Anyone speak Mandarin?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Nekhebet, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm trying to learn to speak Mandarin. I have always considered myself good at language.

    Yeah...

    So, first off, which is more universal? Traditional or the other?
    Also, I am using the rosetta stone program, and though I just started, I'm worried that it will be impossible to correct my pronunciation without a class atmosphere (my college schedule is packed without mandarin). Do I learn to watch lots of chinese movies?

    Any tips on how to pronounce the "a" in "fan" and the "r" as in "nu ren"? Experiencing difficulties with those two. I'd appreciate any help!
     
  2. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    I know it's a difficult language, one you sing more than speak. There is also a lot of aspiration: a ch'i is pronounced different than chi for example, a little like accents in Spanish but more air is involved.

    Mandarin also has 5 pitches: low, middle, high, rising, falling

    So, if you have the syllables fang pu hong, if you said it low, rising, middle it would mean something different than high falling high for example.

    My brother signed up for a Mandarin class in college to complement his M.B.A. but dropped out after one class.

    I know Japanese has only 5 vowel sounds, but I know Mandarin has a lot more diphthongs like ue and ao and ui for example.

    My Early Asian History professor also taught the Mandarin classes at college, so we learned a little just from the history course.
     
  3. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:0.o
    Well, I guess this is going to be interesting. This may be why I've always heard Spanish called an "easy" language.
     
  4. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Quote:0.o
    Well, I guess this is going to be interesting. This may be why I've always heard Spanish called an "easy" language.

    I keep telling my students that Spanish is FAR easier and more consistent than English. The vowels only have 1 sound, there are irregular verbs but not nearly as many as English. I go to school ~ I went to school. Why don't bread and read rhyme? To, two and too? They're, there, their? We've got a pretty wacky language.

    Japanese is a bit like Spanish in that it is very phonetic, the vowels only have one sound and the verbs are simpler than English. Japanese does use a lot of modifying words and honorifics and the language changes depending on who you're speaking to: make sure you're using the correct level of politeness. Actually, in Japanese, it's hard to directly insult someone, usually you're just less polite.
     
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I've been working on Castilian for years [​IMG] Not so good with language.
     
  6. Nekhebet

    Nekhebet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:0.o
    Well, I guess this is going to be interesting. This may be why I've always heard Spanish called an "easy" language.

    I keep telling my students that Spanish is FAR easier and more consistent than English. The vowels only have 1 sound, there are irregular verbs but not nearly as many as English. I go to school ~ I went to school. Why don't bread and read rhyme? To, two and too? They're, there, their? We've got a pretty wacky language.

    Japanese is a bit like Spanish in that it is very phonetic, the vowels only have one sound and the verbs are simpler than English. Japanese does use a lot of modifying words and honorifics and the language changes depending on who you're speaking to: make sure you're using the correct level of politeness. Actually, in Japanese, it's hard to directly insult someone, usually you're just less polite.

    My husband took Japanese and is currently less than happily learning some Korean. He says that Japanese is EASY to him because many of the sounds are similar to Spanish, which he was raised on.

    On that note, Spanish grammar always killed me. Reflexives drive me nuts. I bathe myself. You brush your hair, etc. Sounds so simple in English, so many ways to say the same thing in Spanish. I am working on reading comprehension here and there with Spanish in case I need it for Grad School/doctoral programs, but still need to make time for my regular studying and of course, learning Mandarin.
    So much to do, and only 24 hours in the day.
     
  7. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    I teach Spanish and have studied it formally since 8th grade and informally I know some Polish from my family and German from DH's family. I lived in Dublin Ohio for a year and a good portion of that school was Japanese since there was a Honda plant nearby. Couple that with a good friend of mine took Japanese in high school and would only watch anime with subtitles, I actually learned quite a bit from that. On my own I've studied Scots Gaelic, Icelandic and Khalkha Mongol although I never kept up with any of these, I still have the books though. Knowing Spanish makes French, Portuguese and Italian comprehensible. Most of my history courses were medieval or ancient history so I am familiar with Latin and I know some words in Greek.

    My bachelor's is in history and Spanish and I would have loved to have become a linguistic historian or a historical linguist. But I guess I'll just have to be an armchair one [​IMG] Don't have the money or time to pursue a Ph.D. in this!
     
  8. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Ooooo my brain drives me crazy, who is that guy who wrote the very controversial book on race who is actually a historic linguist? Also wrote a very cool book on tonal languages and the emigration of language constructs. Mc Whorter???? Is that him?

    He speaks like 20 languages. Oh I wish.

    My sisters in laws are raising their three kids in Hong Kong. All three are fluent in English, french and Mandarin... Envy is a terrible sin.
     
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    My dd's school teaches the Rosetta Stone for first grade class. Hubby is up in arms about her learning the Spanish language which I thought she will do very well. Hubby thinks that ALL American kids should learn the English language, master it inside and out with all the elements into making of the English language. Once they succeed in doing so, then they can go on and learn foreign languages. As for me, the older you are, the harder you are to retain or learn foreign languages. I am FOR my dd's education in getting some education in Spanish.
     
  10. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Quote:They're going to outnumber by the year 2050 anyway. BTW, the USA has no official language.
     

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