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Thread: Learning material: Mandarin and Cantonese

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    Learning material: Mandarin and Cantonese

    Ni hao, ren3. Pile in the names of your Chinese learning utensils here, if you think they warrant a mention, giving reasons to their credits and discredits, qing3. Xie xie. Jiao4 wo3 Brett (if you need to call me at all).

    I'm impressed with "Colloquial Chinese: complete course for beginners" by Kan Qian. Publisher: Routledge.(Mandarin).
    I've only begun, so I can't account for its ability to cappture subtleties. But it is very nicely organized. You get an introduction to the pinyin pronunciation. Only the exercises toward the end of the book introduce characters. It contains two cassettes AND two cd's (the newer edition does), same content though. So, I enjoy that versatility. The exercises are easy to follow, and a vocabulary list is run through on the recording first before you here the conversations. Its price is reasonably good for what it is (in Australia, at least). They don't speak to quickly in the early exercises, either. The speakers speak clearly, and of course have both male and female speakers.

    Oxford Starter Chinese Dictionary:
    Most definitely better for a beginner than a straight forward Chinese Pinyin/English dictionary. It give context to the words via sentences. Colour font breaks things up, easier on the eye. It has a section on how to write characters (ie. which stroke to do first. And, how many strokes a character has. Because it effects how to find them in dictionaries if you don't know the word's pinyin. Though, I've still not learnt how to do it). It addresses grammar and measure words well. So, it's vastly better than a regular dictionary if you're learning on your own and don't have a teacher to tell you what the heck you're supposed to be doing.

    Wo3 xie3 wan2 xian4zai4.

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    Jiao4 wo3 Brett
    Don't you have to say "wo jiao Brett"? I thought the word order was strict like that ?

    Anyway I think "Practical Chinese Reader" is pretty good ... but I should tell you after I've studied more than 6 chapters
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    My limited knowledge tells me word order is strict, like you said. Except, I was saying "Call me Brett" as opposed to "I am called/my name is Brett". I was using imperative word order. I suppose word order is how Chinese makes a sentence into imperative.
    In the first exercise in my book, it used that word order. Their example;
    "Jiao4 wo3 David ba". - Please call me David. ('ba' being the less emphatic 'please').
    And I think because it's imperative usage, you don't need 'ni3' ("ni3 jiao4 wo3 Brett"). The book I have is called Colloquial Chinese, so I'm not sure whether technically you're supposed to omit the 'ni3'.

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    понятно.
    I haven't studied the imperative, so I can't comment.
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    I'm no Chinese expert myself, but some comments:
    nǐhǎo r

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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    понятно.
    I haven't studied the imperative, so I can't comment.
    I haven't studied imperative as a whole either, but that particular example of that word order was in my very first (and only) exercise. But, I'd not dare to actually give you advice on imperative sentences, in general. You'd be silly to listen without a grain of salt handy.

    I only used "Qing - please" there because my sentence was in English. I'm aware of "ba" being the sentence closer translation of 'please'. Can it fit into the middle of sentences aswell?
    "Ba" is a supplemental usage. Not meaningful on its own. It requires a sentence, I think. "Qing" doesn't.

    - wo3 xie3 wan2 xian4zai4. If it is even an acceptable choice of words in the first place, I guess I'd word-order it "Xian4zai4 wo3 wan2 xie3" then? I know it is at very least cultural, using time reference first. But is it grammatically relevant, or merely culturally common? Because the main point is that the 'important' information is to be placed first. So, maybe it depends on the importance of the time reference. If you wanted to emphasize that "No, it was the shops that I went to at 6 o'clock (as opposed to the house)", I'd assume that then, the time reference would not be at the beginning. But most sentences refering to time do place at least equal importance on the time. eg "We're going to the cinema at 6 o'clock"- in which case the the time reference would go first purely based on grammar pattern.

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    The reference to time always comes first, it's just the way it is. It's true Chinese is a topic-oriented language but it's either (time) SVO or S (time) VO , I think. I would say something like 我写完了, no need for "now", I think. About "qing" it's kind of a verb, so you use it when asking people to do things.

    Pile in the names of your Chinese learning utensils here, if you think they warrant a mention, giving reasons to their credits and discredits, qing3.
    I would split this into two or more sentences, with the last one being something like "qing say why they're good or bad", etc.

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    Join the marines and get accepted to chinese language classes like me. Except im not going. SO HAH!
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    I would gladly join, but I have to wait 2 more years. Right now im only 15.

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    hey, in two years you can join and go to russian school when they open it back up! Be sure and tell me how it is!
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    I just hope they have cantonese-chinese school open when I enlist

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