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>> No. 23529 Raoul
6th October 2015
Tuesday 9:38 am
23529 你会说中文吗?
Bit of a long shot but here goes.

Any of you fine lads speak Mandarin? I'm relearning it again and am at the most basic stages but am starting to get the swing of it.

I was wondering if anybody wanted to swap (presumably a spam or junk) email addresses and perhaps converse once or twice every few days?

I did try signing up for a few sites like interpals but if you don't respond for 13 hours a day nobody is interested and it can be frustrating. Nothing too intense, just casual messages to practice writing and reading some basic stuff.
Expand all images.
>> No. 23530 Clog
15th October 2015
Thursday 2:06 pm
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My first lesson is Saturday!
>> No. 23531 Raoul
15th October 2015
Thursday 2:35 pm
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Well done, lad. Keep us posted how it's all going for you. Manderin is a scary bitch of a language.
>> No. 23532 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 2:35 pm
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Good lad, how are you taking lessons if you don't mind me asking? Some sort of uni course, paid course or what?

Whatever you do lad, don't give in. I took my first lessons as an extra at uni and spent the first three months thinking that it was pointless as I was literally staring at it like I was on day one. Then one day something genuinely clicked, and I remember sitting there thinking I understood something for the first time.

I'm not even close to conversational, but if you fancy a bit of back and forth practice on here (if mods allow it?) then don't be afraid to post what you've learnt and we could try some basic conversations to get used to it.

I should add that if you wanna know some great chrome add ons and websites for a point of reference I'm more than happy to share.

Soon you'll have learnt 100 characters, and this means you'll already understand about 42% of everything said in Chinese.
>> No. 23533 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 2:41 pm
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Not as scary as people think. What throws people off is that there is no alphabet. Once you wrap your head around that, and fair enough it does take some wrapping, it is actually an incredibly simple language to learn and the grammar is easy.

I'm not joking, if you think of a slightly racist way a stereotypical Chinese person speaking English would speak, you can get along fine.

E.g. In English we would say 'I am from Britain'

In Chinese the way you would say that literally translates as (Wo shi ying guo ren/ 我是英国人) 'I be British country people'. You don't have to waste time trying to fanny about with changing verbs.

Similarly, Beijing, can literally be broken down into the two parts that make it up.

Bei means north, and Jing means capital. It is the northern capital. Shang means above/to go, and hai means sea, literally the city above sea.

No idea why I typed all this as nobody gives a fuck, but I just think more lads should try it. It's a great hobby and very rewarding and the myth it's impossible I find to be a poorly circulated lie, and I don't know why they do it.
>> No. 23534 Cockernay
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:01 pm
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I have this argument daily. Ive been learning for about a year (and have little to show for it, probably about 300-500 characters), and people alwaystell me its so hard, but German is harder. Mandarin grammar is beautifully simple.
>> No. 23535 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:09 pm
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>> No. 23536 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:26 pm
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In all the excitement I think that is actually wrong and should be

>你 为什么 学 中文?

Can a lad please explain why, as in, weishenme and its place in the sentence?
>> No. 23537 Aki
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:31 pm
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>No idea why I typed all this as nobody gives a fuck

Nonsense lad, it was an interesting post. What I want to know is how can you type a language that has so many characters?
>> No. 23538 Gasthief
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:31 pm
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> What throws people off is that there is no alphabet
What about the amount of glyphs one needs to know?
>> No. 23539 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:48 pm
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There are different ways of typing in Chinese because obviously a standard keyboard layout doesn't work. I don't know enough to talk about the other methods, but some methods have developed a system where different keystrokes make up different combinations for characters. It's all very complicated for a non-native speaker, but I think if you are fluent or native then it makes sense.

However, another common method, and one more commonly used by younger Chinese people (particularly familiar with this Latin alphabet due to learning English or being brouhgt up computer savvy) and foreign people trying to type in Chinese like me, is to use the pinyin.

I hope I'm not being patronising, but I figure if I explain things in the plainest detail possible, it makes it easier to understand.

The way Westerners learn Mandarin is through a very basic system that almost relies on you learning two Chinese words for every English word. So when you learn the word for 'I; me', you learn the pinyin, which is the Chinese in Latin [Wo], and this then can be used to turn it into hanzi, the Chinese characters [ 我].

So once you learn the pinyin, many phones, computers and programmes allow you to type that and it translates it into hanzi, the Chinese characters for you.

If you fancy having a go, go to this website: http://gate2home.com/Chinese-Keyboard and scroll down below the keyboard and change the drop down menu from Chinese Cangjie (a complicated method I talked about before) to simple pinyin.

Then type 'wo shi ying guo ren' and you should come out with something like this: 我是英国人。

Therefore, English translated into Chinese pinyin, which is Chinese in latin, typed and turned via computer into hanzi, Chinese characters.

Not that many. According to a massive study done on the language you can master it with relatively few characters (http://www.zein.se/patrick/3000en.html). If you know 100, you understand 42%, if you know 500, you know 75% and if you know 1500 you can understand 94% of it. If you go on to learn 3000 you can understand over 99% of everything said, and whilst this may seem a lot that would include politics, law and other deep topics. So by learning 500 you could probably get on quite well.

Every character has a radical (sort of a glyph that gives away what the word might be about) and then another component or more which say what it means.

For example the character ren (人 ) means people, but if you have 人人 it literally means everybody, because there's two characters. Once you get into it, most of it becomes easily guessable and self evident.

Another example is 海, which means sea.

If you look closely, there's two almost horizontal, but probably diagnoal strokes, which kind of look like apostrophes, on the far left. If you look under that, there's a sort of line going up. This radical means water, so you know that character is something about water, and in this case it is the sea. Here is the radical: 氵

Sorry if this all makes no sense, I'm still very basic and not a teacher, but it's how I visualise it. Obviously some of it is more complicated than this, but in basic terms, it's me saying that it isn't some complete clusterfuck of funny symbols that you have to drill into your brain from birth.

It's really quite logical.
>> No. 23540 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 3:53 pm
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> So when you learn the word for 'I; me', you learn the pinyin, which is the Chinese in Latin [Wo], and this then can be used to turn it into hanzi, the Chinese characters [ 我].

I should have proof read, and I've even confused myself. Basically what I'm saying is you learn the Chinese equivalent using our good old English alphabet letters, with the addition of accents added on to some letters.

Apologies for the veering off on Latin, that was probably not at all helpful. Just replace me saying Latin letters with letters from the alphabet we use today in English.
>> No. 23541 Raoul
15th October 2015
Thursday 5:53 pm
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I'm learning simplified characters, finished Heisig's first book, so I know like 1500 of the things, don't know much of any grammar though, sorry ladm8.
>> No. 23542 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 6:08 pm
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>> No. 23543 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 6:11 pm
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Can you learn how to speak it without learning how to read any of it? Basically be an illiterate?
>> No. 23544 Raoul
15th October 2015
Thursday 6:16 pm
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Of course, I think the characters are amazing to look at though, and it's really satisfying when you can recognize a bunch of them, they're also used in other languages, albeit to a lesser degree, in Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese.
>> No. 23545 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 6:32 pm
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I was thinking starting off with Pimsleur, consuming Chinese media, then perhaps making a friend I can speak with in Chinese. Completely bypassing all those pictograms.
>> No. 23546 Terrorist
15th October 2015
Thursday 6:36 pm
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I took a course a handful of years ago and I've forgotten more or less all of the characters, but can still ask where things are and make small talk.
>> No. 23547 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 10:06 pm
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To be fair mate, that sounds like quiet a bit, and I don't know why anybody would waste their time with traditional these days.

You can but I bet you it'd be much easier to learn to read than to speak. Why would you want to do that anyway?

If you're interested I could recommend some books, if you're half serious that is. They are like £15 a go though. If you've never learned any of it before you won't pick it up fresh from Chinese media alone. There are some good phone apps though.

我也是, 我去中国学了在中国人民大学。
>> No. 23548 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 10:54 pm
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A book? I am the lad that wasn't to study how to speak it, but I don't want the ability to read those pictograms. Why? Because I want to speak.
>> No. 23549 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 11:08 pm
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Fair enough. Not sure why you'd go to the trouble to learn how to speak it but not read and write it but whatever floats your boat.
>> No. 23551 Cockernay
15th October 2015
Thursday 11:09 pm
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I'm the one with the upcoming lesson. It's just a friend who offered to give me sessions. I've got the Rosetta Stone and some shitty app on my phone.
I would probably go for a book, please do recommend one.
>> No. 23552 Britfag
15th October 2015
Thursday 11:23 pm
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It's £15.99 but 100% worth it. It has writing, listening, reading and speaking activities, comes with a CD full of words being said and activities to do so you can practice listening.

Has walk through guides on how to write characters and all sorts of ways to help the new characters it teaches you sink in.

Honestly one of the best purchases I've ever made. All in one book, even has cultural notes as well and helps with grammar.

There are more books in the series and they're broken down into convenient and easy lessons of increasing difficulty.


The reviews speak for themselves.
>> No. 23553 Gasthief
16th October 2015
Friday 3:46 pm
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That's quite interesting, lad.
>> No. 23554 Cockernay
16th October 2015
Friday 3:49 pm
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Added to basket, thanks.
>> No. 23555 Britfag
16th October 2015
Friday 4:06 pm
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>> No. 23556 Nutfag
12th November 2015
Thursday 5:50 am
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>> No. 23557 Raoul
13th November 2015
Friday 2:09 pm
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Hello mate.

Care to speak some lingo?
>> No. 23559 Britfag
23rd November 2015
Monday 7:47 pm
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>No idea why I typed all this as nobody gives a fuck

Quite the contrary, lad. I thoroughly enjoyed your post!
>> No. 23560 Britfag
23rd November 2015
Monday 7:48 pm
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Has anyone done the Open University course in basic Chinese Mandarin? I'm interested in taking it.

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