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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/13/2019 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    No, 展 originally meant "to toss and turn while falling asleep," which is why it contains the 尸 component. Component, not radical, because we're not discussing dictionary lookup here. No, and this is incorrect on a few levels. For one thing, you can't look at the modern meaning when trying to figure out why a character contains a certain component. You have to look at the meaning the character was originally created to express. For example, 局 contains 尸 (a squatting person) because it originally meant "bent". The modern meaning "office" is a sound loan meaning (假借義), so 尸 here is "person" as usual and has nothing to do with "building." You also have to look at the original form, not just the original meaning, in order to know why a component is there. For example, the 尸 in 层 is a corruption (訛變) of 户. The 尸 in 屋 was originally a different component (which doesn't exist in unicode so I can't type it here) depicting a tent. The 尸 in 履 is a corruption of 眉. So in all of these characters, 尸 is not "person," but it certainly isn't "building" either (in fact, it's never "building"). So you're making connections that aren't actually there, because you're only looking at the modern meaning and form of the characters. Connections like this: That's not what's actually going on with these characters. It just seems that way because you're looking at the surface, and not tracing the development in form and meaning over time. While this part of your post comes across a bit condescending, it is true that we don't always have enough evidence to know why some characters contain the components they contain. But in this case, we do have enough, and we certainly have enough to know that 尸 doesn't mean "building" or "shoes."
  2. 3 points
    This is precisely why we have to spend much more time listening. And it’s not going to happen in a class with a teacher unless you are spending a few hours daily with the teacher(s). Once I realised this, I now spend more than 80% of my chinese time on repeated listening to sentences. It’s pretty mundane work and I am still not great at it. I listen first then match the sounds. Not read first, then try to work out the sounds. I do this precisely because I used to do what you are doing.
  3. 3 points
    And certainly doesn't prepare you for daily conversation in China . Words like 微信,支付宝 or anything related to apps (滴滴, 摩拜,抖音 ) don't appear which are hugely popular in modern Chinese society . Names of dishes don't feature much either. I seem to get asked daily 你今晚吃什么。 Naturally I wouldn't expect a language test to cover these topics ,nor HSK syllabus to include such words however it's more just to highlight that even if you flew past HSK 6 you could still struggle with everyday chit chat here in China. Although it wouldn't take long to get familiar with these popular conversations. Solely focusing on HSK tests and you're like a granny listening in on a millennial talking to their friends. She understands the language but no clue what they are on about. First year of studying Chinese I didn't hardly ventured outside , just stayed at home studying hard. A year later I could barely communicate. Decided that the text books were taking a back seat and I needed to actually talk to people.
  4. 1 point
    It is not written in a friendly recognizable way. I could only identify the first character for sure. While the last one could be 廷 送 or whatever. But given that 赠辞 will be attached to the bottom of china when it is sent as gift, so I guess it could be 送,which means given by sb. No sure about if it would be two characters or just one in the red frame.
  5. 1 point
    How interesting, @mungouk -- I downloaded and read it. Great photos. Maybe tonight I can go downstairs after dark and wander around to see a little more, learn a little more.
  6. 1 point
    i think it's a good idea, it's easy to get into the trap of just going through single word flash cards Bear in mind though that there can be several translations for one english sentence, and vice versa so don't be concerned if you didn't get the answer exactly right. This is especially notable at high levels (e.g HSK4 and above) . e.g. When the weather is cold you must put on more clothes. (当)天气冷时,你必须多穿些衣服。 (当)天气冷时,你必须穿上更多的衣服。 these alternatives seem ok to me but I'll let the folks here tell if it sounds unnatural
  7. 1 point
    Also the DeFrancis series is Traditional characters so is not popular with students of Mainland China learning simplified. I have just flipped through a PDF of FSI and it doesn't use characters at all. I have to say a solid modern textbook along these same lines is New Practical Chinese Reader or Integrated Chinese.
  8. 1 point
    It is possible to pass any kind of exam in limited time period but do realize that your path to proficiency in a foreign language has much more to do with mere test. If one-year preparation means a going through of paper of previous examination in first 3 months, focusing on the words and expressions up to the level required by the HSK6 in the rest 9 months and making related absorption of Chinese materials from perspective of reading and listening, a year is enough. It is not only adequate for the test but also makes you ready to every possible communication you come across with the local Chinese. This is exactly what the test asks from you. I have seen so many Chinese students passing TEM8, English test for English major students, but they still couldn't manage a fluent communication with foreigners on the phone. And there are also many others passing IELTS with no particular review based on test, which is called 裸考. However, it doesn't mean they are not well prepared. It is just that they have made the application of English in IELTS level part of their daily life. Mind the time Chinese related you spend every day and make Chinese part of your life. I don't doubt a rocketing improvement in Chinese if the learner has an aching need for this language and enthusiasm in expression in Chinese. It is possible to make it a must in your life if you are crazy enough about it, by setting any interface or system language as Chinese, making a certain Chinese website to your taste a home page, finding a Chinese pen pal to make daily communication in Chinese possible.
  9. 1 point
    It isn't. Radicals = dictionary indexing and lookup. That's their use, and what the concept of "radical" was created for. Each character has one radical—the one it's filed under in the dictionary (though which element is the radical may differ depending on which dictionary you're looking at!). 部首 literally means "section (部) heading (首)." A character's radical may or may not have anything to do with the character's meaning or sound, though it usually is a semantic component. Importantly though, which part of the character serves as the radical is a choice made by a dictionary editor, not an intrinsic part of the character's structure. Functional Components = character structure. Functional components generally express sound or meaning (though some don't—they may serve as a mark to disambiguate, or maybe they used to express sound or meaning but became corrupted over time), and they're what people had in mind when the characters were being created. The fact that people use "radical" when they mean "functional component" just means they're not clear on what the terms mean.
  10. 1 point
    @Szymon456 I really don't subscribe to this idea of "learn all the radicals first"... I tried it myself and didn't find it helpful at all. Apart from anything else, how are you supposed to pronounce them, and how is that useful? Similarly, IMHO, mnemonics are only useful as you start out, or when you need to remember the difference between commonly-confused characters. Otherwise they slow you down. You need to be able to "sight-read" the common words (at least) rather than having to decipher them. There are plenty of phone apps that will guide you through learning the different standard levels if you want to approach it that way. As you suggested, there's no way you're going to start with 6000 flashcards and work your way through them. I like StickyStudy which has HSK and TOCFL levels built-in, and most of the words have audio as well. As @Shelley says, textbooks are useful because they give you structure and sequence which makes pedagogical sense (hopefully)... or at the very least they introduce words in terms of higher frequency first. When I was starting out I also really liked the "graphs" (in the sense of interconnected nodes) that Alan Davies has made — see http://www.hskhsk.com/resources.html The connectedness only really works for HSK 1-3 I think because it becomes too unwieldy after that, but being able to navigate around the huge graph and see which words have shared characters (not components or radicals) is really interesting and helped me to get a conceptual overview of how the pairings work. To make this usable I loaded up the SVG file in Chrome, "printed" it to a PDF and I use that to pan and zoom around, which is much faster (or at least it is on a Mac). When I find I'm having trouble recalling the difference between Hanzi that are very similar except for one component I head for MDBG or Hanzicraft, which have ways for searching for characters with shared components (which may or may not be radicals, if I understand correctly). Since you can speak/listen OK but not read/write so well that puts you in an unusual class of learner, equivalent (forgive me) to an illiterate adult, or maybe adolescent. I wonder if there are specific learner resources for that group already available in China? Bon voyage!
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