Despite the extent of how busy I am, I would like to introduce a new idea/column for my blog towards learning Chinese, something that I am sure many of you would like to accomplish to read books or listen to audiobooks. Though I will be creating posts for you to learn Chinese, a lot of work will have to be done on your own time although I will do my best to make it easier for you.
Goals of These Posts:
- Enable you guys to understand and recognize characters
- Get to the point when you guys can read Chinese novels and understand Chinese audiobooks
- Enable you guys to speak Chinese (even if it is not all that fluent)
- Get to the point when you guys can write out some Chinese
- Know how to represent characters in English (through Hanyu Pinyin, etc.)
Learning Chinese Posts:
Posts towards learning Chinese will be split into two categories.
One category will be Basic.
- Word features.
- These are features that go in depth over one word specifically
- You will learn words that are fundamental to the language
- This will include:
- Hanyu Pinyin, Zhuyin
- History of the word (if applicable)
- Stroke order
- Pronunciation guide
- And some visual guides to help you remember the word (if applicable)
- The Traditional Character versus the Simplified Character
- Examples of phrases in which this character would be used
- Sentence usages
- Sentence features
- These would be features in which I pull a sentence from one of my raws of the books I am currently translating and I go over it in depth.
- This will include:
- Discussion of grammatical structures
- New vocabulary
- Applying the words you learn in Word Features to actual sentences from actual books
- Traditional vs. Simplified
- Pinyin and Pronunciation Guide
The other category is Advanced.
- Paragraph features
- These are features that would go mildly in depth on short paragraphs, and show how I would translate specific things to English and why.
- I will pull these paragraphs from the raws of the books (again like the sentences)
- Challenge features
- These are features in which I may post a Chinese paragraph and challenge you guys to translate it in the comments. Thus, you guys can collaborate on how you would actually translate it and what is the better translation.
- After the “challenge period” is over, then I can edit the original post and add an explanation of how I would have translated it.
- Kudos goes to the best translator who can potentially earn a free chapter (or something better) whenever he or she wants it posted.
A final category will focus on Culture
- This will hopefully help you guys understand the books better, especially when some authors bring up traditions that you may not be familiar with.
Starting out with these posts, I’ll start with Basic posts first, to give some readers some background into some Chinese characters. Gradually, I’ll move to a mix of Advanced and Basic posts,
Although conversation may not necessarily be possible, I will add some of my pronunciation tips as well as a Google Translate pronunciation online. It is important that you work on your pronunciation and you often listen to Chinese when learning it, if you want to be able to speak Chinese, otherwise you will only get Reading and Writing skills from my posts.
The Benefits to Learning Chinese With Us
- The perks of learning Chinese over at this site include being able to collaborate with a large community of diverse levels in the language. Also it is very easy to contact me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Learning Chinese
As a learner of Chinese even now, I can say that learning Chinese requires practice! Chinese is a language that is extremely different from English and thus requires more practice, with pronunciation, writing and reading. Without practice, you will definitely not get anywhere.
When you write a specific character, make sure you follow the stroke order. It is there for a reason. Secondly, when you are writing the characters (especially when it is your first time) try to find paper that is divided into squares (or divide into squares yourself) so that you can properly see where everything goes in the Chinese character. Often, many characters look the same (although they really aren’t) so it is important to notice the location of each stroke.
Next, when you are first learning how to read Chinese, I recommend finding a modern short story (for beginners) that has been fully translated and reading it along with the raws. One window can be for the translation while a side window can be pulled up for the raws so that you can actively decipher the characters and recognize patterns within the text (if you know enough Chinese).
To ensure success, try to get to Chinese daily. Whether it’s 10 minutes a day, etc., practicing your skills daily and polishing them will help you to get better. Even if you don’t start out completely understanding or connecting with the language, eventually you will get there.
A big tip to learning Chinese after you learn the basics is to start translating. Translating can really help you learn more terms as well as help you understand many of the grammatical aspects of each sentence and how it connects together as a whole. Thus, participating in some of the translation exercises I will provide will greatly help you. If you do not have a site, feel free to join us! We always welcome new members and we would love to have you! In addition, you’ll always have someone you can ask about translating at your fingertips with our group chat that we use with all our members!
After we’ve gotten into more of the Chinese, I’ll start a book bar where people can recommend books and ask questions about what you’re reading. This will probably be more ‘user-submitted’ and will be more interactive with the audience.
Disclaimer: The book bar will be different from Shushengbar in that it will focus primarily on helping people learn Chinese, while also spreading Chinese books around. The forum at the bottom (for comments) will be for asking questions about comprehension. Also, I think the bookbar will have a bigger emphasis on explaining
All in all, I hope you guys join me for the ride as we learn Chinese together!
I believe it is never too late to start learning a language as long as you love it or you’ll need it later on (and this is definitely one of those languages)
If you guys have any questions, please let me know in the comments! If you have any ideas for these posts to develop further please also lemme know!😄
If you are interested in this column please let me know in the comments so that I can see if there is any interest towards this in general!
Finally, if you are interested in volunteering for this column please contact me at email@example.com. There is literally very little you have to do for this column especially if you sign up for the “Basic Learning Chinese” postings as these will mainly include simple words and a few concepts.