Monday, January 29, 2007

One Year of study

One year ago on the 29th of January it was Chinese New Year, which was the day I chose to start bloging and seriously studying the Chinese language. I did know a little Chinese before that, but it was very minimal and mainly consisted of saying "Hello" and "How much does this cost?". I wouldn't have even been able to understand the answer to that question anyway.

So where am I after a year?

Actually not as far down the road to speaking Chinese as I would have thought at the beginning of the year. I would still consider that I have a way to go yet before I would call myself anything except a beginner. The biggest problem I have is finding the time I need. But still on the bright side I have learnt a lot and I still have a lot of enthusiasm for the task ahead.

I have been building a new and improved website recently, and had wanted to have it up by today. Unfortunately it is not quite ready yet, but should be very soon.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lesson 009 Birthday presents

Here is the next Flashcard lesson.

Lesson 009 Birthday presents

Wish - zhu4

Wish you a happy birthday. - zhu4 ni3 sheng1 ri4 kuai4 le4

Give you a present. - song4 gei3 ni3

What is it? - shi4 shen2 me

Correct, it's a book. - dui4, shi4 shu1

Correct, it's a drum. - dui4, shi4 gu3

Very good. - hen3 hao3

Correct, it's a trumpet. - dui4, shi4 xiao3 hao4

Real good! - zhen1 hao3

Correct, it's a boat. - dui4, shi4 chuan2

Toy - wan2 ju4

Correct, it's a toy bus. - dui4, shi4 wan2 ju4 gong1 gong4 qi4 che1

Correct, it's a toy aircraft. - dui4, shi4 wan2 ju4 fei1 ji1

Thank you. - xie4 xie ni3

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lesson 008 Long and short

Here is number 8 of my Flashcard Lessons.

I did find one mistake in this lesson. In the sentence "ta1 de gou3 bu2 ke3 ai4", "His/her dog is not cute.", I had left the 4th tone off ai4. I have updated this in the jMemorize file.

Lesson 008 Long and short

Short - duan3

Long - chang2

Tail - wei3 ba

The rabbits ears are very long. - tu4 zi de er3 duo hen3 chang2

My dog's nose is very short. - wo3 de gou3 de bi2 zi hen3 duan3

It's tail is very short. - ta1 de wei3 ba hen3 duan3.

It's tail is very long. - ta1 de wei3 ba hen3 chang2

lovely/cute - ke3 ai4

This is my cat, he/she is very cute. - zhe4 shi4 wo3 de mao1, ta1 shi4 hen3 ke3 ai4.

My rabbit is very cute. - wo3 de tu4 zi hen3 ke3 ai4

His/her dog is not cute. - ta1 de gou3 bu4 ke3 ai4

Look! - kan4

He/she/it looks very good. - ta1 hen3 hao3 kan4

He/she/it doesn't look good. - ta1 bu4 hao3 kan4

Friday, January 12, 2007

The debate over Flashcards

It seems I've converted Brendan from Peeling Mandarin into a flashcard user. You can see what he had to say here and here.

Ken from ChinesePod who seems to be against the use of flash cards, picked up on Brendans post and started a heated discussion here and here.

I thought I would say one more thing about this subject and that is, Don't over do the use of flashcards. When I first started using jMemorize I was doing at least an hour a day of this stuff and believe me it can get very monotonous after a while. It's very important to keep a balance between a few different methods so that the learning stays interesting. You don't need to look far to see that the majority of people who start to learn Mandarin give up before they get very far at all, and I would guess that boredom with the learning process plays a large part in why.

On the other hand I am sure that I would not be able to learn as much as I have without flashcards. They are an extremely effective method of memorizing material. I make sure that even if I don't get time to do any other study, I always do some flashcards every single day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Temple pictures

Here are the last few pictures I took in Taiwan, of some temples around Banchiao. I still have the pictures I took of signs, but I'll have to get them translated before I post them, and there is a bit of video I could do something with, but I need to get a new adaptor before I can copy them into the computer.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lesson 007 Parts of the face

Here is the next of my FlashCard lessons.

Lesson 007 Parts of the face

eye - yan3 jing

nose - bi2 zi

mouth - zui3 ba

ear - er3 duo

big - da4

small - xiao3

His/her eyes are very big. - ta1 de yan3 jing hen3 da4

His/her ears are very big. - ta1 de er3 duo hen3 da4

His/her nose is very small. - ta1 de bi2 zi hen3 xiao3

His/her mouth is very small. - ta1 de zui3 ba hen3 xiao3

Friday, January 05, 2007

Lesson 006 Pets

Since I got back to Australia I've been planning the next lot of flash card lessons including some Chinese character lessons. But I've also been rebuilding the hard earned progressions that I lost in the old lessons when my computer packed it in. Because of this I've started to checking the old lessons for mistakes again. So here is the next one I was up to posting.

Hopefully I'll get through these relatively quickly and get onto some new stuff.

Lesson 006 Pets

Do you have a cat? - ni3 you3 mao1 ma

Do you have a dog? - ni3 you3 gou3 ma

Do you have a bird? - ni3 you3 niau3 ma

Do you have a fish? - ni3 you3 yu2 ma

Do you have a rabbit? - ni3 you3 tu4 zi ma

I have! I have a dog. - you3, wo3 you3 guo3

I don't have any! I don't have a cat. - mei2 you3, wo3 mei2 you3 mao1

Do you like fish? - ni3 xi3 huan yu2 ma

Do you like rabbits? - ni3 xi3 huan tu4 zi ma

I do like! I like birds. - xi3 huan, wo3 xi3 huan niau3

I don't like. I don't like dogs. - bu4 xi3 huan, wo3 bu4 xi3 huan gou3

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Banchiao Markets