and over.  Do it not just a few times, but really practice reading sentences even if you have no clue what you're reading.  It will develop you speaking skills (people to understand you) and your ear for the language (you understanding people).    Without knowledge of them your guessing your way through the spoken langauge.  I think it's an essential frame of reference for your spoken and listening skills.  

I myself am only learning right now, but after only a few months I think I'm doing pretty well using this strategy.  It is completely useless to try speaking even from a phrase book if you did not learn the tones....   you may be going to painstaking efforts to pronounce a simple four word phrase absolutely perfectly.....     PERFECTLY WRONG.   You will just get blank stares.  I sure did.  Everyone had patience:  me, the eager chinese listener(s).  But, how the h*ll could you understand somebody's "perfect" pronounciation of "I onion dress horse" ?    :)

Then, I think employing some of amy_see's ideas is the way to go.

Good luck to us all !

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Post time 2005-3-3 17:01:07 |Display all floors

Laowai learning Chinese

Thank you leewei, amy_see, and marcus_m.  I have the tones pretty well, and I know my numbers ok.  My pronunciation is awful, but words, phrases, sentences, etc. are almost non-existant.  I don't use them enough to remember them.

Thank goodness I have a wei hun qi (fiancee) that doesn't laugh at me, and is patient enough to realize that when I say ni hao ma, I'm not saying, "Hello, horse".   :>)

Chris

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