Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: What's the deal with Mandarin?

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    с. Хреновое Воронежской обл.
    Posts
    2,481
    Rep Power
    13

    What's the deal with Mandarin?

    Why learn Mandarin?
    ---------
    *Over 1,100,000,000 speak Mandarin as a mother tongue or second language worldwide. OK, OK, OK, so most of that billion lives in China. But at least a good couple million or so speak it in other countries in Asia(as a first language).

    *Mandarin is widely understood and studied in many countries of East and Southeast Asia. And I mean WIDELY. Consider about 200,000,000 who speak Arabic throughout the Middle East. That is only about 20% of all Mandarin speakers.

    *China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

    *China is one of the most powerful countries in the world.

    *Chinese words are mainly monosyllabic, so they're easy to remember. No здравствуйте's here!

    *Knowing how to read Chinese characters, you will also be able to understand some written Japanese, as well as be able to communicate through writing with any literate Chinese.

    *You'll be able to read the tattoos people get(for a funny article about the dangers of Chinese tattoos, follow this link http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/essays/tattoos.htm)

    *You'll impress girls. I noticed a 200% gain in the amount of girls that approached me after I started learning Mandarin. Compare that to a measly 25% gain after learning Russian. Studies have shown that students of Mandarin have the highest "studliness increase" of all foreign language students.

    *You'll probably also get interested in Chinese culture and be able to tell people that the "Orange Chicken" crap they got from "Golden Five Brothers" isn't real Chinese food.

    Facts about Mandarin
    -----------------------------
    *Mandarin is a tonal language, like many Asian languages, meaning that if a word is pronounced with different tones, the meaning can change. An example is jiao1 which means "to teach" and jiao4 which means "to be called." Mandarin has 4 tones plus a neutral tone. Some other dialects, like Cantonese, have up to 10.

    *Mandarin words end only in vowels or the consonants "n" and "ng", in contrast to Cantonese and other dialects which can end with hard sounds like "k", "t", "p", etc.

    *Mandarin words are mainly monosyllabic.

    *There is no conjugation of verbs in Mandarin. There is no past or future tense either.

    *There are no genders in Mandarin. There are, however, classifiers, which are used when you are referring to how much of a certain item.

    *There are no cases in Mandarin.

    *Mandarin is an SVO language, like English, meaning that in regular sentences, the subject comes first, then the verb, then the object.

    *Mandarin, like all other dialects of Chinese, is written with Chinese characters. It can be romanized with the Pinyin system.

    *Mandarin is spoken as a first language in northern and southwestern China. Mandarin is the official language of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China(Taiwan). Hongkong and Macau speak mainly Cantonese.

    *Mandarin has smaller local dialects which could be likened to the differences between British and American English.

    *The official, standardized form of Mandarin that is used by the Chinese government is called 普通话(pu3tong1hua4, pu3tong1 = common, hua4 = speech).

    *The name "Mandarin" comes from Portuguese, where it means something like "minister." Mandarin was the language of government officials.

    I've got to go now, anyone feel free to add anything else.

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Амстелвэйн, Нидерланды
    Posts
    658
    Rep Power
    11
    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

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    с. Хреновое Воронежской обл.
    Posts
    2,481
    Rep Power
    13
    I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't help but have a good appreciative laugh. Thanks, Jasper. And good luck to my mysterious comrade Sakai-san....

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Амстелвэйн, Нидерланды
    Posts
    658
    Rep Power
    11
    Can I at this point confirm your 8th reason? I've also noticed that a lot of girls approach me (and guys who're just interested) since I've taken up Mandarin. And I'm not even that advanced! Though I must say I got the same reaction from the kids in my class as when I started Russian, now complete strangers come up to me as well.
    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

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    с. Хреновое Воронежской обл.
    Posts
    2,481
    Rep Power
    13
    Hey, there is one very nice-looking girl who wants me to teach her Russian(although I am sadly underqualified) and another one who speaks Czech. Russian works very well in this department too

  6. #6
    Подающий надежды оратор
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    indonesia
    Posts
    10
    Rep Power
    10
    i learned it coz it's interesting
    d words is easy to remember and to speak
    and it's easy to combine d words *for me personally*
    such as
    my name is mila ... wo jiao mila .. hehehehehe

  7. #7
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    303
    Rep Power
    10
    I've always just taken it for granted that because Mandarin phenomenally outweighs Cantonese in number of speakers, that it be also the one that Chinese emigrants speak.In chinatowns all over the Western world, how prevalent is Cantonese? I know Mandarin still is one I will give higher priority, but I don't know how much priority to give my Cantonese.I do run into many Cantonese, though they generally know the basic phrases in Mandarin.

  8. #8
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    с. Хреновое Воронежской обл.
    Posts
    2,481
    Rep Power
    13
    Actually, it's my understanding that most older Chinese immigrants were from the Guangdong and Fukkien regions, which are, however, experiencing some of the most growth these days. But the northern and western rural areas which speak Mandarin seem to have lagged behind the built-up coastal regions and I think most of the "newer" Chinese you may meet speak Mandarin. As such the main language in most Chinatowns around the world is Cantonese but there's a slowly growing Mandarin population. Guangzhou is an area where Cantonese is spoken(and I think Mandarin usage in HK is not yet very widespread). People from Fukkien region(where dialects can be unintelligible in a village 10km away due to the mountainous geography) speak one of several dialects of Min(which is in turn either described as a dialect of Chinese or a language in the Chinese language group). Almost everyone on the mainland speaks Mandarin as a first or second language, though. There are a lot of overseas Cantonese-speaking Chinese who don't want to speak Mandarin, not even with mainland Chinese. So if your intention is to talk to people in Chinatowns, I'd suggest you learn Cantonese, but if you'd like to go to China someday, by all means learn Mandarin.

    BTW, brett, are you learning both? You never cease to amaze me in your pursuit of foreign languages As for me, 我现在学汉语学得很慢。 But I'm making progress.

Similar Threads

  1. Your Chinese (Mandarin) for my English
    By heartfelty in forum Chinese
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: September 21st, 2010, 03:32 AM
  2. Is this a good deal?
    By andrewsco in forum Tutors Directory
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: August 18th, 2006, 12:10 PM
  3. What's the deal with По?
    By Platinum in forum Getting Started with Russian
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: September 27th, 2005, 06:01 AM
  4. Russian in exchange for Chinese (Mandarin)/ Japanese sought
    By Анатолий in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: September 17th, 2005, 04:32 PM
  5. Learning material: Mandarin and Cantonese
    By brett in forum Chinese
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: January 10th, 2005, 10:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary