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AdamD

Tips for studying Chinese in Melbourne, Australia

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tysond

Last time i checked, SBS Radio has podcasts in Chinese too, and I notice a lot of Melbourne based Chinese people calling in to discuss important issues like how hard it is to park near the universities. They also translate and discuss news articles, but I like the parking stories best.

 

Melbourne is my home town and it's kind of exciting how useful it was to speak Chinese on my last trip home at Xmas.  Many shops that my parents go to are now run by Chinese people, the streets are full of tourists, students and others chattering away in Chinese.  Same is true in Sydney CBD and even in Brisbane airport (didn't go downtown).   My friend who has come back to Melbourne to study after 10 years in China is amused that both the lecturer and most of the students are Chinese. 

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imron
China Books (Level 2, 234 Swanston St, near the corner of Lt Bourke St) is probably the biggest and best in Melbourne.

I really like China Books too.  They're my go to bookshop for picking up Chinese books in Melbourne.

 

too_ironic used to organise language exchanges also.  Not sure if he still does that.

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AdamD
Last time i checked, SBS Radio has podcasts in Chinese too, and I notice a lot of Melbourne based Chinese people calling in to discuss important issues

 

I didn't know the SBS radio shows/podcasts had Melbourne content. Are they produced in the Fed Square building?

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AdamD

 

I really like China Books too.  They're my go to bookshop for picking up Chinese books in Melbourne.

 

It felt silly to mention it here, but I still know a lot of Chinese learners who have no idea that it exists. The people who work there are really obliging and helpful.

 

too_ironic used to organise language exchanges also.  Not sure if he still does that.

 

haha, I just realised I know too_ironic. Hi, too_ironic.

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tysond

http://www.sbs.com.au/podcasts/yourlanguage/mandarin/in/english

No transcripts unfortunately.

 

No idea where they record it, just that I've heard people on the talkback segments calling in from Melbourne, talking about Melbourne issues.

It's actually much more accessible to listen to real Chinese people talking about issues in your city/country, because the names are familiar and the culture is not too different so you can focus on the language.  Because it's talkback you get a range of accents dialing in.

 

Hard to believe there is a Xinhua in Melbourne.  Next you'll be able to buy jianbing.

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imron

There's also a dedicated Chinese radio station - 3CW - I've never listened to it, but I remember seeing the ads all over the trams when they were starting it up.

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tooironic

Thanks for posting this Adam! Melbourne is indeed one of the best places outside of China to learn Chinese. Think of me as a case study - I managed to reach fluency in Mandarin here, and much of that was due to having a Chinese-speaking environment made up largely by friends I made here. There are Mandarin speakers everywhere, of which many are more than willing to speak English to Chinese learners.

 

I also thoroughly recommend Language Connection as a starting point for Chinese learners. At the moment they are running at least 3 exchanges per week. They generally have a Chinese, Japanese and Korean table. Turnout numbers are generally very good, with the English-native-speaker-non-native ratio fluctuating depending on the day. The main thing to keep in mind however is that being proactive is the key - if you want to learn, you need to interact with the people you meet. Prepare something before each meet-up, ask questions. No one is going to force you to do anything as the atmosphere is very relaxed, nothing at all like a classroom and more like an informal chat group.

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AdamD
The main thing to keep in mind however is that being proactive is the key - if you want to learn, you need to interact with the people you meet.

 

This is absolutely spot on. As with most things that are worth doing, it's exactly as beneficial as you want it to be. It's quite normal to see people frantically writing notes and pulling out wads of textbooks; it's equally normal to see people leaning back and just chatting in multiple languages.

 

If you're having an off day, helping others is hugely rewarding. Whenever I turn up feeling drained and completely useless, I help Chinese speakers with English; inevitably we become friends and they're keen to reciprocate in the following weeks.

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Nhung Nguyen

Does anyone studying Chinese need more students for your group? I'm currently seeking a Chinese group tuition however there is no available group tuition as student prefer studying one by one. I have studied Chinese more than one year when I was in my hometown so anyone studying Chinese at university want to study further can join with me so we can find tutor.

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Nhung Nguyen

does anyone study Chinese at Confucious institute of Uni Melbourne? I'm just reluctant about studying there? And one question that should I study Chinese once a week here or should I stop studying like that or just study Chinese when I arrive China,

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AdamD

It's very worthwhile studying in Melbourne, unless you're planning to study in China really soon.

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Nhung Nguyen

can you recommend any institute or do you know anywhere offer more than one session per week? Because I want to motivate my studying and onece a week may not enough to encourage me. I have studied a couple of months at JIC and it doesn't work at all. My plan to going to China is very far away but I really want to study now because maybe later I'm not interested in studying anymore

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