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Baron

Free Chinese character learning course in London

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Baron

I noticed this writing course on the website of Meridian Dao (small private Chinese language school in London).  It's up to £45 to register, so not exactly free.

 

Apparently you got there for evening classes, and without homework or practice you can learn hundreds of characters, and there must be some mind-blowingly innovative methods because you can't take recording equipment in.

 

It also entirely conducted in English, so it's one for the noobs.

 

can someone go and tell us what strange methodologies you're subjected to?

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Nathan Mao

Parsing "Free Chinese character learning course":
Well, sure, the Chinese characters are free, but the course itself isn't.

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Baron

A programmer’s wife sends him to the grocery store with the instructions, “get a loaf of bread, and if they have eggs, get a dozen.” He comes home with a dozen loaves of bread.

 

Sounds eerily familiar?

 

The course is free, but there is a registration fee. Normally the fees for courses are £300+.

 

Would it make you happy if I changed the title?

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Nathan Mao

I wasn't making fun of you.

I apologize for any offense given.  I was just trying to make a cynical funny.

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Ruben von Zwack

I was going to suggest maybe they are using the method this lady on TED presented ("the character for sun looks like a window! and the character for moon like a window with curtains! and tree... etc") but you won't get to 800 that way. Anyway, maybe I'm overly suspicious, but where I live, when institutes offer courses 1. of general interest to the average, probably a bit clueless and not too academic newbie for 2. just a small registry fee, it's usually sects or psycho cults, so I'd be wary.

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GotJack

 Lol I'm always looking for shortcuts in learning Chinese. Constantly googling 'best way to learn Mandarin' or clicking on 'How to learn a foreign language in a month' . Although these articles can contain some useful info, and there are certainly smart ways to learn, one thing eveything boils down to is gut wrenchingly consistent hard work. You can't learn 1000 characters easily, you have to put your head down and study consistently for a period of time. If t were easy, everyone would be doing it..

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roddy

The guy does have a decent CV - I'd like to think you don't get to work at SOAS for 20 years without being at least a little bit good? But when I see words like revolutionary and unique banded around in the context of Chinese learning, my skeptic neurons start firing. 

 

I work it out at 18 characters per hour, with absolutely no listening or speaking, and presumably little if any grammar or actual vocab - is that particularly impressive? 

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tysond

Chinese language professors HATE HER!

Learn up to 18 characters an hour by using this ONE WEIRD TRICK discovered by a stay at home mom in Taipei

Chinese language exchange partners HATE HIM!

Cut down a bit of your foreign accent every day by using this 'weird' trick discovered by a farmer from Henan whose wife also stays at home.

Chinese dictionary publishers HATE him!

Memorize vocabulary effortlessly like a child using this WEIRD trick discovered by a Chongqing Chengguan on a handwritten note stuffed in the back of a book of Sichuan recipes given to him by his stay at home grandmother.

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Baron

@Nathan Mao - apology accepted. And I apologise for taking you for an internet pedant.

 

@Roddy He does have a good CV, and I found him to be a good teacher. He's very much the SOAS style professor. Some students say his revolutionary system for teaching grammar to beginners is overrated. Apparently it's just some mnemonic for learning word order.

 

I'd guess the course is not dissimilar to the TED lady as that seem the trend at the moment, but it would still be interesting to know. And it's probably still worth it for beginners.

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li3wei1

At the bottom of the web page, there are a bunch of statistics that seem to indicate that at the end of each class, the students could remember the characters they'd just been taught. Big deal. Remembering them six months later would be an achievement. Or am I not understanding something?

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Baron

How many courses do guarantee long term retention li3wei1?

 

I'm not advocating the course here, rather I'm advocating curiosity over knee-jerk dismissal. 

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li3wei1

I'm not sure that any courses can guarantee anything, but this one seems to be bragging about something that doesn't seem that remarkable.

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michaelS

I haven't ever done this course, but I took classes for a year at Meridian and it was excellent. All the teachers I had knew what they were doing and pushed you hard. It's definitely not a cult.

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