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Laban

Flashcard app where you can type in answer in pinyin

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hejmeddig

I don't think it's worth learning Zhuyin just to impress in-laws. On Taiwanese forums such at ptt there are plenty of threads about this.

 

This thread has many Taiwanese discussing Pinyin vs. Zhuyin. 

 

Some translated snippets:

是拼音好很多 注音沒法往國外推廣 - Pinyin is much better, zhuyin has no chance of becoming popular with foreigners.

就給其他國人來學的話英文拼音方便很多 - For people from other countries, roman alphabet input (pinyin) is much better.

對外國人要學中文來說,漢語英文式拼音比較容易理解 - I think pinyin is easier to understand for people from other coutnries.

少為反中而反了 注音就個過時產品 不符合現在國際潮流 - Stop going against China for the sake of going against China, zhuyin is an aged input, not suitable for the current international flow.

 

Obviously there is the occasional:

為甚麼要用洋鬼子的東西學中文? - Why do you want to use those abnormal/freakish western letters to study Chinese?

 

But the overall consensus from my experience as well as threads like the above is that Taiwanese people understand that Pinyin is more conducive to foreigners learning Chinese. I do not think your in-laws will hold it against you for learning pinyin. I have had a teacher from Taiwan and she would explain everything with Pinyin.

 

That being said, they obviously have the same sound mapping, there are more Zhuyin symbols than pinyin so you use more of the keyboard. After learning one system, it would not be hard to learn the other.

 

Sorry to derail even further from the original topic. As far as the original topic goes, my opinion is that listening to an audio sample and typing in the corresponding pinyin is OK to learn the method and the sounds. After this, try to use pinyin answers as scarcely as possible, and get used to typing in answers with the Chinese characters.

 

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Laban
7 hours ago, imron said:

Many Taiwanese people have an aversion to pinyin. 

Actually many years ago when I first took a stab at learning Chinese I did use the "bopomofo" system (per my wife's recommendation; she felt it was better).  However there are hardly any learning resources available for westerners that use bopomofo.  This time around my wife actually asked me to find her a good pinyin chart online so that she can learn it too (which I did), so things have changed a bit... 

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Lu

英文拼音...漢語英文式拼音... Yeah, there are only two languages in the world, English and Chinese...

22 minutes ago, hejmeddig said:

Taiwanese people understand that Pinyin is more conducive to foreigners learning Chinese

No, they believe that pinyin is more conductive to foreigners learning Chinese. I would guess that most of the posters in that discussion don't actually know many foreigners learning Chinese. At the same time, they usually also have little clue as to what Hanyu Pinyin actually is (it's not quite 'writing Chinese with English letters', and it wasn't invented by westerners either (洋鬼子的東西)).

 

/rant

 

Zhuyin Fuhao is a good system. Hanyu Pinyin is a good system. Pick the one that has a textbook and/or a teacher that agrees with you. Hanyu Pinyin is more widely used, but Zhuyin Fuhao is more widely used among Taiwanese people. If you've learned one, the other one is not difficult to learn. In the end, perhaps it's a lot like the 'should I learn simplified or traditional' question.

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hejmeddig

Yes, there is plenty of ignorance in the thread. There are many people who think the west speaks only English. Many Chinese people I've met are surprised when I tell them Danish people speak Danish.

 

That aside, for me, having a background with the input system helped a lot with learning the sound system from a personal anecdotal experience. Obviously I am not representative of everyone. Zhuyin is just as fine, but it means having to learn 37 symbols before you can even use an input method. I think that the learning curve at the beginning of Chinese is already incredibly high, and learning extra input symbols just makes that curve steeper. That being said, in the end game, it's just an input method. Both are able to write Chinese and map to the same sounds. My point is the familiarity with the input symbols makes it slightly easier since it saves you from learning 37 symbols and the associated sounds.

 

I agree both systems are good, especially if the person is familiar with the Chinese language. The only reason why I think a beginner may prefer pinyin is due to a lower barrier of entry at the start.

 

 

 

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imron

I personally prefer pinyin, but there are 2 advantages I think that zhuyinfuhao has over pinyin.  One is that it works much better as ruby text.  I find pinyin annotations to Chinese text to be incredibly distracting and dislike reading anything that has them.  I have no such problem with zhuyinfuhao annotations on Chinese text.

 

The second is that zhuyinfuhao makes it more obvious that certain sounds are the same sound e.g. ’wei and -ui‘, ’you and -iu‘ and so on.  It's not a huge problem for pinyin, it's just that with zhuyinfuhao this is always explicitly clear, whereas with pinyin you need to be taught that they are the same and it might not be immediately obvious.

 

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mikelove

@Laban - thanks! We aren't talking release dates yet, but when the beta's ready we'll let everyone know via social media / mailing list and probably also an announcement post here.

 

Allowing tone number input anywhere is a possibility but again we do get into that segmentation problem if you're not also entering apostrophes; I suppose we could match against any possible segmentation + score you correct regardless of whether the card is actually xiàn+àn or xià+nàn, but would have to play around with how this works in practice.

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trevorld
1 hour ago, imron said:

The second is that zhuyinfuhao makes it more obvious that certain sounds are the same sound e.g. ’wei and -ui‘, ’you and -iu‘ and so on.  It's not a huge problem for pinyin, it's just that with zhuyinfuhao this is always explicitly clear, whereas with pinyin you need to be taught that they are the same and it might not be immediately obvious.

 

Not that pinyin is any better for this and probably not a big problem for the (mainly Taiwanese) books zhuyin is used in but zhuyin (not surprisingly for something invented in 1910's for a government based in south China) usually doesn't make it terribly obvious which erhua sounds are the same i.e. Mandarin IPA [aɚ̯] can be spelled in Zhuyin as ㄦ, ㄚㄦ, ㄞㄦ, and ㄢㄦ (compare with similarly unhelpful pinyin 'er, -ar, -air, -anr).  Also a little annoying that Zhuyin ㄛ (and the Pinyin -o) has two different pronunciations depending on what initial comes before it i.e. contrast  [ɔ]=o=ㄛ, [lɔ]=lo=ㄌㄛ, and [jɔ]=yo=ㄧㄛ with [pʰwo]=po=ㄆㄛ and [fwo]=fo=ㄈㄛ.

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Lu
14 hours ago, trevorld said:

zhuyin usually doesn't make it terribly obvious which erhua sounds are the same i.e. Mandarin IPA [aɚ̯] can be spelled in Zhuyin as ㄦ, ㄚㄦ, ㄞㄦ, and ㄢㄦ (compare with similarly unhelpful pinyin 'er, -ar, -air, -anr).

That might be a feature rather than a bug, much as tone sandhi aren't written out (nǐ hǎo not ní hǎo).

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Yadang
On 7/10/2017 at 10:39 PM, Laban said:
On 7/10/2017 at 10:25 PM, Yadang said:

Another thing you could try (with both words and sentences) if you have native audio for what you're trying to learn, is recording yourself and comparing it to the native audio, and repeating until you get your pronunciation as close as you can to that of the native speaker's. It's not fun, but it's very effective. Anki has a feature that makes this very seamless, because you can record yourself and play it back on anki.

I did not know Anki could do this - I will definitely try it out!  

 

It's especially fast if you use the shortcuts:

 

R: replays the native audio

SHIFT + V: records your own audio

V: plays back your recorded audio

 

So you can just record, listen, compare and repeat (recording writes over your previous recording each time)

 

 

However, just hearing the words / phrases and repeating them, etc. using flash cards and similar apps does not work very well for me - it is hard to make it stick (think Teflon...).  However by writing it in pinyin in addition to hearing it, etc., it sticks quicker.

 

sorry, I hadn't seen this when I replied. When you say you've been repeating the words, are you just repeating the single word, or the whole sentence? I found great effectiveness with doing what I previously mentioned (recording, comparing, re-recording, etc.), but that was repeating the whole sentence. 

 

Also, I think you might get better at this as you learn more... I think it was much harder for me to learn words (they didn't stick as well, as you describe), than now. Perhaps our brains just get more used to hearing Chinese and so it's easier to remember?

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Laban

@Yadang

 

10 hours ago, Yadang said:

It's especially fast if you use the shortcuts:

 

R: replays the native audio

SHIFT + V: records your own audio

V: plays back your recorded audio

That helps!  Using the menu is too awkward!

 

10 hours ago, Yadang said:

When you say you've been repeating the words, are you just repeating the single word, or the whole sentence?

I usually repeat whatever is on the flash card (word or phrase).  If I have trouble with a specific word in a sentence I work on that word bit extra.  If there is no pinyin input in the flash cards app and I keep forgetting the word / phrase, I sometimes write it out in pinyin using pen & paper (or in a notepad app) a few times as well and it really helps for me.

 

 

 

 

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