View Full Version : Does anyone speak Mandarin?

12-14-2011, 06:23 PM
I am taking a beginning Chinese course at college and was wondering if anyone who knew how to speak Mandarin would care to help me 'stay in practice' and learn some new things over my 3 week Christmas break. We are not very far into learning the language yet, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Thank you in advanced, guys!

12-14-2011, 07:00 PM
Do you also get to eat the oranges?

12-14-2011, 07:03 PM
Do you also get to eat the oranges?

I don't like them, so I don't.

12-15-2011, 05:09 PM
I speak Mandarin. My written Chinese isn't very good but if you are just after conversation then I'd be glad to help.

By the way, good on you for tackling a new language!

12-16-2011, 06:34 PM
Taishanese. That's sorta, kinda like Cantonese; which is sorta, kinda, like mandarin.

Does that count?

PS. Good to see you posting. I thought you were dead

12-16-2011, 10:29 PM
I know a bit.

12-18-2011, 05:53 PM
I speak Cantonese, and already knows quite a bit of written Chinese from my elementary school days in Hong Kong. However I left for the US before I got the chance to learn Mandarin in school, and there were very few chances to speak Mandarin in Hong Kong during normal circumstances, so strangely, I know a somewhat more obscure dialect in Cantonese, but knew almost nothing in Mandarin, a language spoken by more than a billion people.

One method I felt that helped me tremendously in learning the pronounciations was typing in Chinese on a computer (chatting with my cousins online, writing blogs, etc.). There are several input methods you can use to enter Chinese characters, and one of which is by "pinyin" (拼音), the official system of transcribing Chinese characters with pronounciations based on English alphabets (which I'm sure you've learned in your Chinese class).

I can imagine the challenge of learning Chinese by having to memorize the pronounciation of each Chinese character, in addition to having to know the definition and appearance (equivalent to spelling) of a character. Typing on a computer basically lets to quickly "search" for characters based on its pronounciation in pinyin, and this helps you think about a character by its pronounciation, in addition to having to think about the definition and appearance of a character. This method has the advantage of combining the benefits of learning by writing (character appearance and definition) and learning by speaking (pronounciation and definition).

Of course this is much easier said than done, especially for beginners that don't have the knowledge base in a handful of Chinese characters that they can work with. Just be patient, and sooner or later you'll learn enough to make it useful.

12-21-2011, 11:09 AM
Sorry I didn't check back to this soon enough. I have been pretty busy since getting home. If anyone is interested in helping still, send me an email kenny022593 (at) gmail (dot) com. I will try to communicate with the little I know so far :)