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  1. #1
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    Default Learning chinese

    Hello

    Can someone tell me the best way to learn chinese. My wife is chinese and I have studied very poorly for 7 years
    I keep buying books, cds, but it seems to stay on the bookshelf and I never can stick at it
    I even played a learn chinese cd under my bed when I sleep each night (doesn't work).
    I guess because I am not in the environment to need to rely on the language, and not in a formal learning environment like uni course either, so I just can't motivate myself to sit down for a few hours a week to learn properly. HELP

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    best way?
    get a teacher...i thought that was obvious enough.
    i'm from chinese descent but i can't exactly read or write chinese. can converse in cantonese though.
    i tried learning, i went to lessons for a term but too busy.
    i also went to this website which gives you print-outs and stuff, but i can never find the time.
    if you really want to learn, you're gonna have to set aside a time each week or something to concentrate on only the language. there's no quick way of learning a language...i've been doing french for years and still i actually don't know much!
    use what you have [books, cds] and try some websites, they can actually help you. or find some chinese songs that sound nice, then you can look up translations and things, i find that it's an enjoyable way to appreciate the language.

    it just takes time... *shurgs*

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    Quote Originally Posted by atimtam
    best way?
    get a teacher...i thought that was obvious enough.
    Actually the best way would be to move down to a Chinese speaking country for a few years.

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    hey dude,

    some people have more talents to learn languages than others n they n learn it without attending to school. i think u need to stop wasting time and money, go and attend night class if you want serious progress. i m chinese n i started to learn mandarin 6 yrs ago. of course it's much easier for me to learn just a dialect with my chinese language foundation. my progress was very good because
    1. i attended 2 semester of night classes (not uni course, just community classes, cheaper, once a week, 2 hour/session)
    2. i practice at the office with co-workers who speaks the dialect.
    3. i use the mandarin pinyin to practice chinese typing on the computer when i m @home.
    u can practice with your wife if u can't do that at work. if u don't do practice at home outside of class, u won't succeed. my motivation was actually the chinese typing. i found that fun and i get enjoyment and accomplishment out of it. your motivation, IMO (could be some other), is the ability to talk to your wife in her mothertongue. she'll love ya even more! chinese characters are not easy to learn. one of my classmates was white and she had no clue about the characters, yet she has the best pronounciation in our class. she just love the chinese culture. learning the dialect without the written language may be easier for starters. for you, may be that is enough to show your affection to your wife already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo77
    Hello

    Can someone tell me the best way to learn chinese. My wife is chinese and I have studied very poorly for 7 years
    I keep buying books, cds, but it seems to stay on the bookshelf and I never can stick at it
    I even played a learn chinese cd under my bed when I sleep each night (doesn't work).
    I guess because I am not in the environment to need to rely on the language, and not in a formal learning environment like uni course either, so I just can't motivate myself to sit down for a few hours a week to learn properly. HELP

  5. #5
    Regular Member cxytdn's Avatar
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    Why not try to communicate with your wife by Chinese everyday? In the begining, maybe you cannot accurately what you want to say, but no problem, just going on, and maybe, after one year, your spoken Chinese will be very well.

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    try getting a teacher that u go at least once a week, for at least an year, so u can get use to the routine, and make sure the teacher gives u at least 4 pages of homework.do them in 2 days and study at least 45 min, for at least 3 days a week....

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    I'm wondering why you want to learn it so badly in the first instance! Chinese language is hard enough for Chinese people, nevermind for 'foreign' people
    Plus there are many dialects (spoken), not including colloquialisms.

    Your wife, with her friends and family are surely your best resource.

    As with most things, having a good foundation is the key. I suggest you get a copy of kindergarten/nursery material, learn from the start the simplest characters and strokes. From there you will be able to build sentences together, gain a better understanding of the structure and grammar (what grammar? ) I see a lot of books in the Western world on Chinese jump in randomly.

    If all you want to do is to be able to converse fluently, you could skip the above, but learn as many vocabulary as possible. Being 'thick skinned', not being afraid of other people laughing at your mistakes is a neccesity, as your vocab library builds, so does your confidence and so on.

    In my opinion, Taiwanese spoken Mandarin is easier to learn/understand than from the Mainland, especially Beijing and the North, as there is less tongue curling involved. And yes, if you can't curl your tongue, you are at a natural disadvantage

    Noticed you are from Australia, surely there are 'Chinese schools' in the populated cities, although mainly for Children, may also hold adult classes. Good Luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JChen99
    Actually the best way would be to move down to a Chinese speaking country for a few years.
    I agree.
    If you're forced to use the language then you'll learn it much better.

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    go and live in china for a few years....
    its gonna help

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    yeah....for sure it will..

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    Quote Originally Posted by asphyxiate
    I agree.
    If you're forced to use the language then you'll learn it much better.
    wouldn't it be easier and cheaper just by hanging with some chinese speaking players? Tell them to talk chinese around you Being polite, i think they refrained using chinese language around you. When u say chinese, do u mean cantonese or mandarian?

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    Default learning chinese

    Well there are not many chinese players in the clubs I attend:

    One group is mainly Indonesian, one is Vietnamese and one is Malaysian (they either talk english or cantonese) and one group Aussie hehe!

    So by reading the threads the best plan seems to be going to a proper class hmm.

    Yeah going to China is a good idea, but last time I went they just spoke Shanghainese most of the time, but at least I was there and using it a bit! Good excuse for another holiday eh.

    Talking with my wife helps me pick up a few words here and there (I am still beginner level), but we seem to only be bothered for maybe an hour a week if that, as mandarin competency is not our biggest priority - mmm we lazy

  13. #13
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    you gotta live in the environment and use it to learn. Who ever heard of a person learning to play good badminton by just playing once a week?

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    i am 16 and half hong kong/half english but i never learned chinese. i started learning mandarin just over a month ago and i'm finding it really easy so far because my mum speaks cantonese and mandarin (and i think chiew-chow, if thats how you spell it), so i just do a little everyday and i think i can probably get to conversational level in a year. i find the speaking much easier than learning the characters because i heard chinese being spoken all my life, i just never paid attention! a few chinese friends at school also help me, and watching chinese tv as well.

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    Yep yep. Learning how to speak the language first is easier than trying to learn the written Chinese character at the same time.

    Haha I learn from watching tv too! Like, I'd watch and listen and then if I;m fast enough to catch what they're saying .. I'll write it down (with the intended meaning) and then I'll check the Pinyin-English dictionary to see if I got it right.

    But it's definitely easier learning from my Chinese-speaking friends.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo77 View Post
    ...
    Yeah going to China is a good idea....
    (1) Practice makes perfect. So I always suggest my friends who want to pick up Mandarin to mix around with Mandarin-speaking people.
    (2) Watch Chinese channels with English subtitles. Choose the topics u like.
    (3) Avoid going to places where Chinese dialects are commonly spoken such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau. Taipei is another place u can go.

    My mother tougue is Chinese. I'm so proud that we, Malaysians can master 3 languages (Mandarin, Malay and English) plus other dialects.

    All the best to u.
    Last edited by robin7; 05-24-2007 at 01:51 AM.

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    erm.. i think just find a couple of chinese ppl and hangout with them for a few months. sure work. but depends on your effort to learn and speak

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