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Learning a non-phonetic language

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18 messages over 3 pages: 13  Next >>
ElComadreja
Senior Member
Philippines
bibletranslatio
Joined 4556 days ago

683 posts - 80 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Cebuano, French, Tagalog

 
 Message 9 of 18
26 September 2005 at 11:33am | IP Logged 
cheemaster wrote:
Perhaps instead of listening to the audio first, as Shusaku was doing, you could read through the dialogues and learn the words on paper first, and then listen to the dialogues.


Haha, thatís exactly what I do. I was able to read through my Spanish & French FSI conversations long before I could understand them spoken (or the grammar thereof). I hardly ever listen *while* reading though, as I just end up reading instead.

So you see the problem I may/will have with learning Chinese.

Edited by ElComadreja on 26 September 2005 at 11:34am



Shusaku
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4418 days ago

145 posts - 12 votes
1 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese

 
 Message 10 of 18
26 September 2005 at 12:20pm | IP Logged 
Just to clarify, I also started out using textbooks with romanized text in them in conjunction with the audio. It's not like I took a bunch of dialogues and figured them out just by listening. But once I read through a dialogue and had a basic understanding of it, along with the vocabulary in it, I'd try to stick to just using the audio. I think this has made it a bit easier for me to move onto "real" dialogues, as you'll ultimately need to do when you run out of textbook material.

It's good if you can find dialogues with both characters and romanization. I've been learning most of my characters by reading the character version of those dialogues which I've already listened to or shadowed hundreds of times.



ElComadreja
Senior Member
Philippines
bibletranslatio
Joined 4556 days ago

683 posts - 80 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Cebuano, French, Tagalog

 
 Message 11 of 18
26 September 2005 at 2:12pm | IP Logged 
I have a "teach yourself Chinese" book in the bottom of my closet somewhere. I got through several of the lessons before. It uses pinyin dialogs, but has the character equivalents in the back. I need to buy the tapes that go with it though, if I want to go that route. I wonder how good it would be for me though, since I havenít had much success with that series of books. (and to get the FSI Chinese is just so darn expensive)
FSI Japanese was published by Barronís and uses an odd Romanized method of writing. I donít know, just tossing around some ideas in my head.



cheemaster
Newbie
Canada
Joined 4363 days ago

35 posts

 
 Message 12 of 18
26 September 2005 at 2:29pm | IP Logged 
Shusaku: Just to clarify - you read through dialogues first, written in the roman script, and then listened to them using the basic understanding acquired from your reading. You then went on to learn the character transcript of these dialogues, whose sounds and roman equivalents you had learned. Is this correct?

I do not reccomend the Teach Yourself series either, as the dialogues are limited and errors can be spotted occasionally.
This seems to be quite a dilemma. Maybe someone else would like to share their experience and method for learning Chinese characters?

Edited by cheemaster on 26 September 2005 at 2:38pm



Shusaku
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4418 days ago

145 posts - 12 votes
1 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese

 
 Message 13 of 18
26 September 2005 at 3:56pm | IP Logged 
Yes, that's pretty much how I've learned to recognize most of my characters so far. At one point I did try to learn a few characters a day by rote but after two months of this I felt overwhelmed and consequently have forgotten quite a few of them (I did learn most of the radicals during this time though and those I didn't forget). Maybe others are better at this than I am, but learning characters for words I already know how to use is the only technique that has worked for me. I still have a long way to go until I can say I'm literate though, so I'm open to any suggestions to further speed up the process!

Also, I wouldn't immediately dismiss the Teach Yourself series, each one is very different and it really depends on the language. I've never used the Mandarin one that ElComadreja mentioned, but I thought the Cantonese one was quite good. The dialogues are particularly entertaining in that one.



Cthulhu
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4541 days ago

139 posts - 95 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Mandarin, Russian

 
 Message 14 of 18
26 September 2005 at 4:15pm | IP Logged 
orion wrote:
I believe the Taiwanese have a simplified writing system used to help kids learn, similar to the Japanese kana. I think its called bopomofo, or zhuyin fuhao (something like that). Maybe this would be useful to you?


The names are both correct, and it's reasonably easy to find books (generally aimed at younger people) with bopomofo pronunciations along the side of every character in Taiwan; I think I still have an abridged copy of "The Dream of Red Mansions" lying around somewhere with them. If you can acquire some of those books they might be suited to their learning style, but I don't think they're very easy to find outside of Taiwan. Besides that I don't know what else I could say that hasn't already been said.



cheemaster
Newbie
Canada
Joined 4363 days ago

35 posts

 
 Message 15 of 18
26 September 2005 at 4:25pm | IP Logged 
Shusaku wrote:
Also, I wouldn't immediately dismiss the Teach Yourself series, each one is very different and it really depends on the language.


You are right, Shusaku, each language is different in this series, and I should not have been so quick to presume otherwise. I apologize for this misunderstanding.

Edited by cheemaster on 26 September 2005 at 4:26pm



orion
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4339 days ago

623 posts - 66 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian

 
 Message 16 of 18
29 September 2005 at 11:14am | IP Logged 
The Teach Yourself Chinese is not bad. I would recommend getting the tapes that go with it however. One minor thing I did not like about it is that it has the literal translations with the pinyin, which I found kind of distracting. A highlighter solved this.



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