• Posts Tagged ‘Chinese’

    Learning Chinese: 5 Reasons Why Chinese May Not Be So Difficult

    by  • March 7, 2013 • Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    Great Wall of China


    Ever thought of taking a Chinese language class?   Often regarded as one of the world’s most difficult languages, Haike Bruneel of the Hutong School elaborates on five reasons why she believes that the language does not live up to its challenging reputation:

    1.  Characters can be written phonetically
    2.  Tones can be challenging, but their use is often understandable through context and the grammatical position of the word within the sentence
    3.  Grammar is very simplified
    4.  Vocabulary features combinations that often make sense
    5.  Most characters are phonetic, making it easier to read once the phonetics are understood

    As an example, Bruneel writes with respect to tones:

    “Because the Chinese language has so few different syllables, tones are being used. In Mandarin, the official standard language, there are 4 different tones, as well as a neutral tone, which is however only used very rarely.  The 4 tones allow pronouncing the syllables in different ways, so that different meanings can be conveyed.

    Learning to hear and pronounce these tones correctly is a challenge for anybody who’s never learned a tonal language before.  Yet, its importance should not be overstated either.  Usually, up to an intermediate level, it will be perfectly clear which meaning is intended, even if you pronounce or hear a tone incorrectly.”

    In addition to determining the context and grammatical position of each word, she mentions the disyllabic nature of most Chinese words as another key factor in distinguishing between varying tones.  This reduces the chances that words with the same spelling will be confused with one another.

    If you are currently studying or teaching Chinese with GLN, do you agree with the Bruneel’s reasons?  Do you have any tips that might make the language easier for others to learn?





    Media Monday!

    by  • March 19, 2012 • Monday Posts • 0 Comments

    Happy Monday, GLNers! I hope everyone’s feeling chipper after having a week to adjust to losing an hour of sleep last weekend…personally, I’m still trying to find ways to get that hour back, so if you’ve got any ideas please let me know! To wake everyone up today, we’ve got “听妈妈的话” (“Ting Mama De...

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    Foodie Friday!

    by  • March 9, 2012 • Friday Posts • 0 Comments

    Many of us who have studied another language have learned that food vocabulary is not only fun, but also necessary for survival. While traveling abroad, it is indeed important to try new foods, but it’s also good to know how to order an old stand-by that you know you’ll like. For me, in China,...

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