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Chinese Lessons Online - Why Learning Mandarin isn't as difficult as you think
 

Chinese Lessons Online - Why Learning Mandarin isn't as difficult as you think

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In this 30 slide presentation, I talk about (1) Why Mandarin CAN be difficult, (2) Why Mandarin can also NOT be difficult, (3) HOW to make learning Mandarin easier, and (4) My recommended resources ...

In this 30 slide presentation, I talk about (1) Why Mandarin CAN be difficult, (2) Why Mandarin can also NOT be difficult, (3) HOW to make learning Mandarin easier, and (4) My recommended resources for learning it. For more information, please visit http://rocket-chinese-review.com/ . Thanks!

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    Chinese Lessons Online - Why Learning Mandarin isn't as difficult as you think Chinese Lessons Online - Why Learning Mandarin isn't as difficult as you think Presentation Transcript

    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Chinese lessons online Why Mandarin Chinese isn’t as difficult as you think
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) First things first... • Where is this coming from? • I’m a native speaker of English and Chinese • Wanna shed a bit on learning Chinese A (bigger) pic of me! :) (I’m from HK, btw)
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) First things first... • Address 2 main questions today, e.g. • Why do people think Chinese is difficult? • Any ways to make it easier to learn?
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • The language isn’t hard • Grammar is much simpler than English • Very predictable rules • Few exceptions too! (e.g. spelling, conjugations, phrasal verbs, etc.A LOT to learn here)
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • So why do people think it is? • 3 reasons, really
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • Reason 1: Characters • The most complex writing system across all languages • Every character is unique • More than 100,000 characters • English only has 26!
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • Reason 2: Literature • Literary flair • Study a year of Chinese - still find Chinese newspapers difficult to read • Study half a year of English, you’re breezing through English newspapers
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • Chinese novels are ridiculously difficult to read • Intricate shades of meaning impossible to derive unless you are taught or native • Lots of cultural inferences that confuse even native speakers • With English, you can derive meaning of imagery, plot, characters bit by bit and build up
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • Reason 3:Writing • Question at hand isn’t difficulty... • ...but one of standards • Chinese writing = grossly higher standards than English
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin is hard • Chinese people are perfectionists here • Not only does it have to be technically correct • Can’t use substitution as in English (e.g. He’s really nice - just replace nice with decent to give variety) - descriptors + nouns are fixed • Also have to be rhythmic (i.e. it sounds structured, e.g. Part A; Part B.The structure of these have to be symmetric.)
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Why Mandarin isn’t hard
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Debunking these myths • Reason 1: Characters system • Biggest debunker...scope! • 100k words in existence...do you need ‘em all? • Probably not... • So how many? • Only 1,200 words!
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Debunking these myths • Reason 2: Literature • It takes a while longer to understand newspapers • But why? • Not to do with a lack of technical proficiency, but cultural discrepancies • True that learning curve is steeper, but only in the beginning
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Debunking these myths • Literature, poems, archaic Chinese is very difficult to decode + almost like learning Chinese v2.0 • But do you need it? • Probably not...okay to skip it and come back to it if interested
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Debunking these myths • Reason 3:Writing • Practice makes perfect • Isn’t that how you learnt English writing as well? • Always the most difficult aspect of any language • Because it takes time
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Debunking these myths • Ask yourself - what proficiency do you need? • Emails / SMS (friends) - pretty easy • Technical reports (business / job) - fairly easy • Newspaper / magazine / editorial reviews - moderate difficulty • Novelist - very tough • Write in archaic Chinese - reserved for the erudite folks
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Ways to make Mandarin easier
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • These might sound strange, but I think you need these • (1) Understanding of structure • (2) A plan
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • What’s structure? • How the language works, i.e. • (1) The pinyin system • (2) Basic grammar counterparts (to your native language) • (3) Stroke order
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • (4) Radicals (positioning and meaning) • (5) Functional vocabulary
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • As you can see, I advocate a spoken based strategy • I order the four “pillars” of language this way • Speaking • Listening • Reading • Writing
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • A plan? • Be very realistic about how much time you have each day • Be consistent • Best if you have a tutor / course to guide you through • Example on next slide
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Month Goals Tasks 1 Pinyin Master all 400 sounds of pinyin 2 Strokes + radicals Learn 12 strokes, 10 stroke rules, and 40 most commonly used radicals 3 Basic grammar Learn 15 Chinese grammar points + compare to English 4 Basic grammar Learn 15 more Chinese grammar points 5 Common expressions Learn 2 - 3 phrases a day 6 Vocabulary Start reading to increase vocabulary
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • Do I recommend a tutor? • Yes...and no • Yes for when you’re more advanced • Great to get real time, instant feedback • More fun!
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • No because... • The problem isn’t in the idea...it’s in finding a compatible one • Great Chinese + Bad English? • Great English + Bad Chinese? • Great Chinese + English + bad attitude?
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • Bilingual + doesn’t know how to teach? • Chinese + English + bad pronunciation? • ...you get the idea.
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • Seen LOTS of those • Not to be perfect, but difficult to find a good tutor. • Main reason is because Chinese culture is fundamentally very different to Western culture • Difficult to establish equal grounds
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • Learning by yourself? • I recommend this for the basics (beginners to intermediate) • Cover a LOT more ground on your own (basics are always easy to grasp and very little room for error)
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Making Mandarin easier • What about resources? • I recommend online, but feel free to stick to books if you like the tangible feel better! • Click below to read my review of Rocket Chinese, an online Chinese course - I’ve posted a video demo + video review + textual review
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Conclusion
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) Conclusion • Mandarin isn’t difficult to learn • If you aren’t aiming to be the next Du Fu of China • If you’re looking to use Chinese to make friends • If you’re looking to talk in Chinese in daily social situations
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) For more tips on Chinese culture, learning and my recommended resources, please visit http://rocket-chinese-review.com/
    • Click on the logo to visit my website! (http://rocket-chinese-review.com/) !谢谢 (Thanks!)