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Thread: Learn Pinyin

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    Learn Pinyin

    Learning to read Pinyin is very important for learning Chinese. Pinyin is the official transliteration system of the People's Republic of China and also used by the UN and most textbooks and websites. Pinyin is written with the Roman alphabet, but each letter(or combination of letters) represents a Chinese sound totally different than the sound in English for that letter. For example, Pinyin's "x" is not pronounced like "ks."

    Since it's not practical for me to use letters with tone marks on them, I(and many other websites) specify the tone by the number of the tone next to it. 1st is the high, flat one. 2nd is rising. 3rd is low to rising, 4th tone is falling, 5th tone is neutral(depends on tone before it). Note that I haven't just arbitrarily picked this - anyone who has studied Chinese will know that the 1st tone is the high one and the 2nd the rising and so on.

    Here is an excellent website to learn Pinyin made by a Harvard professor:
    http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~pinyin/

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    And how do Chinese people chat? They use Pinyin or hieroglyphs?

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    I have seen pinyin chatboxes, e.g. on zhongwen.com...
    Army Anti-Strapjes
    Nay, mats jar tripes
    Jasper is my Tartan
    I am a trans-Jert spy
    Jerpty Samaritans
    Pijams are tyrants
    Jana Sperm Tit Arsy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tu-160
    And how do Chinese people chat? They use Pinyin or hieroglyphs?
    Depends on the chat program/room and who's chatting. Chinese-Americans will tend to use Pinyin(or their own system of transliteration) as they can speak it but they're probably not literate. Chinese in Asia will most likely try to use characters, as most of them are unfamiliar with Pinyin. MSN supports characters, but AIM doesn't, unforunately(though it will do Russian). I haven't tested it on Yahoo, but it's a terrible IM thingy anyway...

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    so it would be like shu2 ma1?
    || Squidward X ||

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    What are you talking about? If you gave "it" a definition, perhaps we would understand better. Remember that many words in Chinese are pronounced exactly the same, but have different meanings.

    EDIT: Oh, you mean your friend's nickname? The word for water is "shui3." Horse is "ma3." = shui3ma3. Remember that if you get two third tones right after each other , the first one will be pronounced like a second tone.

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    I know how to pronounce these words, I just am new at typing them.
    || Squidward X ||

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    Here's a nice number-pinyin to accent-pinyin converter: http://www.fozza.com/zhongwen/converter.htm
    Hĕn fāngb
    Army Anti-Strapjes
    Nay, mats jar tripes
    Jasper is my Tartan
    I am a trans-Jert spy
    Jerpty Samaritans
    Pijams are tyrants
    Jana Sperm Tit Arsy

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    The new Mandarin Tools will convert Chinese characters directly into accent pinyin, although sometimes it's a little bit off. But it's generally quite helpful.

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    Hanyu Pinyin and any other type of Romanisation system is not adequate for daily usage.

    We chat with Chinese characters. Very very rarely (when the chat program doesn't allow Chinese characters) and often for foreign students of Chinese do we chat in Pinyin.


    -Shibo

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    o my god ,,,

    actually it's not that difficult to remember d words if we practise it everyday *he .. everyday??*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    Chinese in Asia will most likely try to use characters, as most of them are unfamiliar with Pinyin.
    I'm assuming you mean outside of China, or at least outside of major cities.Because Chinese children are taught spoken and listening language skills using Pinyin.I've seen footage.Looks like fun.They wave their arms upward whilst speaking rising tones, around-wards for tone3 etc.Those classes look like they could double as calisthetics class awell.China's not going to have too many fat lethargic kids around, with that method.Maybe we in English speaking countries, should read whilst jogging in English class.That'd keep our Western-ass weights down.Surely major city's schools in other chinaphonique asian counties would use pinyin too? It's an excellent system.I applaud the man who created pinyin.Initially, it's purpose was for non-Chinese speakers.But it is so good that China itself adapted it for its children.

    Pravit, you chould recognize the word 'chinaphonique' as part of my trademark 'un ane + un cheval = un mulet' french skills .

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    Nah, I think in China they chat with characters. People even send SMS with characters(although I have no idea how they do this, perhaps one of our friends from over there could explain it). It's true Chinese children are taught pinyin at an early age as it's easier to teach pronunciations of characters that way. The Chinese - Chinese dictionary I have explains pronunciations of characters by listing another character pronounced in the same way and the pinyin to make it absolutely clear. But seriously, in addition to being an eyesore, it would be kind of strange to write with pinyin. It wood bee as if eye awl weighs rote like this. Except much worse, since Chinese has a lot more homonyms than English does. It's not so bad in context, I guess, but if you were trying to display only one or two words for whatever reason, let's say a brand name, it could be disastrous.

    By the way, about body movement and tones, it's not a bad idea for non-native learners to learn that way either. One of my friends could simply not pronounce the fourth or falling tone until I used TY Chinese's suggestion that he stomp his foot every time he said it. Worked like a charm

    About chinaphonique, yes, very good brettique writing style Could I suggest "chinaphone", though?

    BTW, have you heard of the bopomofo system? Looks kind of neat, sort of the way Koreans made a syllabary that mimics Chinese characters. Much nicer looking than pinyin, IMO.

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