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Thread: 我学习中文! (I'm learning Chinese)

  1. #1
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    我学习中文! (I'm learning Chinese)

    Yes, classes are going along just fine. I'm in Chinese 1, and have "joined" the local Chinese Club. It's been slow going, though, and the words aren't sticking in my head (especially the pin yin!)

    Before my Chinese 1 class, I have a class on East Asia History, from prehistory all the way up to... well, I don't know when it stops. The other class, by the same instructor, is more western civilization from prehistory on up to the 1500s, but the East Asia history is moving at a much faster pace; we might even get into modern day China/Japan/Korea.

    Other than that, I have my Poetry class tonight. 5:30 all the way to 8:15; and with 18 critiqued poems in hand. This should be fun. . . especially since about 20% of those poems are emo poetry, and another 30% are overly dirty and obscene limericks, although I do exaggerate.

    Constantly tired, never able to get a move on in the morning. For instance, I had planned to get ready to get out that door about 10 minutes ago, but here I am procrastinating by talking about my semester here on the BAUT. Isn't this great?!

    By the way, I'm pulling down some Chinese poems to recite during the Chinese Club meeting. If anyone has some suggestions, I'm more than open to them. For now, I'm rather enamored with Staying Overnight with Xie Shihou in the Xu Family Library and Being Bothered By Hearing Rats by Mei Yaochen. (link) It just has the feeling of a nonsense poem.

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    Holy crap, you're fast.

    Yes. Mandarin.

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    Cool.

    I really would like to learn some but there's only so much class time I can fit into my work week...
    (I know I know, it's all about taking the time to do something. But I'm taking time for two classes already this semester - one evening is technically double-booked which is gonna stress me as I'm aiming for a grading this December...)


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    I've been slacking recently, but I am still brushing up on my Spanish. Puedo hablar y escribir bien, pero mi vocabulario es un poco pequeño aún, y mi gramática necesita mejora.

    Anyway, I had thought about learning Chinese / Japanese / whatever (never got to the "which specific language" stage). I don't think my poor brain could handle it though. Good luck! Sounds like you have a full plate. But it also sounds fun.

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    Cool lonewulf, 我也是中学生!
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    中國人,他們共產主義!

  8. #8
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    Stop with the political comments Robinson
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    Reductionist and proud of it.

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    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
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    Of course, given I'm old and weird, the thread title of "I'm learning Chinese", makes me think of these lines from Tom Lehrer's Wernher Von Braun song:
    You too may be a big hero
    Once you've learned to count backwards to zero
    "In German oder English I know how to count down
    Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

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    Quote Originally Posted by tusenfem View Post
    Cool lonewulf, 我也是中学中学!
    I think you're missing a "wén" (文) somewhere in there, tusenfem. But then, I'm just a bare-bones beginner, so I'm probably wrong. I'll also being taught that "to learn/study" is xué xí, but you seem to be using a shortened form?

    But then, like I said, beginner. I'm also not sure if you were trying to say "I'm also studying Chinese" or something else.

  11. #11
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    Lonewulf, you're learning to read/write Chinese, or to speak/understand Chinese?

    I'm learning spoken Mandarin, too, but only through at-home, CD-based programs. I don't have time to take classes!
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Lonewulf, you're learning to read/write Chinese, or to speak/understand Chinese?
    Both.

    I seem to be doing better with the former than the latter, though. I cannot form a sentence in my head without at least half a minute of thought yet. (Outside of "How are you?" and the response, but I often say "I'm also doing well!" even though there's no one else around).

    I'm learning spoken Mandarin, too, but only through at-home, CD-based programs. I don't have time to take classes!
    Hey, if it works, it works.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Both.
    Cool. I've been pretty much exclusively focusing on spoken Mandarin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    I seem to be doing better with the former than the latter, though.
    Wow. Pinyin or Hanzi? I would think that learning Hanzi would be significantly more difficult than learning the sounds of the spoken language...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    I cannot form a sentence in my head without at least half a minute of thought yet. (Outside of "How are you?" and the response, but I often say "I'm also doing well!" even though there's no one else around).
    If there's no one else around, who are you talking to in the first place?
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

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    謙 遜 地 道 歉

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    Rosetta Stone, SeanF, or something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Rosetta Stone, SeanF, or something else?
    I tried a demo of Rosetta Stone, but didn't like the fact that I needed a computer to use it. What I really want(ed) was something that I can just load lessons on my mp3 player and listen to while driving to work, etc. That being said, I may give Rosetta Stone a try again.

    I've got the Pimsleur CDs, and have also been doing some of the lessons from ChinesePod.com.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  17. #17
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    Ah, the reason I asked is because I tried RS for Russian. I didn't like it. It's a good program if you want to quickly learn functional phrases . . . or at least it seemed it could be good for that. But I couldn't see myself picking up the complex spelling and grammar rules that way. I'd imagine Chinese would have the same problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    Wow. Pinyin or Hanzi? I would think that learning Hanzi would be significantly more difficult than learning the sounds of the spoken language...
    Hanzu, surprisingly; I'm able to associate the pictographs with images. For some words, it's especially easy, such as 鸟 (bird); I wouldn't be able to guess what "niao" meant, but I can guess what the image means.

    If there's no one else around, who are you talking to in the first place?
    Uhm, fellow students and the instructor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Hanzu, surprisingly; I'm able to associate the pictographs with images. For some words, it's especially easy, such as 鸟 (bird); I wouldn't be able to guess what "niao" meant, but I can guess what the image means.
    For some of the characters, it's pretty easy, but some of them are pretty complicated. Still, I'm suitably impressed. When/if I get around to studying Hanzi, I hope I have as little difficulty as you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    Uhm, fellow students and the instructor?
    What, they're "no one else"? Yes, I'm just being silly. I know what you meant.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    I think you're missing a "wén" (文) somewhere in there, tusenfem. But then, I'm just a bare-bones beginner, so I'm probably wrong. I'll also being taught that "to learn/study" is xué xí, but you seem to be using a shortened form?

    But then, like I said, beginner. I'm also not sure if you were trying to say "I'm also studying Chinese" or something else.
    Yeah, I noticed that too, after I posted.
    I said: I (wo) also (ye) am (shi) chinese language (zhong wen) student (xue sheng)
    with "language" forgotten
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    I tried a demo of Rosetta Stone, but didn't like the fact that I needed a computer to use it. What I really want(ed) was something that I can just load lessons on my mp3 player and listen to while driving to work, etc. That being said, I may give Rosetta Stone a try again.

    I've got the Pimsleur CDs, and have also been doing some of the lessons from ChinesePod.com.
    I don't think Rosetta Stone is a good way of starting to learn Chinese, as it is very much based on western language sentence build up, so the lessons do not make much sense now and then in chinese, especially in the beginning (IMHO).
    All comments made in red are moderator comments. Please, read the rules of the forum here, the special rules for the ATM section here and conspiracy theories. If you think a post is inappropriate, don't comment on it in thread but report it using the /!\ button in the lower left corner of each message. But most of all, have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tusenfem View Post
    Cool lonewulf, 我也是中学生!
    I'm not exactly sure if it would translate directly, but that may possibly mean:

    "I am also a junior high school student."

    And if I can make my own (hopefully humorous) political statement:

    毛沢東万歳!

    It's actually written in differently-simplified Japanese characters, but a Chinese person could read it.
    As above, so below

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    Chinese Club meeting is tonight; I'm slightly nervous.

    I'm gathering some poems to recite.

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    So, I recited 4 poems by Mei Yaochen (1002-1060 CE, Song Dynasty). I'm thinking of pulling some poems/songs out of the Book of Songs (~1000 BCE, Zhou Dynasty) for next Chinese Club meeting. I cannot read the Pin Yin myself yet, as I cannot pronounce the words very well, making recital rather poor; and I hate butchering people's poetry through bad accents, so I have someone more experienced read it in Mandarin first (which probably loses some of the original poetry), and then I read the translation.

    Poems I have recited so far:

    A Rural Home
    Sacrifice to the Cat that Scared all the Rats
    Staying Overnight with Xie Shihou in the Xu Family Library and Being Bothered By Hearing Rats
    Writing of My Sorrows

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    I cannot read the Pin Yin myself yet, as I cannot pronounce the words very well, making recital rather poor; and I hate butchering people's poetry through bad accents, so I have someone more experienced read it in Mandarin first (which probably loses some of the original poetry), and then I read the translation.
    Two small things. First of all, I don't think pinyin is very hard to learn, because it's pretty logical. Secondly, I wouldn't worry too much about "bad accents." Just remember that a lot of poetry was written by people a long time ago, who might not even recognize modern accents! If you read Shakespeare with a modern (even British) accent, Shakespeare himself would probably be flabbergasted by the horrible accent.
    As above, so below

  26. #26
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    No, but I want the tones to be legible, or else the words develop entirely new meanings.

    I don't want to read out gibberish.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    So, I recited 4 poems by Mei Yaochen (1002-1060 CE, Song Dynasty). I'm thinking of pulling some poems/songs out of the Book of Songs (~1000 BCE, Zhou Dynasty) for next Chinese Club meeting. I cannot read the Pin Yin myself yet, as I cannot pronounce the words very well, making recital rather poor; and I hate butchering people's poetry through bad accents, so I have someone more experienced read it in Mandarin first (which probably loses some of the original poetry), and then I read the translation.

    Poems I have recited so far:

    A Rural Home
    Sacrifice to the Cat that Scared all the Rats
    Staying Overnight with Xie Shihou in the Xu Family Library and Being Bothered By Hearing Rats
    Writing of My Sorrows
    Oh, I really liked the cat poem.
    *crazy cat lady*


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    Ugh.

    I'm taking Chinese 2, so I'm at Basic level 2, and about all I feel about Chinese right now is that I payed hundreds of dollars to feel like an idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    Ugh.

    I'm taking Chinese 2, so I'm at Basic level 2, and about all I feel about Chinese right now is that I payed hundreds of dollars to feel like an idiot.
    And BAUT lets me do that for free. Keep at it.

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    壞天文論壇,它允許無知!


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