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Simplified Chinese - Lesson 1


Sep 1 2007, 01:16 AM (Post #1)
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This tutorial will teach you the basics of simplified Chinese. Granted, different teachers will teach it different ways.

Chinese has been around for at least 5,000 years. It is a pictographical language that requires pure memorization. There is no getting around like in English, where you can utilize greek and latin roots in order to find out the meaning of the word.

Each Chinese word is monosyllabic and functions on four main tones, if you are speaking mandarin (other dialects within China can have many more). When writing in Pinyin, you use these tones to indicate what word you are using, as words do have multiple meanings. I will indicate them here, using the word middle (中), zhong, as an example.

zhong (This is read as the first tone. It is read as is)
zhóng (This is the second tone, with emphasis on the O, and sounds like
zhðng (This is the third tone, and sounds like
zhòng (This is the fourth tone, and sounds like


Note: I don't know if I described this right. Maybe Jinghao can help here. I need help on words that sound like the tones, because I can't think of any.

This is the end of lesson 1.
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Sep 1 2007, 01:25 AM (Post #2)
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Can you give us english words which have the different accented O sounds?

Also, the phrases "going upwards" and "read downwards" mean absolutely nothing to me......
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Sep 1 2007, 01:26 AM (Post #3)
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Good idea. May be a bit hard though.
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