So I haven’t been very motivated recently. I moved back home to the U.S. and haven’t continued much with my Mandarin since then. I have since changed operating systems and have been learning a lot more about GNU/Linux and a bit about programming, so that has kept me busy enough. I am happy to say that I have found a new source for fun and learning Mandarin, in the shape of an official Final Fantasy game.
Here is a character that I initially had trouble remembering, but after learning its etymology I have never forgotten it. This beautiful character is a 會意. For fun let’s look at 小篆 version. (These are real versions of the characters scanned from the 說文解字 if I’m not mistaken, except for 宀 because I couldn’t be arsed to crop it out of a normal character)
Hey guys, I’m sorry for the lack of content on the blog. I moved back to the United States about two and a half weeks ago, so I’m still getting settled in. I’ll try start posting again very soon. I may try to finish the second part of my last post today. I hope I still have followers 😛
Spoken Chinese Ok, so you’ve seen how a sound in Mandarin (and other Chinese languages) can mean many things. You have also seen how when written there is no confusion as to the meaning of each sound. However, how does this all work when you’re speaking? Surely native speakers don’t draw each syllable that is not understood and show it to the listener. In Ancient Chinese and/or Classical Chinese monosyllabic words were no problem.
Written Chinese The written Chinese language is very intimidating and/or confusing to most who do not know how it actually works. Here is a very brief explanation of how Chinese characters are a very efficient and easy system, arguably easier than languages that use the Roman alphabet. Over 97% of all Chinese characters have only 2 parts, a meaning part and a pronunciation. When looking at a character that you don’t know, you can use these parts to know a lot more about it.
Would you like to view this page in Simplified Chinese? Want to see Baidu in Traditional Chinese? No problem! Get New Tong Wen Tang (新同文堂) for your browser and you will be able to read any website in your preferred script. Firefox **Click on the 繁 and 簡 to convert webpages, and the “S” and “T” to convert the clipboard. Chrome/Chromium **Click on the 同文 icon to toggle between Simplified and Traditional, right-click for more options.
Here are 2 more examples of 被 that I have found in my daily studying. 海綿寶寶(Spongebob Squarepants) 線被切斷了，好討厭哦 “The wire has been cut, how annoying.”(lit. very annoying) 龍騎士(Eragon) 「在他身後，也就是鹿群之前待的地方，一大圈的樹和草都被燒焦了，許多松樹光禿禿的立著，在焦黑圈子外面的草都被壓平了。」 在…後: behind … 他身: his body 也就是: is also 鹿群: deer herd 之前: before 待: to stay (first tone) 地方: place 一大圈: a large ring, a large circle
I know a lot of you out there think, “If I’m not learning from a textbook, or studying with flashcards, then I’m not learning.” Well I’ve got news for you, you don’t HAVE to learn that way! You are not learning a foreign language to be able to take a test well, you are learning it to be able to communicate with others. Have fun with it! Don’t just sit there mindlessly memorizing vocabulary, taking tests, and killing yourself when you forget something.
There are a few ways to make the passive voice in Mandarin. We are going to focus on the most common way, by using 被. I thought I would try something new in this post. Instead of writing my little lesson for 被 here, I decided to make a PDF explaining it. I made a simplified and traditional version, so choose whichever you like. After clicking on the link click on the “Download” button on the top-right of the window.
I think this post is needed for all of you learners out there. I have already written about MDBG Chinese Reader, however for those who do not use Windows the program is useless. Therefore, I will show you a few tools that will be useful to you. (These are all FREE!!) Links MDBG Chinese Reader (Windows only) Perapera-kun (Firefox) (All OSes) Zhongwen (Chrome/Chromium) (All OSes) Stardict (Linux, Mac, Windows)