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Everything posted by zhouhaochen

  1. Innovativecat: The New Practical Reader is a good book and used a lot for teaching Chinese. Be aware that it switches quite quickly from pinyin to Chinese characters only, so make sure you are on top of those or you will find yourself in trouble once you get to the next ones
  2. In Pinyin: Shùn qí zìrán My new favourite 成语 as after I learned it I saw it the same day as the headline of a club in Beijing I went to. Nothing better than learning an Idiom and then actually being able to use it to understand something! It means to "go with the flow", "let nature takes it course". What it means at the clubs entrance is anyone's guess
  3. A good introduction on how one should go about learning Chinese is this Ebook that has 10 people who studied Mandarin explain how they did it and what they would advice a beginner to pay attention to. There are a lot of different approaches to learning the language and people's opinions obviously differ, but it is good to get some advice from people who went through the process.
  4. Yes, HSK 3 is not really B1. The Chinese government says it is, but that is more propaganda than reality and aimed at showing that there are more proficient Chinese learners than there really are. I have seen some students go further than him in three months, but only in complete immersion programs and especially with people studying at Chinese universities, many people will take more than a year to go to the same level (which is to be expected, with classes of 15 people, foreign and Chinese students systematically separated to avoid mingling and a rote memorization focused teaching approach). So he didn't do anything unheard of or unique, but he did pretty well (in some areas very well) in Chinese when resources and time are considered and combined with his experiences of learning other languages he is a person who's advice on how to learn Chinese I would (and do) take seriously. Anyways, he is just one of 10 authors in the how to learn Chinese Ebook , so there is a variety of opinions, most of it from people who learned Mandarin up to fluency. There is no "one true way" to learn Chinese (or any other language), it has to fit each persons situation, time, resources etc. and the Ebook is an attempt (and I think quite a good one) to combine and show different approaches suitable for different people in different situations.
  5. I didn't watch any of his videos, so cant compare, but we did speak in Mandarin for more than an hour. For sure better than A2. That was a few years ago though, so probably he is at a lower level by now.
  6. Great site. It is a shame how in so many parts of China local languages are simply seen as "bad pronunciation" instead of languages in their own right. Many will (and already have) died, but there are so many, there is still hope quite a few will survive.
  7. Not sure how many hours he studied but I spoke with him in Chinese just after he finished his 3 months course and he could hold a normal conversation, had good tones and felt clearly at ease communicating in Chinese. Obviously not fluent (but higher than A2 - I would say between B1 and B2 probably) but for 3 months not a bad result.
  8. For Levels 1 and 2 you do not have to write in characters, so for most people the paper based test is easier than the computer based one. Not sure which versions SOAS offers, but there will be multiple test centers all administering the same test on the same day in London, so have a look around.
  9. There are a lot of different opinions about Benny Lewis, but while you might have different opinions about how he markets himself on the internet, he is actually quite a serious language learner who did pretty well with learning Chinese. Thanks for the praise for the pinyin tables. The aim of the book is to explain how to learn Chinese (not a text book that explains grammar, tones etc.) from the perspective and experiences of different people who have done it. It is not an endorsement of any specific person, though everyone who contributed to it has a lot of experience learning languages in general, Chinese in particular and in the editors opinion (that would be me) valid and useful thoughts about the how to learn Chinese (as Benny Lewis does).
  10. The FREE Ebook "The Ultimate Guidebook to Learning Mandarin Chinese" is out. Advice from 10 Chinese language learners on how to learn Mandarin. Not surprisingly, there is no magic way to learn Chinese "within a few months" (Benny Lewis is one of the authors though) but how you learn it makes a big difference on how fast you get to fluency. From how to tackle tones, learn Grammar to immersion advice and tips on how to have fun while learning the language, it gives you first hand experiences from people who actually did. It is most suitable for beginners to beginner-intermediate level students who want to start learning Chinese faster. The Ebook has so far been very well reviewed on the internet, but if anyone feels like writing on their experiences/thoughts on the Ebook on here too that would most welcome.
  11. nciku.com has effectively been shut down and been replaced with a rather useless line dictionary. Great shame, that was the best online English/Chinese dictionary around.
  12. That table has some serious errors. The very first one being that it is not possible to judge a language as hard or easy unless you are talking about people with the same native language and similar knowledge of other languages. For a Japanese person, Chinese scrips is very easy while it would be very hard for a European to learn, for a Russian speaker, Polish is not so hard, whereas an Italian might find it very difficult etc. I find it a bit sad how we all like to look at graphs and pictures and believe them just because they are pretty and easy to understand. It seriously distorts reality....
  13. Clearly Arabic for me. I probably would have said Chinese before I learned it, but I find once you start to understand a language it becomes something technical instead of just pure art and so looses a bit of it's beauty. I love looking at Arabic Script
  14. Hello, my name is Andreas, my mother tongue is German and I studied English, French, Latin and Italian at highschool. I was never very good at languages but love different cultures and traveling so I started to learn them regardless. I first went to China in 2002 to study Mandarin and today run a Chinese language school (LTL Mandarin School) there and recently started to learn Spanish. Anyone who has any questions about China, learning Chinese or living in Beijing, let me know. Andreas
  15. @Wanda yes, very good introduction However, how you learn it will depend very much on the situation you are in. Are you doing it in or outside of China? Full or part-time? Is your aim to become fluent or survival Chinese? For fun or work? If you are in China, you will focus much more on sentences you can immediately use, if you want to become fluent you should spend more time building the basics (tones especially) than if you just want to quick and dirty get to basic communication abilities etc.
  16. The bad news are tones are an essential part of learning Chinese. And they are difficult. And you have to learn them at the beginning, as once you are used to saying them wrong it is very hard to change this later. The good news are there are only four of them. So this is learnable, you just need to spend the time doing it and get a proper teacher to show you. The other good news are that problems you face with other languages at the beginning (conjugations, grammar, tenses) are much easier in Chinese than most other languages. So while some things are more difficult, others are easier. If you are wondering how to start to learn Chinese, have a look at this Ebook http://www.livethelanguage.cn/how-to-learn-chinese which gives pretty good advice from different people who mastered the language about how to learn.
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