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Archive | Learning Strategies

Understanding the words he 他, she 她, and it 牠 or 它 in Chinese

Understanding the Chinese pronouns that are translated to he, she, or it requires knowing a couple of things. First of all, the pronouns that mean he, she, or it in Chinese all sound the same, but have different characters. 他 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “he” 她 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “she” 牠 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “it” 它 ㄊㄚ (tā)  “it” There are […]

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Understanding the i’s in Pinyin

The use of the letter “i” in pinyin can be confusing. Pinyin is the use of the ABC’s, such as is used in English, to symbolize sounds in the Chinese language. Sometimes the pinyin sounds are fairly similar to the English sounds, and sometimes they are quite different.   When saying some words, the single […]

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44 Rock Lions, a Chinese Tongue Twister 四十四隻石獅子 ,一個中文繞口令

四十四隻石獅子 ,一個中文繞口令 (四十)(四)(隻)(石)(獅子) ,(一個)(中文)(繞口令) (ㄙˋ ㄕˊ) (ㄙˋ) (ㄓ) (ㄕˊ) (ㄕ ㄗ) , (ㄧ ㄍㄜ˙) (ㄓㄨㄥ ㄨㄣˊ) (ㄖㄠˋ ㄎㄡˇ ㄌㄧㄥˋ) (si4 shi2) (si4) (zhi1) (shi2) (shi1 zi.), (yi1 ge.) (zhong1 wen2) (rao4 kou3 ling4) (four tens) (four) (MW❶ for lion) (rock, stone) (lion), (a, one) (Chinese) (to go around + mouth + to cause) Forty-four rock […]

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Questioning the Presumed Superiority of Phonetic Languages Over Symbolic Ones Like Chinese

I have heard many academic historians repeat the claim that written phonetic languages are more advanced than character based written communication. After studying the Chinese language and discussing this perspective with my tutor, I find reasons to question this. The Chinese language in not only not compatible with a strictly phonetic language system, but there are […]

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Use YouTube Videos to Mimic Chinese Conversation Practice

As someone who doesn’t live among Chinese speakers, one of the biggest challenges is getting enough exposure to a variety of speakers. I have been able to have occasional simple conversations with Chinese speakers when I run across them in stores and airports, but it doesn’t happen often enough to really stimulate everyday fluency. So, […]

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