Chinese

Things you should know before you get started

  • you’ll most likely learn Mandarin, so practicing your skills with Overseas Chinese will often prove futile as they usually talk a Southern Chinese dialect
  • most textbooks teach you either traditional or simplified characters
  • some textbooks use simplified characters but show the traditional character in brackets, e.g. 丽(麗)

Tones

The tones of the Chinese language can pose a challenge. Taking the Chinese syllable “ma” as an example is the most common way of explaining how tones work:

妈 麻 马 骂 吗  (mā má mǎ mà ma)

Problem is that it will all sound the same to beginners because “ma” itself is not a familiar sound or word in their native tongues. It’s better to take a sentence in your own language and practice saying it in the different tones. This will let you focus on the tones because you already know what the sentence means.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s