Background While working on my page on the Chinese calendarI needed to put Chinese characters and pinyin on the web.
Thomas BergFeature photo: But in Hangzhou, my ignorance was a big deal. Even though I could chat with locals, order food and ask directions, I was baffled by business cards, menus, and even store signs. I needed to read so I could build vocabulary and truly be fluent.
I started with my old standbys — a tutor, taped dialogues, and notebook for vocabulary — and added flash cards for Chinese characters. Yet a flip of those cards crushed my confidence, and left me with a headache from cramming 50 characters into my mind. After a couple of weeks, I abandoned my flash cards and my hopes for cracking the character code.
One evening in November, when I returned to my hotel, I noticed the Chinese chef crouched around a television behind the front desk. At first, I sat down to practice my spoken Chinese with this friendly guy. But this time, the chef hardly said anything beyond Ni Hao, because he was engrossed in the TV.
To my surprise, I understood a lot, because they spoke colloquial, everyday Chinese. And, as an incurable romantic, the story sucked me in, instantly. That was it — a spoonful of sugar was just what I needed to swallow those Chinese characters.
After that, I joined the chef most evenings to sweeten my vocabulary over a few good Chinese love stories on the tube. Still, in the beginning, it was more saccharine than study. The subtitles whipped by fast, so I only learned a character or two every week.
Meteor Garden hooked me with its four Taiwanese hunks and a syrupy romantic tale. Now I could pause or rewind my way to understanding, looking up words and characters in my dictionary or ask Chinese friends.
First came Meteor Garden, then came the soundtrack. Sure, the music was as substantial as bubble tea. I remembered words and characters even better, because they were sandwiched into a gooey melody. As I started reading more, I soon discovered a little wordplay in my hands — texting in Chinese.
I would use pinyin, a romanized version of Chinese characters, to spell words out. Sometimes I had to choose from a list of characters, which was challenging. Sending simple texts to my Chinese friends soon became a sweet little daily routine. John Dyhouse By SpringI discovered my sugared down study was paying off — I could actually read some signs.
But, other times, I felt a disconnect when I read something entirely wrong — easy to do when the difference between characters could be one stroke.
One night, while taking the bus home, I asked my friend Jun why this sign said yaliao — tooth materials. After I moved to Shanghai in March to work as a copywriter, I still kept up with the TV dramas, karaoke discs and texting.
But, because I had learned so much already, I began cutting out some sugar.
But I still needed a little dessert every now and then, especially after reading newspapers in Chinese. My first tries left a trail of black marks all over the paper from underlining unfamiliar characters.
Times like this called for a sinful taste of love dramas or Chinese pop music or texting, just to ease those headaches and get a shot of confidence.According to a survey result published by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication in April, Chinese people read books per capita in the past year, a figure that trails far behind major.
Chinese. Chinese is spoken by about billion people mainly in the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (a.k.a. Taiwan), Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia. The grammar, rather than the vocab, is probably the hard part of this post, which is an great survey of every basic Chinese sentence structure.
If you can read this, your foundation in Chinese grammar is very solid. Read more Comments () 5Mar, The “Beautiful” Rabbit. One of the obvious characteristics of the Chinese writing system is its visual complexity. How do children develop their reading and writing ability in such a system?
Tips on How to Read Chinese Making Sense of Radicals and Different Types of Characters. Share Flipboard Email Print Languages. Mandarin Chinese Characters Basics The earliest forms of Chinese writing originate from pictographs. Pictographs are simple diagrams meant to represent objects.
Examples of pictographs include: 日 – rì – sun. How to learn to read Chinese. May 25, when they entered school. A person starting on a foreign language has to learn everything. Japanese and Chinese children start reading and writing non-alphabetic characters, OK, but they are not learning "their language", only the traditional written representation of it.
Read Chinese Without.