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    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. 
roddy

Why Chinese?

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trinifinn

My mother's family emigrated from Guangdong 150 years ago (according to ship records), and I would say there is very little trace of Chinese heritage after 3-4 generations. My mother took a Chinese course in the 1960s during the Mao rage, so we had some textbooks on the bookshelf. I can't remember why exactly I started studying them and characters as a teenager, but I diverted to Japanese in university, but kept dabbling until a mid-career break with full-time study program in China.  

After learning various other languages Chinese is a great add on, now ranks in 5-6th place with German. (perhaps rather detached connection there -  always infuriates my wife :)

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Hilde-07

I started learning Chinese for fun, but in my first year we had a very good teacher and studying Chinese became a passion. So now I want to learn it very well and maybe next year I can visit Beijing.

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ric

Thank you Roddy for the welcome and the help with understanding what I need to do. I came to this site because I wanted to start learning some conversational Chinese. I'm "online dating" a lady in China, who fortunately, speaks English pretty well. I have had a life long fascination with Chinese culture and cuisine. So much so that I decided to see if I could find a Chinese wife after divorcing a few years ago here in the US. I definitely want to visit China this year and I don't want to be just another uneducated American tourist.

I also believe very strongly in the idea of keeping your brain well exercised to maintain a sharp mind and intellect. It certainly can't hurt!

Thanks again for your help, I look forward to learning something new!

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pokey

ric, I used to work and live in Atlanta, Georgia.  I quit my job, but the company head-hunted me back and took me over to China.  They offered foreign employees the chance to study Chinese several hours a week with a company provided teacher.  I can't imagine living there without learning it, there's something to going into a food shop where they don't speak English and being able to order the same food locals do.  Or having a basic understanding with some friendly local who approaches you and who can't speak English, yet is willing to work with your basic Mandarin.

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JohnLe

I work for a multinational company and we opened a branch in Shanghai 5 years ago. I helped trained many of my Chinese coworkers and we have became closed friends. I will travel to Shanghai next year so I want to speak Chinese to suprise my coworkers. Currently I live in the US but I grew up in Vietnam. When I was younger, I read [in Vietnamese] many Chinese classics such as Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, and of course many kungfu fictions like Condor Heroes and Adventures of ChorLeuHeung so I have a good understanding of Chinese culture and customs. I drive more than an hour to work so I thought why not spend my time learning Chinese and my ultimate goal is to be able to watch Chinese movies without English caption or Vietnamese dubbed. Currently I am using Pimsleur CDs and at level II right now. I am also taking an extension class at a local college and I hope to finish all three classes offered there. The pronunciation of Chinese is not too bad for me because Vietnamese is also a tonal language. My American classmates have difficulties with the tones. However, I have a real hardtime with memorizing the characters. I wished China has replaced the characters with Pinyin similiar to what Vietnamese have done with romanizing our writing. I am also happy to discovered that I already "know" a few Chinese words because they sound almost the same in Vietnamese. I guess we borrowed these words from China.

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the

People always ask me this but honestly I have no idea. I typically respond with "So I can speak with you!" but there's no real reason.

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traunk

Hi! I have been lurking for a little while now. I figured it was about time I get an account and participate.

 

Like some of you I started learning because of a girl.

 

I dated a Taiwanese girl for about two years before I even considered learning more than 我爱你. Then in 2003 she took me back home to meet the folks. I picked up a little bit from exposure there, and figured I could come back next time and have a real conversation with them.

 

I failed repeatedly at learning for a long time. In 2006 we started making friends who were from Mainland. Our cultural differences started to interest me. My why changed to "I want to learn Chinese so I can learn more about Chinese people."

 

Now that I have learned a little about a lot of Chinese culture and history, I am even more interesting in the language, for that reason, but I also want to be able to communicate with my friends in their native language, and participate in things like karaoke, story telling, and games that require me to speak some Chinese.

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smcullen

I am also a long-time lurker. I generally feel that I have more to learn than I have to contribute. being a rookie Chinese learner.  I have loved Chinese history & culture since I was in school.  I am older now  and have raised my kids.  I learned French in school and began learning Spanish about 7 years ago. Now that I have a little more freedom I want to pursue something I've always wanted - to learn Mandarin and written Chinese.  

 

I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've learned so far and this has spurred me on to broaden my understanding.  I recently decided to plan a trip to China in about 2 years time.   If I had known learning a language was this much fun I would have invested time in it years ago.

 

And I have discovered that I really like the Chinese people I have met. They are so positive when they discover that I'm learning Mandarin. this spurs me forward and gives me a sense of duty to not let them down.

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roddy

Good to see some newcomers introducing yourselves, hope you're all finding the site useful.

 

"I generally feel that I have more to learn than I have to contribute, being a rookie Chinese learner."

While I understand the sentiment, rookie Chinese learners are vital to this site, and while you might not be solving tough grammar problems or recommending native-level resources, you've still got plenty to contribute. Most of all, your questions. See my response to Melanie - another relative rookie. 

 

Anyone else not yet posted?

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Silent

 

From what I have read, many people on this forum seem to already be quite proficient in Chinese, having learnt it in high school or in China. Am I the only one who is yet to learn it but is intending to?

I guess most people start looking for resources only the moment they start learning Chinese or afterwards. Consequently most people here will have at least some Chinese. This does not mean that they're all proficient. My impression is that levels strongly vary from absolute beginner to highly proficient and even some native speakers.

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Demonic_Duck

Re: "I generally feel that I have more to learn than I have to contribute, being a rookie Chinese learner", I think a lot of us felt that way when we first joined. When I first found this forum, I certainly felt my level was at the extreme lower end of regular posters. Now, I'd say I'm around mid-range, and certainly have constructive things to add to a wide variety of discussions.

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smcullen

Good point. I'll try to keep this point of view in mind.

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roddy

More newcomers, excellent. A warm welcome from all of us (I'm sure someone else will welcome you too....they're just a bit shy...)

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Johnny20270

I think what interests me about the language is the country and the people. I always find China to be a crazy place and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I seem to go from amazement to flabbergasted at some of the colorful characters you find there. Beijing is a unique city and no doubt has spirit. I see it as the type of place that keeps me young yet would kill me at the same time. 

 

If you think about it, its not the normal people, the unassuming nor the conventional people that you ever remember in life. :)

 

I just came back from 2 weeks in Korea I wanted to like it. Its clean, nice, modern, advanced, polite but just seems to be missing that spark or that umph!  

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Demonic_Duck
Beijing is a unique city and no doubt has spirit.

Four of them, actually: patriotism, innovation, inclusiveness, virtue (爱国、创新、包容、厚德).

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