Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Juju

How do I continue studying hanzi?

Recommended Posts

Juju

I have studied Japanese for the last 10 years. Now, I am learning Chinese (Mandarin). I really do not mind hanzi because I have experience in kanji already. I love hanzi!!

Anyway, my goal is to be literate in Chinese. However, I find that written Chinese has grammatical stuff that Japanese does not have and makes use of certain characters that Japanese does not (such as modifiers, some measure words, etc).

I have a pipa textbook, I would love to be able to read it.

I dont know what else to do. I asked my friends if they could write to me in Chinese on facebook to help me. I can read the hanzi (somewhat) but I am unable to respond because of grammar.

Im tired of studying single characters. I want to know how to they function in compounds especially. Should I just dive into attempting to read simple stuff and deciphering the texts and then go from there? In that case, I will be learning new characters and compounds as well.

Please help :help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Gharial

It sounds like you are procrastinating a bit (we all do it) and expecting to simply pick a lot of stuff up by sheer osmosis, by dint of knowing a bit (well, OK, ten years' worth!) of Japanese already. (I'm sure you'll be able to recognize similar signs or notices, draw [though never be able to quite depend] upon a fair number of on-yomi, etc, but still...all that isn't exactly the spoken Chinese language system as such).

Unfortunately this Osmotic Approach ™ will however be a rather slow, and ultimately probably quite unsuccessful way to learn (certainly in the beginning at least), so I suggest simply getting "stuck in" to a good textbook (I've never heard of the Pipa book by the way, what's it like? I Googled it, but to no avail...perhaps I should search the forums though), and getting a good dictionary or two (the Oxford Beginner's by Yuan & Church, and/or then the ABC ECCE, which will be useful in that it uses the same traditional 214-radical [i.e. Kangxi] system as most kanji dictionaries, but also caters for and includes simplified hanzi and their look-ups; review here: http://www.chinese-f...924#comment-237924 ), and perhaps a supplementary grammar book too (Ross's ones, or Yip & Rimmington's range, seem the most popular if not dependable, though there are others mentioned in the following thread: http://www.chinese-f...767#comment-237767 ). In the event that the Pipa textbook isn't up to scratch, something like Scurfield's Teach Yourself Chinese/Complete Mandarin Chinese course would provide a pretty good start.

Or you can search for and try all the free podcasts, lessons, and resources available online (and there are quite a few CF threads listing these things). Here is some of the stuff that I'm more familiar with for starters:

Dictionaries: nciku, mdbg, zhongwen.com, smarthanzi.net, yellowbridge

http://chinesepod.co...s/pronunciation

http://ocw.mit.edu/c...-2006/readings/

http://webcache.goog...2520chinese.htm

Incidentally, two resources that you could find quite interesting and useful given your learning background are the 講談社パックス 日英中3ヵ国語辞典, and DHC's 中国話会話さのひとこと辞典 (Dictionary of Chinese for Unexpected Situations). Each is around 3,000 yen.

Anyway, stop dawdling and just get on with it!!! (It = Learning something). :twisted::lol::wink::)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anonymoose
I find that written Chinese has grammatical stuff that Japanese does not have and makes use of certain characters that Japanese does not

That is to be expected. I mean, if they both had the same grammar, and used the same characters, then they would be the same language. Otherwise it's like saying, well now that I know the 26 letters used to write English, I should automatically be able to read French.

Sounds like what you need first is a grammar book to teach you the structure of the language. Knowledge of kanji will be of help in memorising Chinese characters, but I think that's about as far as you can rely on your Japanese. In other respects, you will just have to treat it like learning any other language from scratch.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Juju

@Gharial: The Pipa book is called 少年儿童琵琶教教程 The author is: 闵季骞 (Please excuse me for the simplified writing). This book, I brought from my teacher when I went for lessons. However, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.cn/%E5%B0%91%E5%B9%B4%E5%84%BF%E7%AB%A5%E7%90%B5%E7%90%B6%E6%95%99%E7%A8%8B-%E9%97%B5%E5%AD%A3%E9%AA%9E/dp/B001JTHU6S

If you search 琵琶教教程 on youku or tudou, you can find lots of tutorial videos (I recommend on youku). Or you can type in 琵琶入門 (you can search for it in the simplified script too..sorry but it's much easier for me to type in traditional)

And yes, I am procrastinating a lot :lol: It's just that, I am very enthusiastic that I dont know where to start. Thanks for the links!! What I like to do is watch clips of Beijing Opera with Chinese subtitles and try to read them (it works..kind of) but either way, I end up enjoying the music.

@Anonymoose: OMG YES! You read my mind!!! I am in desperate need of grammar books. Do you recommend any? Studying grammar is how I best learn languages. In the case of Mandarin, the Chinese grammar seems very fascinating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Areckx

For a split second I thought this was a post I wrote! You're in the same situation as I'm in. Same time, same presumptions.

Treat it the same way you started Japanese; like you don't know anything. Build a solid understanding of the spoken language and the written language just starts to make sense.

I've also found that treating Chinese like some sort of abbreviation, indexing system for kanji seems to work for me. For example, in my mind I try to think of Chinese like a constant kanji review program, and my Japanese study benefits from it.

So you can see that while using Japanese as a crutch can hurt you, using Chinese as a crutch may prove to help you.

I just see both languages and cultures as completely connected, though unique at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Juju

Thanks for your advice Areckx! Yeah, I can definitely see where it is hurting my learning. It's like you and I were thinking the same thing, also looking at the situation like a kanji review program. Although, we must really becareful because sometimes the kanji does not have the same meanings. Thanks for your advice! ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bande

How many kanji do you know? Could you work through a japanese textbook for learning Chinese? If you can, then that option may be the best for you, otherwise you should just pick one of the standard textbooks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gharial

Hmm, from what you've now said and a quick check of the links you've given, Juju, your pipa ("Pipa" LOL) book really does seem to be more of a music textbook designed for Chinese schoolkids. (Sorry, I misunderstood it to be some sort of language-learning textbook title when you first mentioned it!).

Now I know you've said you have an interest in the pipa, Peking opera etc, but you really do need to get an actual language textbook ASAP, that's written in English (or whatever your preferred explanatory language might be - perhaps even Japanese, as Bande has suggested), and that's designed for adult learners wanting to learn the basics of Chinese grammar etc swiftly and efficiently.

But by all means supplement the language lessons with some cultural stuff once you've got the linguistic basics halfway learnt!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Juju

@bande: I dont really know how many characters I know >_< But I could try that. I know Japanese and Chinese are completely different languages but sometimes, some concepts in Japanese help me a lot in Chinese because it may be difficult to comprehend in English.

@Gharial: Yes, the pipa book is more schoolkids. However, it was given to me by my teacher since I was learning from her, As I am a beginner to the instrument.

Now I understand you. It would be easier if I go with books for adult learners. However, there are so many out there that I do not know which ones to purchase >_<"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
navaburo

Juju,

Your knowledge of Kanji and of Japanese in general are a great asset to you. However, you need to correct a strong knowledge imbalance.

I recommend using audio/pinyin format learning material for a few months. Use audio CDs, lesson books with pinyin-only, and any materials that have ZERO characters in them. In short, give yourself an injection of spoken Mandarin. Once you have internalized pinyin, and you have gotten to the point where you can string thoughts together in spoken Mandarin, you can go back to character materials. You should find that it will be not only easier to read, but that your progress towards litteracy will be faster. This will work because if you can speak a language, then you know the grammar intuitively. Furthermore, in order to be litterate (rather than just good at de-coding), you need this intuitive understanding.

Best of luck,

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Areckx

そんな、中国語の言う方もう簡単なかったけれど、その日本語で、もう便利かな…

jujuさんがぼくは日本語の言う方と書き事、とっても違うから、中国語ので、もうちょっと似てるなの…

もうー〜ー! よろしくお願いします!

你好 、大家好那! 中文的話大說嗎那!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gharial

The textbooks/courses I'm most familiar with are those published in the UK (as that's where I'm from), such as Colloquial Chinese (note however the far superior original course by T'ung & Pollard, not the inferior later version by Kan Qian), Teach Yourself Chinese, and Chinese in 3 Months, though I did complete PCR (Practical Chinese Reader) I & II as part of a PG dip prior to living in Shanghai for a few years, so I'm also reasonably familiar with the style of books produced in mainland China.

I'm not sure (picking up on what Navaburo has said) that you absolutely need to avoid books that introduce characters almost from the start, but it is a fact that the main weakness of such (mainland) books is that their grammar explanations are often inadequate, as if the space devoted to characters has squeezed out what could've been more useful stuff to learn at the very beginning (better pronunciation, more spoken vocab and phrases, more in-depth grammar, etc etc).

My advice then would be to try to get one of the UK-published courses I've mentioned (more details here: http://www.chinese-f...post__p__252902 ), but as those may be too expensive or difficult for you to obtain in China, you could always get started with something like NPCR and then at some point (though preferably sooner rather than too much later!) supplement it with one or more of the grammar books mentioned in the link I posted previously ( http://www.chinese-f...767#comment-237767 ). And don't forget (like I've also said already) to consider investing in a good dictionary or two such as that Oxford Beginner's and/or ABC ECCE (both of these provide full Pinyin for their examples, unlike e.g. the "little red" Oxford/CP Concise (精选英汉汉英词典)).

Once you've learnt the spoken basics, and are moving on to Chinese characters in earnest, a copy of the bilingualized (C-C-E) version of the famous yet inexpensive Xinhua Zidian (character dictionary) will prove pretty useful, but for learning stroke orders in particular, the recent Macmillan-FLTRP CCD (review here: http://www.chinese-f...__fromsearch__1 ) might also be worth getting (that, or [possibly the traditional-character version of] McNaughton's Reading & Writing Chinese); then, there is an excellent Character Text still available for the original Colloquial Chinese course (and if you get the traditional-character version, it also even provides stroke-order breakdowns for the simplified versions of the characters). (I keep recommending primarily traditional stroke-order versions even when in mainland China because the traditional versions are obviously more complex, and therefore are likely to be what one most often needs stroke-order guidance for, yet there are very few or zero online animations for traditional (as opposed to simplified, obviously - see e.g. nciku)).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WestTexas

This book might be too high level for a beginner, but right now I'm working through Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar. As one might expect it is much more thorough than other grammar books (MUCH more thorough). I feel like a lot of the grammar books out there (ie, every single one except this one) teach you how to say a few things and might enable you to understand well enough, but aren't sufficiently thorough about the generative rules of the language to enable you to create completely correct sentences. For example, last night I went through chapter 7, using time phrases with action verbs. 13 pages just on this. It gives very specific rules about where to put duration expressions and other time phrases in sentences. While this book is probably a bit much for someone who is an absolute beginner or someone who is not serious about the language, personally I wish I had discovered it years ago. If I had, I would be using correct grammar now, instead of possibly fossilizing the half-wrong grammar I got from other, inferior books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gharial

Although that book may be a bit much for a complete beginner, WestTexas, I'd agree that it's a very worthwhile investment, and it would probably save money in the long run (compared to e.g. first getting any of the less in-depth titles that the authors Yip & Rimmington have also had published by Routledge, namely their Essential grammar, and Basic and Intermediate grammar-workbooks).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Areckx

@westtexas

Where would be the cheapest place to get a copy of this text?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...