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Thread: Welcome, Comrades!

  1. #1
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    Welcome, Comrades!

    请进同志!!!!
    Welcome, all ye learners of Chinese. If we want this forum to stay open, we have to post, so post post post!

    Unfortunately, I don't think there are any authorities of Chinese around here. So it's sort of the blind leading the blind, at least for now. We can compare notes in our study, and at least be reminded of ongoing competition every time we come over here...I'm not even sure if I wrote "welcome" correctly. But it means something like "Please come in, Comrades!" So it's good enough...

    Well, here is my current situation:
    I am using Modern Chinese: A Basic Course by the faculty of Beijing Univeristy. It's a fairly old book. It moves really slowly, and the first 10 or so units are devoted to pronunciation(but now I can pronounce really well, at least), so right now I'm on Unit 20(out of 30). They like to explain everything really thoroughly and repeat themselves, and they only introduce about 10 new words per unit, so I'd say my speaking vocabulary is at roughly 100 words, and my writing vocabulary is much smaller....about 20-30. I'm finding that the toughest part is memorizing characters. I can recognize them in reading, but remembering how to write them is another thing. The book uses the Pinyin transliteration system.
    The last thing I went over was reduplicated adjectives, or in other words the very charming and hun-hunish privychka of Chinese of repeating themselves to express emphasis. Example:
    那个同志积极的工作
    neige tongzhi jiji de gongzuo
    That comrade works enthusiastically.

    那个同志积积极极的工作
    neige tongzhi jijijiji de gong zuo
    That comrade works very enthusiastically.

    这本书好
    zheiben shu hao
    This book is good.

    这本书好好儿
    zheiben shu haohaor
    This book is very good.

    I also learned the use of , as in

    我懂一些泰文
    wo dong yixie taiwen
    I understand some Thai.

    这些书很有意思
    zheixie shu hen youyisi
    These books are very interesting.(these some books, like if there are some books here you are referring too)

    Where does everyone else stand at the moment?

    Oh, and today's the last day of Chinese new year celebrations...
    新年快乐!!This is the year of the Monkey...meaning my sister turns 24 this year

  2. #2
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    Hi!
    I'm almost at the same point of studying and I can understand all the words you wrote, except, may be, this "enthusiastically" thing.
    I noticed that you use the simplified characters as, may be, all new learners use. I wonder, does anybody start with traditional characters these days at all?
    The real sad thing is that I cannot type zhong wen zi in my Windows XP. Don't tell me that it's easy as hell to switch between languages there, this I know myself. The fact is that here, in Russia, almost all Windows XP CDs are a sort of abridged or cut down (sometimes they even write at the very start that "don't try to install East-Asian language support"). The XP MUI (multi-language interface) disks also come without Chinese support. But I can read it without any problems in Internet Explorer as well as in MS Word. These are very dissapointing Microsoft tricks -- why should I install a lot of additional files (a language support file, a language writing system file - Global IME, or whatever it is, etc, >200 Mb!!!) if what I need a more or less simple way of typing characters (the Unicode fonts are already there!). If I try to download this for the Internet with my modem connection, I will sooner die.
    In Windows 98 and in Word 97 I had quite a short macros, made by some Norwegian guy, and everything was excellent. Perhaps Microsoft got this and desided to spoil everything again (like it regularly spoiled Russian code pages in previous DOS, Windows and Words). But the good news is that I have two hard disks inside my PC, one with W 98 and another with XP, and I may change operating systems while rebooting. Or may be I'll find the very-very official XP version with all languages provided.

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    Sorry, it was me. I forget to register after reinstalling my Windows.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a good reason for switching from Windows to something else
    Хорошо не просто там где нас нет, а там где нас никогда и не было.

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    Well, I've only been 'studying' it for one day, but I have a larger writing vocabulary than 同志 Pravit! Hihaho. Just you wait, my darling Правичушенкахусяша!
    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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    Comrade Pravit recently tested himself on the characters he was supposed to know. The exact amount is 67, as of the writing of this post. I am going to attempt to add 10-20 to that number later today.

    There's gonna be some real competition now...hehehehehheh...you realize I have been learning Arabic for the past month or so just to beat you, as I have more or less lost all interest in it..

    Propp: My book was written in 1958, so it has a lot of Communist stuff, and they are halfway to switching to simplified chars. Some of the chars are taught in traditional form, some of them in simplified.

    I'm sure there's another way to input Chinese. There are a lot of 3rd-party IMEs on the net floating around. I will look later today.

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    Rejoice, Comrades! The official count of Chinese characters Pravit is able to write(not including those he can recognize in reading) is 135. I haven't really learned all that many new characters today, it's just that I hadn't sat down and really listed every single character I knew. Plus I realized that some words were written with 2 or more characters. At the end of the day I believe I can increase this count to the 150 neighborhood.
    Here is a scan of my "known characters" list, which I will probably enter into the computer.
    http://www.freewebs.com/pravit/list.jpg

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    Well, I know 50 characters and 70 words. In two days. So there. But I have been studying nearly all day, I admit. How many words in Arabic do you know?
    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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    Just in case any of you can take advantage of it, the BBC are running a Learning Chinese season at the moment. It's on BBC2 late on a Monday night (though its most likely on other channels and/or other nights too). I've no other info, I just happened to catch 5 minutes of it last night when I got up for a drink of water, and thought I'd pass it on.

    I can, however, hereby attest that there is no way on God's Green Earth I have a hope of ever learning that language. Wow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Just in case any of you can take advantage of it, the BBC are running a Learning Chinese season at the moment. It's on BBC2 late on a Monday night (though its most likely on other channels and/or other nights too). I've no other info, I just happened to catch 5 minutes of it last night when I got up for a drink of water, and thought I'd pass it on.

    I can, however, hereby attest that there is no way on God's Green Earth I have a hope of ever learning that language. Wow.
    Thanks for the info, Scotcher. Come on, my Scottish friend, certainly you can learn Chinese if you can learn Russian. If a couple of teenage kids can learn it, I would say most everyone can learn it. Chinese grammar is MUCH simpler than Russian grammar - no cases, no genders, no verb conjugation. The hardest part of the language is learning how to write characters(it's easy enough to recognize them, but writing them from memory is another thing) and the tones(which you can get down after listening to native speakers for a while). And if you learned Japanese(or some, anyway) writing, you can certainly learn Chinese characters. Many characters are shared to express the same things. Chinese characters are actually rather simple to memorize once you realize that they are really just putting together several "radical" forms. For instance, a sun behind a tree means "east." A child under a roof means "learn." If you would like some more information on this, you can go to www.zhongwen.com. I also have a nice book called "Read Japanese Today", which explains the kanji as little stories(which many of them are) and teaches you how to identify radicals. I would scan pages from it and post them up here, but I don't think I should do that - but I would be happy to email them to you.

    Jasper, I don't know how many Arabic words I know, but it is more than Chinese, and if I can write 175 characters now(yep, learned 25 last night ), some of them being combined with others to form only one word, I can probably speak around 200 in Chinese. So I probably speak around 300 or so in Arabic. But I am sort of abandoning it, for now, anyway.

    Why all the silence in this forum? Of course we are competing Jasper, but if I can do anyhting to help you learn it, I will(and I expect the same from you). We are competing to learn better, not to win (well, ok, to win, but we both want to learn, yes?)

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    He's silent because he's off studying.
    Let's all become Circumcellions.

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    We will both benifit from practicing our Chinese together, as well as anyone else around here who wants to learn.

    我跟你一起说中文
    wo3 gen1 ni3 yi4 qi3 shuo1 zhong1 wen2

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    I'd love to Pravit, and parhaps one day I will, but not today. I am so busy at the moment that I barely have time to keep my Russian ticking over, let alone take on anything else. I'd rather be able to claim I speak one foreign language well than three really badly

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    I was silent because it was 10 o'clock in the evening over here.
    If I understand correctly, you (Pravit) said you started speaking Chinese before I did. How long exactly?
    And of course, it isn't exactly a fair competition, because if I had as much time off as you have, I would beat you with my hands tied behind my back. You know that.
    You know what? I'm kinda considering taking a year off between school and university and just perfecting my Russian, Chinese and Arabic. And travelling a little bit. To Russian, Chinese and Arabic-Speaking Countries, of course.
    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 Jasper May
    I was silent because it was 10 o'clock in the evening over here.
    If I understand correctly, you (Pravit) said you started speaking Chinese before I did. How long exactly?
    And of course, it isn't exactly a fair competition, because if I had as much time off as you have, I would beat you with my hands tied behind my back. You know that.
    You know what? I'm kinda considering taking a year off between school and university and just perfecting my Russian, Chinese and Arabic. And travelling a little bit. To Russian, Chinese and Arabic-Speaking Countries, of course.
    I got my course sometime during the winter holidays, so you could say that I started in earnest a little bit before New Year's.

    C'mon, Jas, don't be so serious about our competition. I am using the competition just as a way to prevent me from quitting of boredom(hey, my "winmanship" is at stake here ). And I do believe learning Chinese characters and Arabic words aren't quite the same ballgame as learning Russian words(why again, pray tell, did you have such a harder time with Arabic? )

    I would like to travel around too. Maybe I will be travelling around in Uighur areas and I will see you calling adhaan at a mosque

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    I wasn't serious, I used smileys. Which of course instantaneously renders me incapable of any serious discussion, as you know.

    As for why it was impossible for me to learn Arabic words, I think I just wasn't really trying. At least I know the alphabet.

    Oh yeah, and I started learning Chinese last Saturday. So, in theory, I'm at least twice as fast you you!

    All in good spirit, of course.
    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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    What course are you using?

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    Wow I'm using the same book. Modern Chinese a basic course. No wonder I could understand everything you said
    || Squidward X ||

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    I'm using a 1985 Dutch course imaginatively called 'ni hao'. Quite a rapid pace, actually. Teaches a lot of grammar, that's why I'm not really progressing as much with the vocabulary as I could.
    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

  20. #20
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    Yeah, my Chinese book tends to teach a lot of grammar too but it only gives you about 10(sometimes none) new words with each chapter. I'm on chapter 24 out of 30, so I don't really know how much I'm going to learn with this.

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