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Studying tones HALP!


Robert Ekberg

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Yesterday i came a across a blog about learning chinese. I found his blog on a ploygots blog. Have anyone seen this before or tried this kind of method his describing? But not using Anki? how can it be good? I'm having problem with the tones and trying to find a good metod of learning them.

http://www.foreveras...w-to-speak.html

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Read this. Then add in any actual questions you have. The site you link to looks like a collection of basically common sense ideas, nothing to do with learning tones specifically. Not that I read it very carefully.

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There is some good, general, advice in there about how to approach language learning in general. The only two problems I had was he said that he stopped concentrating on tones all together and his rather disregard of characters (and subsequently grammar, of which he makes no mention of). Especially in the beginning you should focus on tones, but after a year of speaking Chinese very well in China, then I'm not sure. If you aren't in a Chinese speaking area, then much of the advice might not be very helpful since it assumes a very high amount of interaction with native speakers on a daily level. Even before you got there, he said "I tried to be able to understand as much of the Chinese pod intermediate podcasts as possible before coming to Taiwan. I pause-rewinded them looking up every unknown word by trying to guess it's pronunciation in a dictionary over and over again and listened to them over and over again until I could understand them at natural speed word by word." People who learn languages the fastest tend to be those who love to talk.

But I wonder if his speech is as good as OneEye's now.

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But I wonder if his speech is as good as OneEye's now.

Huh?

I've heard from a reliable source that his Chinese is very good, but I haven't met him or heard him talk. I don't know what that has to do with me though, or how I could possibly be any sort of standard to measure by.

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True, I haven't met either of you too. I'm just curious as to how the two approaches, which seem to be on opposite ends, compare against each other.

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Anyway on his page is a sound clip where you can hear him speak 11 languages. I cant judge how good he can speak them since i dont know any of the languages, except some chinese.

His Chinese is pretty good, not perfect and not an extremely high level, but not bad at all. And a with a nice Taiwanese accent :-)

His German is also decent, he probably makes some mistakes but I don't think he'll have a problem saying anything he'd like to say in that language.

He speaks some French but it's not great, he's very hesitant, needs to think a lot about grammar etc.

Even considering that French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are closely related and once you know one, you're already well on your way of knowing the other, it's still impressive. And I say this as someone who at one point or the other has been 'fluent' in five different languages.

He seems to be very good at mimicking accents and melody of speech, and seems to have been able to just pick up the tones from lots of listening and repeating. Good for him, but I wouldn't recommend this approach, most people will not hear the tones and end up with toneless Chinese.

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I think my problem is more, saying the tone, than knowing the tone in my head. If i see a characters i know most of the ones ive learned, but saying them is a different story, i mean the tone is right in my head but not when im speaking.

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