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Mandarin: First Lesson

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Fergal1982, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Firstly, for Mike:

    Ni3 hao3 Lao3 Michael. Ni3 ma1ma ma4 ma3 ma?

    Ok, now for the rest of you. First class was certainly interesting. Jumped right in with learning the basics of introductions, etc. Talking about what you say and how.

    It helps that the teacher is a native, I have to say. Some of it is complicated, like the difference between the sounds of x, j and q. Can tell the sounds apart reasonably well, but i doubt im actually saying it properly myself.

    No reading/writing chinese yet. thats starts in the second level beginner classes.

    All looking good though.
     
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  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Difficult language to learn, how different is Mandarin from Cantonese?
     
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  3. BosonMichael
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    Completely different. :) It's not just a regional dialect... it's basically a separate langauge.
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    Oh right I thought it was a regional dialect. Both are difficult languages in any case imo.
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    I'm not THAT old. :D

    And no, my mother did not scold the horse. :biggrin heehee!!! fun, huh?

    Ab-so-lutely! Native teachers will absolutely help you with intonation... both the tone markings and those pesky x j q zh phoneticisms.
     
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  6. BosonMichael
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    Linkage for you, my friend! :)
     
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  7. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    Its all greek to me!!! :biggrin
     
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  8. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Hey, you're older than me. and its a term of respect :biggrin

    I liked the scolding horses question. We were talking about the meanings of ma, and he just threw the question together, had us ask and answer the question amongst ourselves.

    GBL - basically the written system is fairly universal (although I believe there are one or two characters unique to each dialect). The spoken languages differ greatly. For instance, Mandarin has 4 tones (5 if you count toneless), but Cantonese has about 6. The basic system of speaking is the same, but not the meanings apparently.
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    cool :)

    ahh right I get ya.
     
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  10. hippy

    hippy Kilobyte Poster

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    I have a tool to write pinyin with accents.. will tell you when i get home.

    Im learning zhongwen at the moment as well :D
     
  11. BosonMichael
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    I promise I won't call you xiao3 Fergal-yi1jiu3ba1er4 nian2. :D

    Just wait until you start hearing Chinese tongue twisters... :blink:biggrin

    Trivia: My Chinese name is Ao2 Mai4ke4.
     
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  12. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    lost on me at present im afraid.
     
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  13. hippy

    hippy Kilobyte Poster

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    wu liao ban
     
  14. BosonMichael
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    "Young Fergal1982." :D

    Ao2 Mai4ke4 is just a transliteration of my English name... Ao2 for my surname, Mai4ke4 for my given name.
     
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  15. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    apparently its only native chinese people who put their surname first when introducing themselves. For foreigners, its expected that you use the standard firstname, surname format, using otherwise confuses them.
     
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  16. hippy

    hippy Kilobyte Poster

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    Also people will say "chi le (ma)" *have you eaten* instead of "ni hao (ma)" *how are you*
     
  17. BosonMichael
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    Chi bao le!!!

    ...probably TOO much. :unsure
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    Hm. I was given my Chinese name by natives... it obviously didn't confuse them any! :D
     
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  19. hippy

    hippy Kilobyte Poster

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    wo da si ni :twisted: :P
     
  20. BosonMichael
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    You better not, or I'll come back and haunt you. :gos
     
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