Chinese language

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Chinese language

  1. 1. Chinese Language Chinese Characters (Calligraphy) BCFL/VDLC Delegate Orientation June 3, 2014
  2. 2. Calligraphy is not just communication, but art
  3. 3. Each Chinese character is a syllable • You need to know 3,000-4,000 characters to be considered literate • Students start learning them in kindergarten and it takes 6 years to memorize them • Literacy rate in China in 2013 was 95%
  4. 4. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals
  5. 5. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals • Water radical
  6. 6. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals 日
  7. 7. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals • Sun radical 日
  8. 8. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals 人
  9. 9. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals Person radical 人
  10. 10. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals • Water radical • Sun radical 日 • Person radical 人
  11. 11. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals 女
  12. 12. Chinese characters are made up of parts called radicals • Female radical 女 • Son radical 子 • Combined becomes “nice, fine, good” • 好 • “how” as in “Nee how”, means hello • Literally “you are fine”
  13. 13. Chinese is a tonal language • First tone, high and steady • Second tone, rising • Third tone, lower, down and up • Fourth tone, downward (sounds harsh, but isn’t) • Neutral tone (light) • Same word can have five different tones with at least five different meanings
  14. 14. E.g. “ma” • 妈 ma 1 Mum • 蔴 ma 2 hemp • 马 ma 3 horse • 骂 ma 4 scold • 吗 ma 0 question indicator
  15. 15. Chinese Language, some hints • Most pronunciation is like English but for the following approximations: • ZH and J are pronounced like “j” in jungle • CH and Q are pronounced like “ch” in chew • X is pronounced like “sh” in show • G is hard, like grow • C is like ‘ts’ in cats • Z is like ‘ds’ in kids • Ai is like Shanghai • U is like moon • Ou and o are like Joe • I is like seek • Ei is like wait • Thus Beijing is pronounced Bay Jing
  16. 16. Saying hello • “Ni hao” is Nee how. It is singular. • Plural is “Nimen hao” which is Neemen how

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