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Old 10-21-2010, 09:31 AM
 
17 posts, read 29,529 times
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This may be a shot in the dark...

Hi everybody,

I'd like to learn Chinese, I've always been good at learning languages, in speak 3 and currently learning Italian. My question is: what way would it be better to start learning Chinese? I am planning to buy Rosetta Stone but so far with my experience moving to the country for a couple of months has been greatly beneficial.

I have traveled to Europe and that's how I learned French but never to Asia, that's why I am hesitant moving there and about how much would it cost me to live in let's say Shanghai or Beijing for 3 or 4 months and enroll in a school. Also, I was looking into enrolling for a summer in Middlebury College, I hear they have a great language program. It costs 9K dlls for two months including room and food, what would it be more cost efficient and helpful?

Ok let's see your insight on this matter,

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Texas
209 posts, read 492,836 times
Reputation: 139
I studied Mandarin one summer in Nanjing. I didn't like it much. The teaching was not very good and the classroom was deplorable. If I were seriously going to do another summer immersion program, I'd go to Taipei.

Scott
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:47 PM
 
2,845 posts, read 3,934,653 times
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I studied Mandarin at the U of Minnesota intensively one summer (20 hours per week); very inexpensive and with a Beijing T.A. which helped with pronunciation greatly. Check out some public uni's for summer programs, probably most will be cheaper than Middlebury.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:26 AM
 
3,110 posts, read 3,341,021 times
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Have a friend who speaks fluent Mandarin learned in Taipeh.Liked the place so much he decided to call Taiwan home.
He didn't appear impressed with China(PR) though.
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Texas
209 posts, read 492,836 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Have a friend who speaks fluent Mandarin learned in Taipeh.Liked the place so much he decided to call Taiwan home.
He didn't appear impressed with China(PR) though.
Glad to hear your friend liked Taipei so much. I also think it's a great, and totally underrated, city.

OP, Beijing and Shanghai have a lot to offer. They're great cities. But, in the summer, they're both stiflingly hot which seems to make the pollution, crowds and noise even worse. Taipei is an oasis of calm in comparison.

There are any number of Mandarin schools in all three cities.
In Taipei, I'd go with a program at one of the universities. When I looked into doing it, there were a couple that already had summer Mandarin institutes set up that catered to foreigners.

In Beijing, there are university programs but my summer immersion program was at a well respected university in Nanjing (Nanjing Normal University) and I was shocked at how bad it all was. Perhaps BJ's universities are better. There are also private Mandarin schools throughout BJ. Many of them cater to bored, foreign housewives who have nothing better to do than pay for very overpriced lessons.

I don't know that much about SH. I assume it's similar to BJ.

Your real best bet would probably be to check into a university in your home country and see if they have an exchange program with a Chinese university. Then you get sort of a package deal. However, the Chinese university may well not be in BJ or SH.

China is an interesting place to be. I much prefer it in the winter, though. But then again, you'll freeze to death in the under heated rooms in the universities in southern cities, which probably includes Shanghai. Oh god, go to Taipei!
Scott
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Texas
209 posts, read 492,836 times
Reputation: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tavludo View Post
how much would it cost me to live in let's say Shanghai or Beijing for 3 or 4 months and enroll in a school
I don't know the price since I haven't done the research. Google some universities in BJ and SH and see what you come up with. If you live in a dorm, take public transportation, cook for yourself, and eat where the locals eat, you can easily spend very little money in either city.

Scott
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: china
4 posts, read 10,601 times
Reputation: 10
I am Chinese.I'm form chengdu.It located in western china.If you are interested in learning Chinese .you can add me my MSN number.My MSN number is harmonyK@msn.cn. I hope I can help you.Also I sincere hope i can make friend with you.Sincerely Reply!
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:53 AM
 
Location: china
2 posts, read 4,602 times
Reputation: 10
Hey ,im a Chinese girl ,live in wuxi,Very close to Shanghai ,in which you can find out many schools for chinese teaching,and i can help your chinese,friend me my MSN( huxiaoyan710@hotmail.com) if you like
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Shaw, St. Louis/West Ridge, Chicago/WuDaoKou, Beijing
292 posts, read 778,289 times
Reputation: 151
I studied Mandarin over a year at BLCU (Beijing Language & Culture University) it's the only university in China aimed solely at teaching Mandarin to foreigners...
Tuition was cheap @ About $1,200 for a year...meals were of course cheap getting around is cheap and my beautiful fully furnished apt on the 24th floor of a highrise (FuRunJiaYuan) was super cheap.

I had the best time of my life there definitely read into it...
(my rent was $350/mo for my half of the rent) I spent less than $10 a day on food and I ate out all the time. Plenty of $5 all u can drink nights at the college bars n such lol got my fill of JianBing and MaLaTang on the streets and plenty of Chuanr to get my fill for cheap.

You definitely need more than 3 or 4 months for Mandarin. You are drilled for almost a month on just how to pronounce things properly, tones etc...
You have to put a lot of work into being able to read and write but speaking to people out on the street becomes very easy as most of the sounds they have are also in English minus the tones thing.
I noticed it was very easy for the American students to pick up on pronouncing things well.

The school has a very large Korean Student body 2nd biggest group is Japanese then Russians and then Latino students from South America. Western Europeans are sizeable and there weren't too many Americans...I made the best of friends there i still keep in touch with all of them and we all had a blast.
Train tickets to other chinese cities are stupid cheap lol I think I made a roundtrip to and from Shanghai in the nicer "Soft seats" for $120RT.

You can get to many other destinations much cheaper than that as well. A decent hostel with a private room/shared bathroom might run u maybe $15 a night in medium sized Chinese cities big cities like shanghai and BJ will b a bit more expensive but cheap to our standards.

The expat nightlife is crazy you will never have a dull moment.

Last edited by desperad0stl; 10-28-2010 at 02:45 AM..
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:52 AM
 
Location: Shaw, St. Louis/West Ridge, Chicago/WuDaoKou, Beijing
292 posts, read 778,289 times
Reputation: 151
Welcome to Beijing Language and Culture University

As of September 2009, there are over 27,430 Chinese students, including 152 PhD candidates, 1,165 in postgraduate programs and 3,598 undergraduate students, and 8,871 foreigners in the university.
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