Unlocking the Chinese Language - sneak peek

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Is it really useful to learn Chinese? What am I getting into? Confucius Institute for Business in NYC wants to answer these questions. Excerpted slides here. Course materials and concept by Janet Carmosky.

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  • There are no final consonants in Mandarin except – n and –ng. Takes a while to be able to hear the difference between those two. Also takes a while to hear the difference between Xi and Qi. Chu and Qu. Etc.
  • There are no final consonants in Mandarin except – n and –ng. Takes a while to be able to hear the difference between those two. Also takes a while to hear the difference between Xi and Qi. Chu and Qu. Etc.
  • Unlocking the Chinese Language - sneak peek

    1. 1. Unlocking the Chinese Language Instructors: Janet Carmosky and Professor Wen Jing An orientation to Chinese language learning taught only at : The Confucius Institute for Business SUNY Global Center 116 East 55th Street New York, NYconfuciusbusiness.suny.edu
    2. 2. Course PhilosophyThe best use of language skill in business with China is to take whateverChinese language skill we can acquire as a foundation for understanding China,its organizations and people, in broader terms.• Language competency is not equivalent to China business competency: it is a doorway to understanding culture as well as a communication tool - one of many aspects of China business competency.
    3. 3. Course Philosophy The best use of language skill in business with China is to take whatever Chinese language skill we can acquire as a foundation for understanding China, its organizations and people, in broader terms.• Language competency is not equivalent to China business competency: it is a doorway to understanding culture as well as a communication tool - one of many aspects of China business competency.• For an adult, the first part of learning Chinese language is to learn about Chinese language. • The relationship between sound, meaning, and the written language bears no resemblance to English or any European language, and is significantly different even from other East Asian languages. • An orientation will diminish the frustration that comes from expectations that learning Chinese is like learning any other language.
    4. 4. Course Objective • Learn what to expect in a process of developing Chinese language skill. • Gain insights about how Chinese language works – and the ability to interact more confidently with Chinese people. • Establish a foundation for any program of Chinese language study.Copyright: Janet Carmosky
    5. 5. The “Table of Elements”: Sound, Meaning, and written languageSource: Lee, Philip Yungkin, Tuttle Publishing 250 Essential Chinese Characters
    6. 6. A Business Perspective: How studying Chinesebuilds China business competencyStage Benefit 1. Understand the structure of the Establishes, to Chinese counterparts, that you careNOVICE language, and how it affects enough to make an effort. communication and culture in general Starts a more effective “mindset” – one that acknowledges how differently Chinese people may 2. Be able to pronounce pinyin consistently structure their thoughts – and view the world. – including people’s names Demonstrates, when you focus on pronunciation - that you are smart enough to know how the 3. Be understood in usage of commonly language works. used phrases 4. Learn some survival industry vocabularyBEGINNER – key government agencies, products, concepts. 5. Enjoy characters and calligraphy 6. Consistent reproductions of tones Source: Janet Carmosky Copyright: Janet Carmosky 6 2012-10-30
    7. 7. A Business Perspective: How studying Chinesebuilds China business competency1. Understand the structure of the language, and how it affects communication and culture in general2. Be able to pronounce pinyin consistently – including people’s names3. Be understood in usage of commonly used phrases4. Learn some survival industry vocabulary – key government agencies, products, concepts5. Enjoy characters and calligraphy6. Consistent reproductions of tones7. Based on knowledge of the written language, create new sentences- not just repeat stock sentences or terms. Follow conversations with increasing comprehension8. Follow 20+ minutes of Chinese conversation with full comprehension9. Participate in longer and more varied Chinese language conversations,10. Full fluency – ability to persuade as well as follow the development of an idea Source: Janet Carmosky Copyright: Janet Carmosky 7 2012-10-30
    8. 8. A Business Perspective: Why learn Chinese? Novice Stage How it’s useful 1. Understand the structure of the language, It’s the start of a mindset where you can and how it affects communication and see how differently Chinese people may culture in general view the world. 2. Be able to pronounce pinyin consistently It establishes, with Chinese counterparts, – including people’s names that you care enough about their culture to 3. Be understood in usage of commonly make an effort to learn. used phrases A focus on pronunciation demonstrates that you are smart enough to know how the language works. Who it’s useful for Anyone who has any dealings with Chinese people.Copyright: Janet Carmosky 8
    9. 9. A Business Perspective: Why learn Chinese?Beginner Stage How it’s useful4. Learn some survival industry vocabulary – Knowing the logic behind the formation of key government agencies, products, language – words as well as organizations concepts. – gives you a perspective on Chinese5. Enjoy characters and calligraphy culture and business processes.6. Consistent reproductions of tones Working on very specific vocabulary, characters, and tones will take you much further and must faster up the learning curve than spending time trying toWho it’s useful for memorize phrases will.Anyone who will deal on an ongoing basiswith Chinese people, and who wishes toestablish better communication, respect.Copyright: Janet Carmosky 9
    10. 10. A Business Perspective: Why learn Chinese?Intermediate Stage How it’s useful7. Based on knowledge of the written Directly communicate with Chinese people language, create new sentences- not just repeat stock sentences or terms. Follow How long it takes to get to this stage conversations with increasing comprehension 1-3 years, depending on talent and8. Follow 20+ minutes of Chinese motivation. conversation with full comprehensionWho it’s useful forPeople with natural talent in language andreal interest in working with China. Source: Janet Carmosky Copyright: Janet Carmosky 10 2012-10-30
    11. 11. A Business Perspective: Why learn Chinese?Advanced Stage How it’s useful9. Participate in longer and more varied Facilitate communication between Chinese Chinese language conversations, people and non-native speakers.10. Full fluency – ability to persuade as well as follow the development of an idea How long it takes to get to this stage 4 years+, depending on talent and motivation.Who it’s useful forPeople who intend to live and work in China. Source: Janet Carmosky Copyright: Janet Carmosky 11 2012-10-30
    12. 12. A Business Perspective: 10 levels of Chineselanguage skill1. Understand the structure of the language, and how it affects communication and culture in general2. Be able to pronounce pinyin consistently – including people’s names3. Be understood in usage of commonly used phrases4. Learn some survival industry vocabulary – key government agencies, products, concepts5. Enjoy characters and calligraphy6. Consistent reproductions of tones7. Based on knowledge of the written language, create new sentences- not just repeat stock sentences or terms. Follow conversations with increasing comprehension8. Follow 20+ minutes of Chinese conversation with full comprehension9. Participate in longer and more varied Chinese language conversations,10. Full fluency – ability to persuade as well as follow the development of an idea Source: Janet Carmosky Copyright: Janet Carmosky 12 2012-10-30
    13. 13. Logic is not universal: Warm UpLogic and language, culture and communication are all relatedChristian name Chinese nameGiven name, Last name Family name, First nameRobert Collins Collins RobertWestern Address Chinese AddressMy name My countryMy house number, my street 12345678 codeMy city, my state 12345 My city My street, my house number My name
    14. 14. What is Mandarin?Useful facts about regional speech and dialects• In the PRC Mandarin is called “putonghua普通话” and in Taiwan it is called “guoyu 国语” . These languages have a relationship much like British and American English. That is, accent, vocabulary and usage make instantly obvious which side of the strait the speaker comes from.• The difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, or Shanghainese, is more like the span between French and Portuguese. They broke off the same tree over 1000 years ago.• Each city and province tends to have its own spoken language conventions. Sichuan Province has Sichuan Hua, Henan Province has Henan Hua, Tianjin City has Tianjin Hua etc.The relationship between the official written and spoken language• The written form that adheres to that grammatical conventions of Mandarin is the official written language, called Chinese (zhongwen 中文)• Dialects abound but there really is only one written language.
    15. 15. Q. What is Mandarin?A. China’s Official Spoken Language• The People’s Republic of China has one official spoken language, which many refer to as Mandarin. (putonghua 普通话) It is a spoken language completely intelligible as native or close-to-native tongue in the most heavily populated areas north of the Yangtze River.• South of the Yangtze River, dialects not based on Mandarin proliferate – province to province and even town to town.• The grammatical structure of Mandarin is based on the speech dominant in Beijing and in the provinces to the northeast of Beijing.• The broadcast standard for pronunciation is the Northeastern city of Ha’erbin, not Beijing as many people think.
    16. 16. More About MandarinUseful facts about regional speech and dialects• In the PRC Mandarin is called “putonghua普通话” and in Taiwan it is called “guoyu 国语” . These languages have a relationship much like British and American English. That is, accent, vocabulary and usage make instantly obvious which side of the strait the speaker comes from.• The difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, or Shanghainese, is more like the span between French and Portuguese. They broke off the same tree over 1000 years ago.• Each city and province tends to have its own spoken language conventions. Sichuan Province has Sichuan Hua, Henan Province has Henan Hua, Tianjin City has Tianjin Hua etcThe relationship between the official written and spoken language• The written form that adheres to that grammatical conventions of Mandarin is the official written language, called Chinese (zhongwen 中文)• Dialects abound but there really is only one written language.
    17. 17. Build up over time: spoken language proficiency Being understood in Chinese language requires an upfront investment in learning pronunciation. It takes about a year for the organs of speech and hearing to build the neural pathways to differentiate and produce the consonant and vowel sounds. Accurate, “second nature” production of tones takes longer. Proficiency in speaking Chinese depends on an ability to produce all the sounds in all combinations, combined with comprehension. 12 36 months monthsskill Proficiency Basic Conversational Capacity 3. repeat basic phrases 6. tone & overall pronunciation ability acquisition Basic Comprehensibility 2. pinyin ability acquisition 1. context appreciation ability time 17 Source: Janet Carmosky Copyright:Janet Carmosky 2012-10-30
    18. 18. Three basic facts about Chinese language
    19. 19. Three basic facts about learning the Chinese language#1. It has the world’s best spelling system
    20. 20. #1. It has the world’s best spelling systemPinyin – which means “spell sound” rhymes - 99.9percent of the time English spelling Pinyin –which means “spell sound” Come Home Yang Fang Wang Lang Bang Good Food De Te Le Ne Hasty Nasty Ai Tai Lai Mai
    21. 21. #1. It has the world’s best spelling systemPinyin – which means “spell sound” rhymes - 99.9percent of the time English spelling Pinyin –which means “spell sound” Come Home Yang Fang Wang Lang Bang Good Food De Te Le Ne Se Re Hasty Nasty Dai Tai Lai Nai Sai Wai
    22. 22. Ninety percent of life is just showing up.
    23. 23. Ninety percent of life is justshowing up. Ninety percent of learning Chinese is pronunciation.
    24. 24. About 400 new friends for you: the pinyin table
    25. 25. Three basic facts about learning the Chinese language #2. It is a monosyllabic and tonal language. Which makes learning it fun.
    26. 26. #2 Monosyllabic, tonal, andfun(may expand your aptitude for music,humor, and language in general)The classic example the syllable spelled “ma”, showing four of its mostcommon meanings, in four different tones.ma 妈 (n) motherma 马 (n) horsema 麻 (n) hempma 骂 (v) curseVirtually every one of the 420 syllables correlatesto more than one character (unit of meaning)
    27. 27. Characters and Words: what’s the difference?One character equals one syllable equals one unit of Show page from Chinese pinyinmeaning. dictionary – with bullet about zi我 Wo3 I, me 开 Kai1 open 字and ci词你 Ni2 you 人 Ren2 person, people他 Ta1 he, him 笔 Bi3 writing implementLiteracy is defined by knowing 3,000 characters. Moreeducated people may recognize 6,000 of more characters.There may be as many at 10,000 characters in total.Many units of meaning are described by two or threesyllables.普通 Pu3 Tong1 common, usual普通话 Pu3 Tong1Hua4 Mandarin (common language)There are at least 100,000 expressions or “words”.Expressions 4 or more characters long are usuallytechnical or specialized.通货膨胀Tong1Huo2 Peng 3Zhang4 inflation
    28. 28. Three basic facts about learning the Chinese language #3. It has almost no rules of grammar. The fact that the unit of meaning and sound is a character means there can be no endings – that is, • No word gender • No conjugations • No declensions • No singular or plural
    29. 29. Three basic facts about learning the Chinese language you can speak grammatically correct Mandarin from Day One. Wo3 Qu4 我去 means I go I am going I will go I went
    30. 30. Wanna be fluent? All you have to do is:1) Read this table accurately 2) Hit first, fourth and second tones consistently3) Have a good memory 4) Keep listening and speaking
    31. 31. How the written language worksTypesetting• The most common typesetting is horizontal row, from left to right, which is influenced by Western convention.• Characters can also be typeset in columns the read from top to bottom: the columns may follow an order from right to left or from left to right.Writing a character• Each character has a number of strokes - which need to be written in the proper order or the character is technically “mis-spelled”• Groups of strokes that are used over and over are called “Radicals”. “Radicals” have names, and they are combined to build up the meaning and phonetic aspects of an idea so that it becomes a word.
    32. 32. Characters and Words: what’s the difference?One character equals one syllable equals one unit ofmeaning.我 Wo3 I, me 开 Kai1 open你 Ni2 you 人 Ren2 person, people他 Ta1 he, him 笔 Bi3 writing implementLiteracy is defined by knowing 3,000 characters. Moreeducated people may recognize 6,000 of more characters.There may be as many at 10,000 characters in total.
    33. 33. How the written language works
    34. 34. How the written language worksTypesetting• The most common typesetting is horizontal row, from left to right, which is influenced by Western convention.• Characters can also be typeset in columns the read from top to bottom: the columns may follow an order from right to left or from left to right.
    35. 35. How the written language worksWriting a character• Each character has a number of strokes - which need to be written in the proper order or the character is technically “mis-spelled”• Groups of strokes that are used over and over are called “Radicals”. “Radicals” have names, and they are combined to build up the meaning and phonetic aspects of an idea so that it becomes a word.
    36. 36. How the written language worksForms of writing• In order to raise the literacy of the population, the PRC reduced the number of strokes needed to write many characters, resulting in “simplified characters” (jiantizi 简体字)• Simplified characters are used in the PRC, Malaysia and Singapore.• The Traditional (long form) characters sets are still taught and used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao Simplified Traditional jian2dan1 (simple) 简单 (19 strokes) 簡單 (28 strokes) fei1ji 1 (airplane) 飞机 飛機
    37. 37. Structure of Chinese language: Neurological & social impact Chinese language English languageWriting has to be learned by rote Alphabetic systems use lateral thinkingEverything is contextual Good writing stands alone Hao le 好了 All done I’m feeling better now That’s enough It’s good!Persuasion by imagery, allusion Persuasion requires logic
    38. 38. Course PhilosophyLanguage competency is one piece of China business competency. It is adoorway to understanding Chinese culture.The first part of learning Chinese language is to learn about Chinese languageThe best use of language skill in business with China is to take whateverChinese language skill we can acquire as a foundation for understandingChina, its organizations and people, in broader terms.
    39. 39. Questions?

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