May 17, 2005 10:20 - Welcome to Learn Chinese & Chinese Symbols in Action News!
A warm welcome to you!
Here you'll find up-to-date news & information to help you learn Chinese fast!
You'll also find interesting examples of Chinese symbols "in action" in China.
To learn Chinese effectively you'll need to know how the Chinese language is used. And that means learning about Chinese lifestyles and customs. What better way to do that than through Chinese symbols? China is unique among countries for having a language and culture that's richly layered with visual symbols. Many Chinese designs, objects and images have auspicious meanings which are often "hidden" -- in the sense that they are appreciated by those who understand what they mean.
Likewise, learning about Chinese culture (through Chinese symbols) helps you improve your ability to use the Chinese language.
I am constantly on the look out for the best products to help you learn Chinese effectively. Also because of my interest in collecting Chinese art and antiques, I am always looking for high-quality Chinese artworks. Stay tuned for my updates.
May 17, 2005 14:09 - Adventures of a 17-year-old learning Chinese in China
*Note* This "Learn Chinese Blog" is written by Frank Tsui, a 17-year-old young man who's now studying Chinese in Shanghai. Frank took a year off from college so he could learn Chinese at a Chinese language school in China. Each week Frank writes about his experiences learning Chinese and living in China.
Life in China is really something. I've been here for 3 months now and I still find interesting places to go in Shanghai.
Currently, I'm studying Mandarin the main spoken language in China. Since I chose the intensive program, everyday from Monday through Friday, from morning to afternoon I'm studying. Of course, not everyone has the same goal regarding learning Chinese. Some may want to be able to read and write Chinese while others may only want to be able to speak the language. There are many different programs offered in almost every school based on your goals, so you can choose one that will fit you and your schedule.
So far, I find their teaching to be quite effective. They make you practice a lot in class but like any other school if you want to get the best results you have to review everything taught during the day at home. Also, since I'm in China I can instantly put what I learned to test in real life situations just by walking outside to the market or restaurant and it helps me remember more. There are actually no tricks to learn Chinese all that really requires is practice so that you don't forget.
Up till now, I learned how to communicate when it comes to seeing a doctor, ordering food in a restaurant, buying or renting a house/apartment, giving and asking directions to a taxi driver, bargaining prices with the local market and asking about the weather. My listening and reading skills are also improving because usually I can hear and read more than what I can say and my classmates are like that also.
I believe that if you truly want to learn Chinese you have to come and study in China. Since I can tell by experience that forgetting something that I just learned about Mandarin inside my own country is the easiest thing to happen. Without the right environment I could only reach a certain limit.
Besides, Shanghai even though is known for being an expensive city in China can also be very cheap and affordable. My classmates come from around the world and find the food to be the cheapest thing here. They also like the markets and the huge malls that we got here. You can practically find anything. Oh and if you're wondering where they are all staying, well some of the them are renting an apartment with a roommate and some bought their own house.
May 19, 2005 09:47 - Reading & writing Chinese characters
So far so good, I've been learning Chinese for quite a while now. The intermediate class that I've been attending is finally paying off.
Although, the class doesn't really emphasize on writing it does focus on reading and speaking skills. You are probably thinking to yourself that if you can read the language than you can surely write it right? At first I also thought that if you could read the Chinese characters you could also write them but I was proven wrong when I started noticing that for every 50 new words I could read I could only remember how to write 30 and that's only if I practiced them.
So as the classes advanced the huger the gap between my writing and reading skills grew. In other words, the way of memorizing how to read and write is completely different. When reading I can just by looking at the character recognize it but when it comes down to writing I have to copy the word 50 times so that the stroke orders would be carved into my "bones". By doing so, whenever I want to write a specific Chinese character my hand moves by itself without me thinking how to write it as long as I know what I want to write. So basically, I made writing Chinese a reflex just like how it should be. See page