Tag Archives: learning chinese

The Myth of Learning Chinese from Chinese Girlfriend

study in the classroom as opposed to bedroom

study in the classroom (not bedroom)

Many Chinese people had said to me that if i want to learn Chinese, the best way is to find a Chinese girlfriend. If that is so, then why is it that most of the guys here in China with a Chinese girlfriend or wife speak little or no Chinese? There are a number of reasons…

  1. It gives the girl a sense of security, as he is unable to communicate with the majority of the Chinese female population (thus more unlikely to cheat), and knowing that her bf 100% relies on her for everything and that she is in control of his daily affairs. Continue reading

Learning to read Chinese

At the beginning…
Learn the radicals – the components of the characters (refer to the “background” section), because then characters will start to make sense… You’ll see characters and even if you don’t know what they mean you’ll be able to recognise them and make some sense of them, and then when you do come to learning characters, many will already be familiar and easily remembered. Continue reading

Getting Chinese Pronunciation Right

Chinese pronunciation is not particularly difficult, the range of sounds is fewer than in English, and there are no special tricks such as rolling of the tongue. Basically, anyone can learn it, and some foreigners who learn Chinese have better pronunciation than many Chinese people! We use PINYIN to learn Chinese pronunciation, and there are countless resources available for learning PINYIN.

The important thing to understand is this: You won’t get all the sounds exactly right at first, because your ear isn’t fully tuned into the Chinese language. That’s why it’s important to listen carefully to recordings and then repeat. Slowly your ear will better discern the sounds and your pronunciation will improve along with it. Some people advocate going out and speaking a language as much as possible from the beginning, this is actually a double edged sword… Continue reading

Background to the Chinese language

Chinese is a tonal language with a character-based writing system. To understand what this means we can compare it to English. In English the word “horse” can only have one meaning, no matter which tone you use when you pronounce it (e.g. say it in a rising tone or falling tone does not change the meaning of the word).

In Chinese however, if you say “ma” it can mean “mother”, “horse”, “scold”, or “hemp” depending on the tone you use when you pronounce it. Continue reading