A former hitchhiker’s introductory guide to the Chinese language galaxy

Romanized alphabet

Vocabulary is shared amongst Latin based languages. How do I learn a language where there are no shortcuts?

When needs must

Why is this so complicated?! source

The tonal system

  • qīng: (1st tone) with a level pitch e.g. 清 (clean)
  • qíng: (2nd tone) with a rising pitch e.g. 情 (sentiments)
  • qǐng: (3rd tone) falling and then quickly up e.g. 请 (please)
  • qìng: (4th tone) with a descending sound e.g. 庆 (celebrate)
What do you mean 4 tones?! source
We got this.

Speaking is hard

Linzy (in Mandarin): What did you eat?
Jon (in Mandarin): “Wǒ chī [fèn]”
Linzy (in English, laughing): You want to say “I ate rice”, yes?
Jon (in Mandarin): Yes.
Linzy: “Wǒ chī [fàn]”. Not “Wǒ chī [fèn]”. “Wǒ chī [fèn]” means “I eat 💩”.
Jon: 😯

Cantonese

Mandarin is poetic

火山 source

Chinese and Japanese languages overlap.

BOOM!

Mandarin is not always poetic

Reading leads to speaking

Conclusions in Singlish

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Travel fanatic, writer, web dev british hippyster on a mission to make the web all happy with rainbows, unicorns etc

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Jon Robson (David Lyall)

Jon Robson (David Lyall)

Travel fanatic, writer, web dev british hippyster on a mission to make the web all happy with rainbows, unicorns etc

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