4. Learning Mandarin – Chinese Characters

DISCLOSURE: From time-to-time, this site may contain affiliate links and advertising. This means that I might get paid commission if you click on some of the links or buy a product. This will be at no extra cost to you. All opinions are that of my own. I only recommend products and services that I personally use and also feel would be a valuable asset to other language learners.


漢字

歡迎 (Huānyíng), this week I have been focusing on Chinese characters. Throughout May 2017 my goal is to learn 5 - 10 Chinese characters per day. There are loads of resources out there to help, but my personal favorite has to be the Chineasy method. I have made significant progress with these products.

2. Learning Mandain: Basic Introductions and Manners

DISCLOSURE: From time-to-time, this site may contain affiliate links and advertising. This means that I might get paid commission if you click on some of the links or buy a product. This will be at no extra cost to you. If anything due to the relationships I have established with my affiliates you might even save some money. All opinions are that of my own. I only recommend products and services that I personally use and also feel would be a valuable asset to other language learners.


第二周 - 基本介绍和礼仪

There is an old saying "manners get you everywhere" so with that in mind this week I have been brushing up on my "Please", "Thank You", "Sorry" and basic introductions in Mandarin.  My tones are rather rusty and need practice, but I have the Get Fluent in Chinese package to help me with this.

Want to set a good impression when you meet a Chinese person? Easy peasy just introduce yourself in Chinese! However, remember that Mandarin although the most spoken language in the world is not the only Chinese language. There is also Shanghainese and Cantonese, plus some other local languages too.

Mandarin is Chinese is commonly known as 'Pǔtōnghuà' 普通话 meaning Universal Language or Zhōngwén 中文 meaning Chinese Language. 

Check out 'Beginner's Mandarin Chinese' on Udemy. Click image for more information.

 

The Basics

你好 (Nǐ hǎo) = Hello

再见 (Zàijiàn) = Good bye

谢谢 (Xièxiè) = Thank you

(Qǐng) = Please

对不起(Duìbùqǐ) = I am sorry

Basic Introductions

你好吗?(Nǐ hǎo ma?) = How are you?

我很好 (Wǒ hěn hǎo) = I am fine

我的名字是... (Wǒ de míngzì shì...) = My name is...

我叫...(Wǒ jiào) = I'm called...

For more information on tones check out my week 1 blog.

What's in a Name?

In the video above I am introducing myself with my Chinese name that was given to me by my tutor. It sounds like I am saying Amy, but I am in fact attempting to say 'En Ming'. To get a Chinese name speak to your Chinese tutor if you have one or ask a Chinese friend to name you or just for fun check out the link below...

Name me!

Chinese names all have meanings. When introducing themselves you may notice they give their family name (surname) first.

(Xìng) = Surname

名字 (Míngzì) = Name

To get to grips with the basics  I recommend Udemy. There are free language courses as well as paid.

Want to know your Chinese name? Comment below and I'll ask on your behalf!

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1. The Layman’s Guide to Mandarin Tones

DISCLOSURE: From time-to-time, this site may contain affiliate links and advertising. This means that I might (when pigs can fly) get paid commission if you click on some of the links or buy a product. This will be at no extra cost to you. If anything due to the relationships I have established with my affiliates you might even save some money. All opinions are that of my own. I only recommend products and services that I personally use and also feel would be a valuable asset to other language learners.


Week 1: Introducing the Tones

你好, I am currently piloting the awesome Step Up Language Program, #SULP. I have selected Chinese Mandarin as the language I will study for the next 90 days. In my first week of the challenge I have decided to go back to the beginning (I have studied Mandarin in the past) and start with the tones.

In Chinese Mandarin it is really important to get the tones correct. A word such as 'ma' can have many meanings depending on the tone.

First Tone - mā (ma1)

Meaning mother. This first tone is high and flat. To help memorise it think of a doctor telling you to say "Aaah" When he looks down your throat!

Second Tone - má (ma2)

Meaning hemp. The second tone is rising. It is similar to when we ask a question.

Third Tone - mǎ (ma3)

Meaning horse. The third tone is low. It is referred to as the "falling-rising" tone or the "dipping" tone. The tone needs to start very low than rise. One way that helps me is to imagine a bouncy ball. Through it down and catch it on the way up.

Fourth Tone - mà (ma4)

Meaning scold. The fourth tone is falling. Think of it as an angry sounding tone or a tone of statement for example "No!". The 4th tone also tends to be shorter in duration than the other three tones.

Neutral Tone - ma

Just keep it short and light. Don't emphasize it.

For help with tones I recommend checking out Udemy. There are free language courses on there as well as paid. I recommend "Chinese Made Easy", which was a free course and also Mandarin "Say it Right" course by Chinese Pod. The courses by Chinese Pod cover tones in a lot of detail and are very easy to understand.

Do you have any tips or tricks for learning the Mandarin tones? Comment below or on social media.

 

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Pimsleur Chinese Mandarin

Learning Chinese Mandarin in 3 Months

DISCLOSURE: From time-to-time, this site may contain affiliate links and advertising. This means that I may get paid commission if you click on some of the links or buy a product. This will be at no extra cost to you. If anything due to the relationships I have established with my affiliates you might even save some money.  Money raised will go towards hosting this site, my blog and setting up language learning projects in my local communities and online.  All opinions are that of my own. I only recommend products and services that I personally use and also feel would be a valuable asset to other language learners.

Ready, Steady, Go - Week 0

你好

On the 1st May 2017, I was lucky enough to be invited to test pilot the Step Up Language Program, #SULP. I have selected Chinese Mandarin as the language I will study for the next 90 days. My goal is to study for 45 minutes, 6 days-per-week.

I have started Mandarin in the past and even managed to have short, very basic conversations with native speakers, but I am feeling terribly rusty. Having done 3 months of Spanish, followed by 28 days of Icelandic I feel like I need to retune myself for Chinese. I really do admire people who can switch quickly between languages.

Having successfully kick-started Icelandic with positive psychological techniques I intend to apply the same principle to Mandarin. This will also help with my independent research into positivity and language learning.

My Chinese name was given to me by my friend and Chinese Teacher Sun Tong. I clearly still have trouble trying to pronounce my own Chinese name!

但唐明 (Tong En Ming ) 

Tong ~ Family name. When introducing themselves Chinese people often start with the family name and then the given names. The surname comes from my original Chinese Teacher as a mark of respect.

En ~ Given names tend to have meanings in Chinese. En means kindness, mercy and charity.

Ming ~ In Chinese this name means bright, light, intelligence and clever.

90 Day Resource Plan

I dare say that my resource plan will be tweaked (a lot) during the next 90 days or so. I will be adding to this list so do check back or if you know of any other Mandarin resources please let me know.

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