Author: cmknight

Having trouble learning Mandarin [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-4-14 12:40:43 |Display all floors

I can teach you Chinese if you can teach my son Spanish

I have a 12 year old son.  He can speak and write Chinese, English and Malay well.  I would like him to pick up some Spanish.  He attends Chinese medium school Mon - Fri and sometimes Sat mornings.  So his learning sessions would be best held during the weekend.

If you don't mind teaching him some Spanish, I will be happy to teach you Chinese.  Alternatively, you can learn Chinese from him while teaching him Spanish.  However, this can only be done via the internet as we are from another country

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Rank: 1

Post time 2005-5-17 16:35:24 |Display all floors

Reply: Having trouble learning Mandarin

I have american colleagues who have the same problem with remembering words and pronounce correctly.

Firstly I think you should start slowly, I see my colleagues learning 10 phrases each day, but every time they could almost only remember one.

I recommend you start with spelling - Chinese Pingyin, it helps, my boss started with Pingyin, and now every time he asked us about how to spell a chinese word, then he can remember how to say next time, easier than remembering the character. But it must be chinese spelling, you shouldn't use your own spelling, like Hot, Chinese spelling is " Re", but I found in my colleague's book, it's " Ruh".

And tones, I agree, it's very important when you can tell the difference among " Cross, UP, Check and Down" sound, it would be a very hard part for you I am sure. Cos' everytime when my colleagues pronounce a sound, they would think it's either a "Up" or a "Down" sounds, but makes no difference in my ears.

Good luck with your study

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Post time 2005-5-18 13:50:27 |Display all floors

Enjoy Mandarin in JoyMandarin

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We have a strong teaching staff with rich experience and expertise in teaching Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language.
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Post time 2005-11-24 11:00:08 |Display all floors

Recommend a good software to learn Mandarin

Please view the following website, it is about the software of learning Mandarin:

I have try it, very good for me, hope this imformation can help you. ^_^

Any idea about learning Chinese, and Chinese Culture, pls. share with me via my

Let's join together, be a team, to improve our Chinese learning!

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-11-25 12:05:46 |Display all floors


A friend let me borrow his Pimsleur CD's. Pimsleur is the name of the CD's and the name of the man who came up with the method. He starts very simply, with "ni hao ma?" You listen and repeat, several times, hearing both male & female voices and their responses. Then they add another phrase or word, one at a time. As you learn more, they keep repeating the previous phrases, so you are constantly reviewing. You don't have to be perfect, because the next CD will review along with new sentences. By Lesson 5-6 you can ask if someone would like to get a bite to eat, where is such&such street, etc... Eventually this all leads to a conversation including everything you have learned up to that point.

It's a very good method, but of course you'd need a live person as well, because one problem with all tapes is that a chinese person might respond differently than on the tape! Then what? So a real person can answer you back in different ways.

I also did the English/Chinese exchange. It works out great. If you can find someone to do that with, that would be excellent. Do it several times per week, not just 1/wk.

Oh, and I have children's books. I am currently translating Pinocchio. Kid's books are great because there are no big words and sometimes there's a lot of repetition. You will also learn basic sentence structure from them.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2005-11-25 12:34:43 |Display all floors

oh, another thing...

By the way, I'm still a beginner at Mandarin myself, I'm far from fluent yet!

But here's another thing I'm doing:
I'm trying to think in Chinese. Whenever I meet someone who has learned a second language, they say that thinking in the other language is a huge step. Some people, after years, still think in their own language and translate in their mind, which takes time and memorization. So when I'm driving, or cooking, or just daydreaming, I try to say little things in Chinese, like "that car is grey" or "this tofu is too hot" (even if it isn't). I basically make stuff up, and sometimes I may be wrong, but I'm usually close enough that it's worthwhile.

Learn a few simple phrases like "I want..." or "I have..." or "that is..." They can be used SO MUCH! Learn them in Chinese, and say them to yourself about anything you see around you, and fill in the rest of the sentence in English for now. You will be getting used to some very basic commonly used PARTS of sentences, then the vocabulary will fill in later, as you wish.

Wo yao a tuna fish sandwich.
Wo yao go to the store.
Wo you two dictionaries.
Wo you a blue shirt.
Wo you... whatever, but you'll drill in what "wo you..." means ... what it FEELS LIKE it means, because you are seeing or doing that thing at that moment. You are using the phrases, so they'll stick better.

Wanna hear something really dorky? I practice in my head by imagining that a Chinese person is with me who doesn't understand English. I have to say things as best I can. At some point, I might realize I wanted to use the word "something" a lot, but didn't know it, so I look it up and use the new word(s) in some sentences.

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2005-11-27 12:56:56 |Display all floors

Force yourself to use it or loose it.

I always advise my Chinese friends to speak English even if it is wrong. They are difficult to understand and I tutor them. They return the favor. No matter what you do , use it. All my Chinese friends smile when I speak to them....... But they understand now. I have tried to get them to speak in English like I sound to them in Chinese. They all say it is impossible...... I must sound like a real idiot. I don't care. I'm doing it and someday I will understand enough to really be understood. In the mean time, all my friends get some good entertainment.

Use it, use it, avoid English as much as possible. Yes, I know they all want to learn English! Just use what you know even if you feel like a jackass. They will be patient and correct you. Just like you should do with them.

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