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Old 12-17-2012, 03:37 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Miami sometimes Australia
1,093 posts, read 2,282,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
As you said yourself, still a novelty but may become increasingly common in the future. I find it amusing that former Australian PM Kevin Rudd is fluent in Mandarin. I wonder how many more votes he got from Chinese Australians solely based on that fact. Maybe Trimac20 or the others can shed some light on that.
Speaking Chinese doesn't necessarily equal credit with the local Chinese. It will, however, mean they remember you/him more easily. That itself may translate into more votes. The thing is, it is more complicated than just speaking Chinese. People will look at your accent (is it regional Chinese, Shanghai Mandarin, Taiwanese Mandarin, Singaporean ect), what dialect you speak, which part of the world you learnt your dialect ect) before deciding if you are friend or foe - even if you are not a native speaker. For example, Mainland immigrants may feel hostile to a non-Chinese politician speaking in Taiwanese-influenced Mandarin, while for me my dialect aligns me with Hong Kongers, meaning mainlanders will associate me with everything pre-1997 handover. Even the Chinese name you give yourself will have political implications (three character names = more typical of HK and Taiwan, two characters - mainlander). This doesnt apply if you phonetically adopt your English name to Chinese, but this never sounds natural or is common

Chinese will generally be supportive and appreciative of your efforts to learn any type of Chinese, but really integrating with the community will depend on more complicated elements.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:04 AM
 
1,487 posts, read 2,057,058 times
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[SIZE=3]Many years ago before anyone thought that Japan would become an economic super power I went there to learn the language. Through high school I live in Los Angeles CA in a mostly Japanese neighborhood and most of my friends were Japanese Americans so I began to develop an interest in the culture and the language. I thought that I would stay for a year in Japan, learn the language and then come back to the US. That was a fantasy. After the first year I realized that it would take a long time to become completely proficient in the language. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]At that time there were few private Japanese language schools and all the ones I looked into were tied to missionary movements. I finally got admitted to a government school that was mainly for South East Asian students preparing for university study. At the end of two years and with good instruction I was fairly proficient in speaking the language but reading writing took longer. I transferred to a special course for university entrance at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (Tokyo Gaikokugo Daigaku). This school is still giving classes to foreign students in the Japanese language and it is a fine school. The course was very comprehensive and we studied basic subjects like history, math, literature etc. in Japanese. By the end of a year and a half I sat for the university exams and was accepted at Tokyo University of Education (then called Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku, today it is called Tsukuba Daigaku) I majored in Japanese literature and language and graduated from that university. It was a wonderful experience and it took some time.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]I took a long road because I wanted a college diploma but there are other ways to attain proficiency in the language in less time. The first language school which belonged to the ministry of education I believe is still functioning today. It was by far the best course offered and the study materials were excellent. The school was called The International Institute (Kokusai Gakuyukai) and I have seen it listed on the Internet. I am sure however that any Japanese embassy will point you in the right direction if you are interested.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]The problems in learning an East Asian language are difficult but not insurmountable. Japanese and Korean have phonetic alphabets which are mixed with Chinese characters. The Koreans stopped using Chinese characters after WWII but have now begun again. One has to keep up their reading or you can become illiterate in the language even after learning it. The world of Chinese characters is a fascinating world full of wonderful linguistic surprises. If you are interested the best thing of course, is to go to Japan, China or Korea to learn the language. Unfortunately these countries are now very expensive to live in but where there's a will there's a way.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Derby, Western Australia
3,091 posts, read 3,544,301 times
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I can't speak any Asian languages (unless Singlish counts ), I did go to a weekend classes to learn Mandarin as a kid for about 2 years but was pretty lazy about it at the time. My Mum can speak Mandarin and speaks Teochew as her first language but only ever spoke to me in English unfortunately. We "learnt" Japanese for about 3 years at high school, hardly remember anything.

In regards to Kevin Rudd, his ability to speak Chinese probably improved his vote a little overall. Though I think it played a big part in John Howard becoming only the second sitting Prime Minister to lose his own seat of Bennelong at the 2007 election. Chinese people make up over 15% of the population in Bennelong, at the election after he was replaced by Gillard it immediately returned to the Liberal Party.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sulkiercupid View Post
I can't speak any Asian languages (unless Singlish counts ), I did go to a weekend classes to learn Mandarin as a kid for about 2 years but was pretty lazy about it at the time. My Mum can speak Mandarin and speaks Teochew as her first language but only ever spoke to me in English unfortunately. We "learnt" Japanese for about 3 years at high school, hardly remember anything.

In regards to Kevin Rudd, his ability to speak Chinese probably improved his vote a little overall. Though I think it played a big part in John Howard becoming only the second sitting Prime Minister to lose his own seat of Bennelong at the 2007 election. Chinese people make up over 15% of the population in Bennelong, at the election after he was replaced by Gillard it immediately returned to the Liberal Party.
Where is Teochew spoken (geographically)?
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:54 AM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,672,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
Where is Teochew spoken (geographically)?
Teochew is spoken in the cities of Chaozhou (where it gots its name) and Shantou in eastern Guangdong as well as neighboring areas, near the border with Fujian. It is classified as a dialect of Southern Min, same with Hokkien and Hainanese. It has some mutual intelligibility with Hokkien, but not Hainanese. Outside of its native region, it is the most common Chinese "dialect"/language in Thailand. It is also fairly common in Malaysia and Singapore.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:27 AM
 
1,487 posts, read 2,057,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
Teochew is spoken in the cities of Chaozhou (where it gots its name) and Shantou in eastern Guangdong as well as neighboring areas, near the border with Fujian. It is classified as a dialect of Southern Min, same with Hokkien and Hainanese. It has some mutual intelligibility with Hokkien, but not Hainanese. Outside of its native region, it is the most common Chinese "dialect"/language in Thailand. It is also fairly common in Malaysia and Singapore.
Thank you.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:54 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,377 times
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Default I'm Asian

Hello Guys! I'm new on this forum. I have heard about it a lot and want to get your introduction. I'm Asian and can speak Urdu and English fluently. Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,148,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Just wondering if anyone here speaks Chinese or any Asian languages? What is your level of being able to speak it, in terms of accent and grammar?

How long did it take you to get where you are?

If you're a native speaker, I'm not too interested.. I'm just trying to get an idea of how people did when they were learning an Asian language. I speak two Romance languages and now want to start with an Asian one.

I studied Japanese for four years and I would say I got to a high-intermediate level. I'm slowly losing it, though, because I haven't used it in two years. My accent was pretty good and my grammar was competent.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:56 PM
 
6,730 posts, read 6,617,546 times
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Honestly I have never seen ANY white person who has reached native proficiency in Chinese.

Even for those who are extremely good, you can always tell he uses sub-optimal words sometimes, or the the tone is off in some context. I mean, native speakers make mistakes too, but the mistakes are different.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:06 AM
 
1,434 posts, read 2,119,882 times
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I speak Malayalam. It is the official language of Kerala, also known as the 'Venice of the East.'
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