[China] Anyone learning Chinese (Mandarin)?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by kano junior, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. kano junior

    kano junior Uchi-Monster!!

    I was just interested in seeing if anyone else was trying their hand at learning some Chinese. I am going to do a course when I go to university in Southampton and have started to learn using the 'teach yourself beginners mandarin chinese'.

    I have only been doing it for a few weeks but I am really enjoying it. The tones take a bit of getting used to but it is alright.

    Anyone else?
  2. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    Yep also learning. Went through the Pimsleur courses and found it surprisingly easy. Get past the tones and the grammar is very straightforward.

    Now trying to learn the script as well. Have calligraphy brushes etc, just need time to start practising the basic strokes.

    Looking for more ways of learning chinese at the mo, Have looked at ChinesePod.com which is ok, but would like to do something more, perhaps get a qualification or something.
  3. Dragon Brush

    Dragon Brush Valued Member

    I'm taking a mandarin course at my university. Got through first year fairly well. The university still offers intermediate and advanced courses, so I'm looking forward to those.

    The thing I found most difficult in the beginning was distinguishing between zh and r sounds. Now it seems so obvious, but I could not work out a contrast for the life of me before. :confused:
  4. sg516

    sg516 Without ME its just AWESO

    i took 6 semesters of it in college and would say that i am elementary at best. if you really want to develop a decent level of skill in the language i suggest checking out middlebury college. they have summer intensive programs that will get you up and running with the language. otherwise study abroad. i thought i was doing well with the language. i got A's every semester i took it but going to beijing for a few months taught me that i knew next to nothing. anyway, good luck with it. the grammar is pretty easy, i was good at reading and terrible at writing, speaking is a lot easier than listening. but with enough hard work, a good teacher and a lot of hours in the language lab and you should be fine.
  5. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I'm Chinese and I can barely speak Cantonese :p .. Mrs Mushroom however is a native mandarin speaker, therefore I have tried to learn...but now just cant be bothered.
  6. ShaolinJackal

    ShaolinJackal Valued Member

    Are there particular considerations (pros/cons) in learning Mandarin over Cantonese or vice versa? What about with respect to Kung Fu? I'm studying Hung Gar, so would Cantonese make more sense?
  7. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    It wouldnt make any difference. The only time it would matter if whether where your Sifu is from and which dialect he speaks.

    Mandarin is easier to learn for english speakers...this is due to the "tones" in the languages have similar amount (which is about 4) whereas Cantonese has about 9 tones.
    Also the sentencing structure between English and Mando is similar.

    All in all, Mando is easier for you to learn, also is more widely taught in schools. However you may find that most people are actually Canto speakers :D
  8. Dragon Brush

    Dragon Brush Valued Member

    Well, if my Hung Gar class is any indication, all the terms are in Cantonese, unless you have a mandarin-speaking teacher. The name Hung Gar Kuen itself is in Cantonese. I guess for Mandarin it'd be Hong Jia Quan.

    There are lots of Cantonese speakers around, but Mandarin is the official language of China now, as I understand it, and almost any person of recent generations is likely to know Mandarin, even in their parents taught them Cantonese as their first language.

    I would definately say Mandarin is the easier language. Having only 4 tones instead of like 6 helps. :hat:
  9. Sheep

    Sheep Valued Member

    Yep, learning Mandarin would probably be more useful anyhow. I would assume that one would only find a sizeable number of Cantonese-speakers practising martial arts that are based in Southern China. I find Cantonese to be fairly similar to Mandarin, however.

    EDIT: Oh yes, I learnt Chinese (Mandarin) at Chinese school and high school for about ten years, but I was never great shakes at it. Didn't have the motivation for it. I also know a smattering of Cantonese from oldies.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  10. Prons

    Prons New Member

    I don't want to too my own horn, but I've been teaching myself chinese for some time now, and I find I can hold conversations in Chinese really well by now. :)

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