Chinese or Mandarin, is called Putonghua in China. This is the language spoken by most of the population in China and are the Beijing dialect. The language is written in simplified chinese. In Taiwan they use older kind of Chinese called Goya and that one is written in classical chinese signs. The Beijing dialect contain a lot of consonants while the dialect here in wuxi contains more wovels. That will say it may be more difficult to understand all chinese language spoken down here. In wovels you've got five different pronounciations and these are important. And even more important when the people do not pronounce the consonants. If you miss one of these pronounciations in wovels it may be very difficult for a chinese to understand you.
You need to understand about 2000 signs to be able reading an ordinary newspaper down here. Most chinese understand about 5500 signs and then they are able to read about 93 % of the chinese language. I beleive we "westernes" should try to keep to "statechinese" because the majority of chinese understands it. The goverment decided, in the beginning of 2000 decade, that news on television should be spoken in the Beijing dialect and due to that most chinese today understand this Beijing or "country chinese" properly.
In Wuxi they talk a kind of soft dialect. The wu dialect(or language) from the old empire of Wu that where conquered during the time of three kingdoms 280 AC. The chinese describe this dialect as the singing dialect and they often "hide" the consonants for using more pronounciations on the wovels. For example. A word like Zaiwee(see you again) they pronounce in many different ways. Depending on if it should be meant sarcastic, with humour or with your heart. Yes, you'll have to make that experience your self. Many of the inhabitants find their dialect very funny and I assure you you'll get a lot of smiles and laughter that way. Expressions like "Good evening" that should be pronounced "Wang shang hao" sounded instead "Wa an" with some funny pronounciations between the consonants.
Growing up with chinese is a good and long course where you'll learn about 300 phrases in 100 episodes on 15 minutes each. The teacher is Charlotte McInnis who is born in China and moved to the U.S by the age of seven. In the different episodes you'll see and hear different actors using expressions like Ni Hao, Xie xie, Bu jung xie and other expressions you could use. Charlotte are doing a good review after each episode. Could be a useful work during the many hours you sit on the flight to and away from China or if you get stuck on an airport on the way. You are able to download all episodes so you do not have to connect with the internet for seeing them after they are downloaded. You get access to all episodes here>>>
BBC got a good old course out on their webpage You could need a good connection but as soon as you got the video they are of good quality.
American peacecorps got many useful mp3 files you are able to download and listen to for learning mandarin.
freechineselessons is a lot of lessons and videos where you learn chinese.
Cambridge universitet got a 470 Mb big file with a lot of lessons.
CHINESE: Learn Chinese - In Days, Not Years!: The Secrets To Language Learning, Chinese Phrases, & Speaking Chinese (Learn Language, Foreign Lauguages) Kindle Edition
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Chinese signs and letters
Could help you understand how important the pronounciation is for saying different words. As example the word Guan could mean both official or lodging depending on how you pronounce it.
There are around 56000 chinese signs and I have not heard that anyone, even in China, be able to remember all of these. A "normal" chinese is maybe able to understand around 5-6000 of these signs. To be able to understand something of a chinese newspaper you'll need to understand, at least, 2000 signs. You get a long way with 1500 to be able to understand signs and pr in trainstations, restaurants and that kind of signs. Many of the signs is logical because they show a picture like a rebus so with some kind of fantasy you could understand quite a lot of them. Like the sign for good(Hao) is written with a child and a woman. The sign for origin is symbolised with two persons and so on.
Ackording to asian art museum in Los Angeles the chinese where the first one who used the art of prinitng and not, as we have beleived for a long time, Johannes Gutenberg. You'll find a lot of interesting material about china out on their website education.asianart.org
You'll find a lot of interesting explanations and are also able to hear the pronounciation from different chinese signs out on chinese4.eu or chinese for europeans is a coursus made for us living in Europe made by the european commission.
You also find a lot of chinese signs with pronounciation out on rocket language. This website contains translation and pronounciation for different words divided in animals, being polite in chinese, food and many other subjects.
Learnchinesee.com got a course about writing in chinese on the first page you'll see how you write some numbers like 1=-, 2= =, 3=三, 4=四 and so on. They show you an animation on how you write the signs. Quite practical.
Learn Chinese EZ Got a whole bunch of useful information.
dict.cn is an online dictionary where you are able to write the english word and then get the chinese pronounciation.
Study abroad in China
Study in China for various programs in the fields of Medicine, Engineering, Business and Economics, Management, etc
Chinese Writing - The 178 Most Common Characters from New HSK 1 Kindle Edition
Frustration. Excitement. Frustration. Excitement. I understand that learning Chinese can be a frequent switch between these 2 feelings. Well, this book is designed to assist you on your journey to learn the most intimidating skill in the Mandarin Chinese language: writing. Let me be upfront with you: unless you're some kind of genius, in my experience as a native Chinese and as a Chinese language teacher there are absolutely no shortcuts. You can only learn writing Chinese by writing, pen on paper, once, twice, again and again, not only for the sake of practicing, but for communicating as well. Writing short paragraphs describing your daily activities, for example, are unbeatable. Many of us don't want to hear this, perhaps because we’ve already been through this strenuous process to learn writing in our native language, and although successful, we try to avoid going through it again. However, there are ways to make this task easier, and “Chinese Writing” will introduce 178 of the most frequently used characters organized by their 75 radicals, and 287 highly frequently used words that can be written with these characters, making your study experience very practical. It's perfectly suited to be used both as a study guide and as a reference. When buying this eBook you will get access to: - An organized list of the 75 radicals and their meanings; - Under each radical, the list of Chinese characters in alphabetical pinyin order; - Images showing how to progressively write each character stroke by stroke, with a separate image per stroke; - A subset of highly frequent Chinese words, from the official Chinese proficiency test Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) Levels 1 to 3, which you can write using these 178 characters; - Free bonus included: access to a set of worksheets you can print out at home, to practice writing the characters and develop your hand motor memory. Whether you're in need of becoming or simply want to be proficient in writing in Chinese, this book is a great choice.
Some funny translations of chinese letters. I've seen that we do the same. That will say use google translator for translating chinese language. Simple phrases usually get a success but as long as we try translating whole sentences we get into the same problems. Some of them are quite funny and I understand why chinese, sometimes, get a laughter when I've been trying translating text.
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