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Understanding Chinese


sogz7

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I think that's an overestimate. Teenager in question is only going to have to learn to understand enough to offer one of three standard responses:

"alright"

"nowhere"

and

"I hate you!"

As long as he / she can comprehend enough to identify general inquires, requests for information on recent or upcoming locations, and instructions to tidy up or take out the trash we should be fine. I think it'll take two months.

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Good point, roddy. I was thinking fluent listening. Teenage listening would be a different matter entirely.

Edit: Of course, then you have to consider the amount of comprehensible input a teenager receives. Between the iPod, the cell phone, and the general tuning-out, it may actually take 13 months to have enough input to understand anything.

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I'll try for a more serious answer, if no one else does.

If the mom in question would just start out speaking a lot of Mandarin to the kid, it might take a very long time indeed for the kid to make sense of it.

But perhaps mom could slowly build it up, start out with Dinner's ready and How was school ('alright' is 還好), and gradually work to more complicated stuff.

If mom would speak Mandarin to the non-Mandarin speaking teenager all day, that would quickly kill off most, if not all, communication, so I'd suggest not starting it like that.

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Why don't you want to learn to speak? I think if you tried to learn to speak, the whole process might even be faster than just trying to learn to understand (because you'll have opportunities to practice that will reinforce what you heard before).

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