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Old 06-06-2016, 08:48 PM
 
30 posts, read 28,078 times
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I've started to learn some Chinese. I haven't learnt much, just some basics. I guess best way to learn language is to actually talk to people. So this is thread for all who are interested in some Chinese basics. You can chit-chat here. You can use Chinese if you know any, if you don't you can use English and try to get some Chinese knowledge.


Maybe one of first things to learn is: Ni hao which literally means 'You Good' and is used instead of 'Hello'..


Ni hao. Wo jiao Ivan. Wo shi Croatia ren. Wo xuexi Zhongwen.

'Hello. My name is Ivan. I am Croatian. I am learning Chinese.'
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:27 PM
 
661 posts, read 586,226 times
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As a Chinese speaker, my advice is to first learn pin yin and the pronunciation of every letter. Then move onto tones, and then start studying written Chinese, but first understanding the basic stroke rules, and then making flash cards for characters.


Speaking to Chinese people is also the best way once you feel comfortable understanding pin yin, and perhaps move to China or Taiwan or study there to really have actual conversations. Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:34 AM
 
30 posts, read 28,078 times
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Yes I've been learning strokes but cannot remember all of them. There are these: heng, shu, pie, na, dian and ti right?

I am trying to learn tones but remembering the tones is most difficult to me.

What are flash cards for characters?

By the way how should I say in Chinese:

I don't know.
I don't remember.

Wo - I
bu - not

Wo bu(I don't) ......

Last edited by Ivan Bilic; 06-07-2016 at 02:03 AM..
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,131,359 times
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I don't know = 我不知道 (wo bu zhi dao I think)
I don't remember = I forgot = 我忘了 (wo wang le I guess, I don't know pinyin so it could be wrong)
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:23 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,276,120 times
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"ni hao" is overused by Chinese learners. It is not the same as "hello" or "hi" because it is a lot former. It is more like "how do you do" without expecting an answer.


It is never used between friends/family or even colleagues. It is usually used to address people you have never met before.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:08 PM
 
399 posts, read 580,650 times
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I studied a little Chinese years ago. I had more than 1,000 characters memorized. But it's hard when you don't have others to practice with. When I go to a foreign country I pick up the language fairly quick, but than I forget it once I'm back in the States for awhile.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:35 PM
 
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^Yes I know that. The thing with Chinese is that it's not so hard to learn it but it's very easy to forget. It really requires lot of memorization...
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,131,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Bilic View Post
^Yes I know that. The thing with Chinese is that it's not so hard to learn it but it's very easy to forget. It really requires lot of memorization...
Well you can stop by dropping the names of the strokes, they are totally useless, unless you want to learn Chinese calligraphy.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:27 PM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,671,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Bilic View Post
^Yes I know that. The thing with Chinese is that it's not so hard to learn it but it's very easy to forget. It really requires lot of memorization...
Depends on what you are used to. Tones and characters might be a challenge for those not used to Asian languages. I've studied tones and characters at a young age, so it's easier for me. I find Slavic languages among the most difficult to learn. I hate noun declension, noun genders and verb conjugations. It is easier for me to learn the tones rather than these inflections, and most tonal languages (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese) have minimal or no grammatical inflections.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:02 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,967 posts, read 2,903,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
It is easier for me to learn the tones rather than these inflections, and most tonal languages (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese) have minimal or no grammatical inflections.
This is a great point, the pain from learning tones and memorizing zi is offset by the waaaaay simpler grammar rules. There are some grammatical subtleties that learners often have trouble getting their head around, for example try asking a Chinese learner what 了 is for and the best you'll get is an vague reference to past tense but rarely can they really explain it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
"ni hao" is overused by Chinese learners. It is not the same as "hello" or "hi" because it is a lot former. It is more like "how do you do" without expecting an answer. It is never used between friends/family or even colleagues. It is usually used to address people you have never met before.
This isn't really accurate, "hello" is about as good a translation for "ni hao" as you're going to get.

I'd say a better explanation is that same as in America you don't usually say hello to family/friends/coworkers. If I returned home from the grocery store I wouldn't walk into the living room and say "hello" to my wife, I'd yell "I'm back" or something similar, same as people in China might say . If I was meeting a friend at a restaurant I don't walk up to the table and say "hello Steve" I'd throw out "hey man this place was hard to find" or whatever random casual conversation entry point.

早 is far more common as a greeting in the morning, and again similar to in USA I think people say "good morning" to coworkers they see a lot or friends compared to hello.

I guess it is a moot point, if a westerner learned Chinese I'd wager the majority of their interactions with native speakers will be 你好 situations anyway. Hell if you want to be more familiar just say "嘿" since it's easy to remember and sounds the same as our informal hey.
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