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I studied for 1.5 years already and I will probably study for 2 more years because I want to be able to use Chinese in a casual work setting. I don't see myself taking any formal tests as I'm more interested in speaking fluidly rather than knowing lots of non-frequent words.
So... how long do you think you will study Chinese? And why that long?
Hey Marwan - just following up on this also - the term for this type of Chinese word is "transliteration" which means they start with an English word then choose Chinese characters to make the whole word sound like it's English equivalent. It's quite common for new words or concepts and also for brand names. If you read it out loud and it sort of sounds like an English word there's a chance it's just a transliteration.
A classic example is the Chinese name for Coca Cola -可口可乐 Kě kǒu kě lè -
可口 kě kǒu / tasty / to taste good /
可乐 kě lè / amusing / entertaining / (loanword) cola /
And for the name of plcae.
New Jersey = 新泽西 Xīn zé xi
That makes sense I 'm finding that the characters themselves can have more broader meanings than like english . But cleared up a big thing for me . Thanks!
hey viking - how long have you been studying? why did you start?
I have been learning to Speak Chinese about three years; and just started a few months ago learning to read and use IME to write (type) Chinese. I learned to speak Chinese pronunciation using BO-PO-MO but now learning to write Characters with IME using PINYIN, so my learning is kinda stumbling to a degree but I enjoy it. I think it will take me a two or three years to learn to read Chinese at a decent enough level to read intermediate level Chinese READERS, mostly because it has taken me some time to find a progressive method of learning to read Chinese.
hey dave - i would suggest also learning how to write characters as that was what i found most useful for improving my retention & reading. here's one discussion to get you started best way to remember characters. You might also want to check out Mandarin Companion for reading material - for example, they have some classic books written in simpler Chinese so only require 300 characters to read an entire book. let us know how it goes.
I am on my first full-time semester and thinking about doing another one. I am in "seven minds" - don't know if I should rather pursue a job and focus on speaking more Chinese in my daily life in Shanghai. I am unsure about how much another semester will benefit me and I stress a little bit about that I should be out to pursue career opportunities instead of "drawing" small characters. I cant help to think sometimes if it is a waste of my time. On the other side I am AMAZED about how much I have learned in less than three months and with hard work I have achieved a great understanding of the Chinese language. Characters.... Not so much. I do study them but I dont copy 50+ times as I did in the beginning so I focus on recognition rather than being able to draw the correct strokes. Decisions-decisions :)
hi line - as i commented also to dave above, i think writing characters by hand is one of the most underrated ways of improving retention & reading. i would also just comment that you can always find a job later but it's really hard to go from a job back into studying full time. if you don't have financial pressure, i would seriously consider studying more while you can. plus as your chinese improves, so do your job prospects. what kind of work are you looking for? want to stay in shanghai or...?
I imagine that, on some loevel, I'm going to be studying it for the rest of my life. I plan to continue self-teaching throughout highschool, and hopefully get into an organised higher-level course in college. Assuming that I leave that with a relatively good understanding of the language, I will likely continue to use it. I also have dreams of being an ESL teacher, and Chinese could certainly help there. Really, it's impossible to make an accurate extrapolation, but I predict I'm going to be learning for years. I hope to be able to be able to understand others and express myself through Chinese in a fluid manner-I suppose that's really my end goal, to be able to connect meaningfully with some of the millions of people who speak the language. ^.^
I studied for a bit in college, but didn't take my college courses as seriously as I should have, and lost a lot of my language skills after I came back from my summer studying abroad in BeiJing. I anticipate that studying Chinese will be a life long pursuit, and I'm looking forward to it.
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