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Old 06-05-2013, 01:59 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,615,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
I've tried to learn Mandarin Chinese. The grammar is simple, that is without a doubt. What really killed me was pronouncing the words. I can't do tonal languages, I ended up massacring his poor language lol. Chinese is crazy with all its dialects that might as well be languages by themselves. How they all use the same exact characters (except Hong Kong and Taiwan which use Traditional and not Simplified) and mean the same thing is beyond me.
Don't worry about the tones too much. Even if your tones are totally random, Chinese people can still understand you, basically. Of course your "accent" will be ridiculous.
Only 2% Chinese have "perfect", standard pronunciation, anyway. Literally all people speak with an "accent".
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: NYC
90 posts, read 177,860 times
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You can dumb down Chinese pretty significantly. You can ignore all the tones and only function with pinyin. Sure you will be a crappy scholar of the language. But you can be pretty "fluent" in it. I have a friend that is like that who wants to be transferred to Shanghai. He practices his Chinese with me since I am near native speaker level at this point and while I want to kill him every time he talks to me, I can nevertheless understand everything he is trying to say.

p.s. Be aware that while you can ignore tones, the shorter the sentence the worse it is. The listener has more opportunity to figure out the right tone you are trying to use with longer sentences. You can say some pretty embarrassing things that may not go so well when the listener has little clue to correct it in his/her head.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:14 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,196,156 times
Reputation: 11624
Quote:
Originally Posted by aceofangel View Post
You can dumb down Chinese pretty significantly. You can ignore all the tones and only function with pinyin. Sure you will be a crappy scholar of the language. But you can be pretty "fluent" in it. I have a friend that is like that who wants to be transferred to Shanghai. He practices his Chinese with me since I am near native speaker level at this point and while I want to kill him every time he talks to me, I can nevertheless understand everything he is trying to say.
I can't do that, lol. I have this compulsive need to minimize my Spanish accent (perhaps it was due to bad experiences when I first moved to PA as an older kid) as much as possible when speaking in a foreign language. I speak Spanish as my native language and English as if it was my native language (been speaking English since late elementary school), but with all foreign languages I default to a Spanish accent, somehow. But anyway, yes, I have a subconscious need to try to pronounce everything as close to native quality as I can.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:19 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,242,905 times
Reputation: 910
Interesting topic, i like Japanese.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:23 PM
 
810 posts, read 1,131,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post

No. In English it's pronounced as Yoh-koh-hama but the Japanese say it Yo-KO-hama. Japanese does not drag out vowel sounds the same way English does. It's almost the same in Spanish, we don't drag out our vowels, either. I practice speaking in Japanese when we can with my friends on skype, and they say that my Japanese pronunciation is almost native-like. Well, I suppose when your native language has almost the same vowel sounds (U being the exception) as Japanese, it helps a lot, I can also roll my R's as well, and they do, too.
So they only sound different because an English speaker is going to sound different than a Japanese speaker?

I finally understand now that Japanese words written in English actually sound that way in Japanese. Thank you so much =)
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:49 AM
 
11 posts, read 22,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
The Chinese just yell what's on their mind and use every word they can think of,
in general the Japanese are more considerate of other peoples feeling and really seem to think more about their words before they say them.

I think the Japanese use more words to say the same thing, just more polite and trying harder to sound intelligent/sophisticated.
Where the Chinese just use 2 words and a exclamation mark in most sentences, the Japanese use at least 5 words plus a question mark.
I will put this very politely: I am sorry but your comment is completely off topic and full of crap. You are welcome.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:38 AM
 
661 posts, read 586,695 times
Reputation: 728
I don't think you guys give the Chinese enough credit. They're originally not Kanji characters but Chinese characters. Language, arts, confusianism, inventions all started with China...........then along came Japan and Korea. Chinese might be ignorant and backwards, but that's the environment they were brought up in. Think to yourself why Japan is this modern wealthy country yet nobody speaks English. Mostly because its a VERY homogenious society and either your Japanese or your not. The nots (foreigners) are often looked down upon.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,438,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
I don't think you guys give the Chinese enough credit. They're originally not Kanji characters but Chinese characters. Language, arts, confusianism, inventions all started with China...........then along came Japan and Korea. Chinese might be ignorant and backwards, but that's the environment they were brought up in. Think to yourself why Japan is this modern wealthy country yet nobody speaks English. Mostly because its a VERY homogenious society and either your Japanese or your not. The nots (foreigners) are often looked down upon.
I think all but the very ignorant realised they are from China, but yes they shouldnt speak of the characters generally as kanji. China is obviously very influential, but Japan has a distinct culture of its own with many of its own innovations.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:29 AM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,615,943 times
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I also don't like people call Chinese characters "kanji" in general, unless they are talking about those used in Japanese only.
Actually even the word kanji is a direct translation from the Chinese word hanzi. And as most people know "han" means ethnic Chinese.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:43 AM
 
Location: NYC
90 posts, read 177,860 times
Reputation: 46
I've never seen anyone call Chinese characters kanji. The term hanzi is not used as much because it is inherently Chinese. People who typically know what a kanji is knows that it is a borrowed system from China. Even disregarding all that I don't think calling Chinese character "kanji" is wrong. Kanji and hanja are by definition Chinese characters. It would sound wierd but it wouldn't be incorrect.
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