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I hope this is an acceptable place to ask these questions. If not please let me know a more suitable place to seek answers. Thanks!

I am American and have met a Chinese woman through a dating site. After many letters and a few phone calls hosted my the website, we exchanged personal email addresses to get off the dating site (it's terribly expensive). Her English skills are quite good. But the problem I'm having is getting through to her via email. She has a 126.com email address. I have a uga.edu address at the university where I work. My attempts to use my gmail account bounce back instantly. My attempts to send from my uga.edu account don't get through to her. I know that there are some types of access restrictions from US based .coms, but there is a great deal of confusing info on the Internet about this topic. 

Is there an alternative email service that will get through to her? I've tried signing up for a 126.com email account (they have a log-in for foreigners!), but the registration process uses a captcha with Chinese characters. I almost cried when I saw it. So close yet so far away! Quite ironic actually.  :)   What's a good email service that will pass the great firewall?

My other questions is to find what is the consensus among users here about the best approach to learning conversational Mandarin. Are programs like Rosetta Stone a good approach or are there better tools for this task?

Any help and advice anyone can give me is greatly appreciated!

Thank you

 

 

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Demonic_Duck

Re: emailing - I don't think there should be any problem sending mail from e.g. a normal gmail account to a 126 account, not sure what's happening there.

 

Re: Chinese CAPTCHAs - in the past people have been known to post them here, in the quick translations forum. You just have to hope someone replies before it times out.

 

Re: learning Chinese - well, you've come to the right place, take a look around (the search function will help you find more specific advice). The consensus on Rosetta Stone is that it's overpriced junk (disclaimer: I've never used it myself). Pimsleur often gets good reviews for a self-study course for beginners, though it only covers spoken language and not reading and writing.

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Shelley

I can not offer any help with your problem about emailing china, but if you post the captcha on this forum, people can help with that.

 

I would absolutely not use Rosetta stone if you are beginning to learn Chinese.

 

IMHO it is difficult to just learn conversational Chinese because it is an all encompassing thing. Learning about pinyin and characters will be of immense help even if you just want to be able to chat in Chinese.

 

There is a topic on this forum here http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/44745-what-does-it-cost-to-start-learning-chinese-well/

 

This has a lot of information about what learning materials to start with.

 

There is also a topic about the pros and cons of Rosetta Stone here: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/44498-what-is-your-experience-with-rosetta-stone-language-learning-software/

 

Hope this helps and Good luck

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Thank you for your help! This is tremendously helpful in moving forward with my studies. I had been warned that maybe Rosetta stone wasn't so great.

 

Thank you for your comments about the email problem as well. My girlfriend reports back to me that her attempts at sending me email at my uga.edu account also bounce back to her. It is very frustrating! Captchas are often difficult enough to see in English. These Chinese characters are literally unintelligible to me visually. I would need a Chinese character map that I could use with my qwerty keyboard. Thought about that problem long and hard to come up with a solution. Still thinking about it!

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ChTTay

Most of my friends use hotmail / outlook email addresses / accounts in China. They would all use gmail at home.

Try signing up for a hotmail or yahoo account and if you still have trouble then it's probably not your provider. You could also ask her to sign up with a hotmail or yahoo account.

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Shelley

"I would need a Chinese character map that I could use with my qwerty keyboard."

 

This is where Pin Yin comes in.  You can with a Chinese Input Method (IME ) input Chinese characters with a standard keyboard.

 

Windows has a Chinese IME built in. Have a read about it with the help files.

 

Type pinyin into Google and have a read.

 

"These Chinese characters are literally unintelligible to me visually."     You only need to cut and paste them here for a translation.

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There are four Chinese languages listed that I can add in the IME tool bar but none refer to Pin yin and it isn't listed as a language in the overall list. Do I want "Chinese-Simplified (PRC)?"

 

I appreciate your help with this!

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roddy

Welcome to the site. Say hello here, if you like. 

 

The easiest route here is to get your friend to sign up for an email address with an international provider that has good service in China. Yahoo or Microsoft are the obvious choices. I suspect if you sign up for 126.com you're going to spend half your life waiting for webmail to load.

 

Yes, that's the one you want. 

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Shelley

As roddy said Chinese-Simplified (PRC) is the one you want.

 

Pinyin  拼音   is the name of the romanization system that is one of the more popular ways of using the letters of English to represent the sounds of Chinese.

 

Glad to be of help.

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imron
Thought about that problem long and hard to come up with a solution. Still thinking about it!

Take a screenshot, crop it down to only contain the captcha, post it in the sub-forum mentioned above, someone will reply with the Chinese (hopefully), copy and paste their reply in to the text box.  Success!

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michaelS

Do people have trouble with gmail in China?

 

I have three different accounts which all are fine, use it on phone too, no problems (other than the regular problems I have accessing all sites, which is another matter)

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Mouseneb

Gmail works fine for me on my work computer, no VPN (in a Chinese government office). Signed up for gmail while in the US though, don't know if that makes any difference.

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ChTTay

Gmail is consistently terrible for me in Beijing at work and at home.

Get a Microsoft or yahoo account. The best solution.

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I'm not in China anymore, but when I was, Gmail sometimes worked just fine and at other times barely. It was never outright blocked, but it sometimes was close to unuseable.

 

OP, there are some good ideas already in this thread. In addition, consider Skype; and if you have a smartphone, consider getting WeChat (Weixin). There's a good chance she uses it, and it's a very convenient way of keeping in touch.

 

One other possible reason this problem exists, and please disregard if not applicable: the website you met the lady on will probably not be happy to see you stop using their expensive in-site messaging system. There are websites that simply hire women to meet men through the in-site system, and then have the women make up excuses why they have to keep using that system and can't switch to something free. I'm not saying that the woman you met is such a woman, because I know nothing about either you or her, so please feel free to dismiss this option if it doesn't apply to you & her, but keep it in mind if it may apply.

 

Good luck!

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Thank you Lu

I think that quite possibly many of the women who bombard me on this dating site are exactly what you say. Just a way to bait men who are really just looking for happiness. It's very frustrating. Cest la Vie!  

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  • 7 months later...
  • New Members

Hi Ric, I also have a Chinese gf or to be more exact a Chinese lady that I am now engaged too. We are teaching each other words. When she comes to the US she needs to speak English and I don't waste time trying to learn Chinese when it will not be used here. She isn't interested in me learning chinese only her learning English. We are both seasoned people me a bit older. If you want to chat I would like that. My address is on my profile

 

Larry

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If you want to chat I would like that. My address is on my profile

I can understand that some things are better suited for private discussion, but keep in mind that discussing things here on the forums will also be useful for future readers who come across this discussion (much like you did Larry).

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