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Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard

 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
57 messages over 8 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 8 Next >>
leosmith
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5637 days ago

2365 posts - 3804 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 33 of 57
08 April 2011 at 4:02am | IP Logged 
I agree with Ari. It's excellent. Not complete, but excellent.
1 person has voted this message useful



ongkwanhk
Newbie
Hong Kong
Joined 4065 days ago

1 posts - 1 votes

 
 Message 34 of 57
09 April 2011 at 12:05pm | IP Logged 
Hallo,everyone I am a Chinese from Hong Kong usually I speak Cantonese but not Mandarin
many years ago when I started to learn Mandarin also it's damn hard to me,but now a day I
think to learn a language,it is just a problem time.What you need is take it easy when
you feel upset just leave it but not for long.
1 person has voted this message useful



Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 5669 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 35 of 57
09 April 2011 at 4:29pm | IP Logged 
ongkwanhk, just imagine how difficult it is for us poor Europeans who don't have Cantonese to help us learn
Mandarin! And also take comfort in the fact that Mandarin, as difficult as it is, is still easier than Cantonese.
1 person has voted this message useful



ylhow
Newbie
China
Joined 4062 days ago

2 posts - 4 votes

 
 Message 36 of 57
12 April 2011 at 5:23am | IP Logged 
I am a Chinese. I know the author of this article. He is a star in China now and his Chinese name is Mo Da Wei. I suppose this article was be written almost 20 years ago. His spoken Chinese is super good now because he studied Chinese crosstalk several years ago. If a foreigner’s Chinese is perfect Chinese people would like him very much. It is different to Japanese. I believe David is very happy in China because he know so many people like him. He is in China like a star and obscure in USA. His article is very humor despite full of complaint. I think this could attract others attention.
3 persons have voted this message useful



ChristopherB
Triglot
Senior Member
New Zealand
Joined 5403 days ago

851 posts - 1074 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, French

 
 Message 37 of 57
12 April 2011 at 4:08pm | IP Logged 
How do you write his name in Chinese?
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ylhow
Newbie
China
Joined 4062 days ago

2 posts - 4 votes

 
 Message 38 of 57
12 April 2011 at 5:27pm | IP Logged 
ChristopherB wrote:
How do you write his name in Chinese?


His name in Chinese is 莫大伟。

Aha, I know why his Chinese name is 莫大伟 (Mo Da Wei) suddenly.

David Moser
Da Wei Mo
大 伟 莫

In Chinese the surname is in the front of the whole name. His Chinese name pronunciation is similar to his English name. I use the same method to name me with English name.

1 person has voted this message useful



Leftcoaster
Diglot
Newbie
China
Joined 4118 days ago

22 posts - 36 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Portuguese, Mandarin, Russian

 
 Message 39 of 57
12 April 2011 at 8:36pm | IP Logged 
I have to say that I certainly agree with the author's frustration (even if he is now a celebrity in China) Mandarin Chinese is HARD for us westerns even if we live in China!

For me at least, one the things that really gets to me is that other people have no idea at how difficult it is to speak Chinese at a functional level. Basically, my friends and family figure that "he's studying Chinese" + "he lives in China" = "then he must speak fluent Chinese!"

For example, my cousin and my mom are coming to Beijing next month to do a grand tour across China. While it's not a problem for me to take them around town and show them the sights, they've confused my proficiency with in beijinghua with a fluency in Chinese. Specifically, my mom is planning to travel to Yunnan province and on announcing her plans she remarked to me that "at least we won't have to hire an interpreter because you can do that for us." Well actually mom, I wouldn't trust my Mandarin to get us that far and maybe hiring a translator would be the best option!

My mom was actually quite understanding (bless her heart!) but there initially was a big disconnect over my actual fluency. Learning Mandarin to a passable everyday-life-level takes a long time, even if you are immersed in the environment. Of course, the initial perception of most people is that if you live there and you study it then you can speak it fluently. Well, I can get around on my own in China but there's no way that I would allow my mom and cousin to travel to a completely different province and just rely on my poor Chinese skills.

Sorry to vent, but long story short Mandarin is most definitely a labor of love. Now if this was a trip to Columbia then I'm sure my Spanish skills would be up to par!
1 person has voted this message useful



Ari
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 5669 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 40 of 57
12 April 2011 at 10:36pm | IP Logged 
I have slowly come to the realization that Chinese is, in fact, hard. I've denied it many times in various ways
because it never FELT hard. I never felt like "Man I'm getting nowhere" or "I should be able to understand this but
I don't". It was always fun and I could always feel my understanding of the language growing (and I can still feel
that). But looking back at my learning progress, I guess it WAS hard (and kinda still is?). I spent hours a day
studying before I went to China, after all. I had like two years worth of serious study before I ever had a
conversation in the language, so I never had that "Damn, I can't get myself understood" phase. I was conversant
the first time I opened my mouth, and my year spent in China was just building on an already solid foundation.
But that foundation was completely lacking in speaking practice, so again I felt like I was making rapid progress.

But now I'm learning Spanish. I've been studying for less than two weeks and I can kinda read news in Spanish
and I get most grammatical constructions without needing any explanation. I watch Spanish music videos with
the lyrics on and I can understand most of what the song is about. Of course, this isn't a fair comparison as I've
got French and English to help me with the Spanish, but even accounting for that, the difference in time it takes
to learn Spanish compared to Mandarin is quite noticeable.

So I give in: Yes, Chinese is hard. But if it feels hard, you're not doing it right.


4 persons have voted this message useful



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