Which part do you think is the most difficult problem when you are learning Chinese? I want to make a small survey to help me improve my teaching. I need your help. Which part is most difficult for you? Pronunciation? Characters?Grammar? Culture you could not tell by word?
Jul 25, 2014 1:12 PM
Answers · 4
As a beginner: I have found word order seems to be where I go wrong most. Vocabulary recycling is what I focus on most becuase vocabulary is unlike European languages and I know very few characters. I can learn some but I quickly forget them. So I am constantly repeating the characters I have been trying to learn over the last few months. I suppose this is why I have so many problems with grammar - becuase I am too focused on characters. I understand that pronunciation is the biggest problem - but my level is really low and I have little contact with chinese speakers so personally it is not a 'problem' for me as I don't speak. In the same way listening is hard but at the minute it is so connected with a lack of vocabulary that it isn't really a problem in itself.
July 31, 2014
Thank you, laogui! (Is this 老鬼?) You are very professional. I could tell you are a professional language teacher and a sensitive language learner. I do appreciate your opinion. As a Mandarin teacher of 5 years experience and language research education background, I am trying to find a more effective way of teaching, not translating, not by means of interlanguage, but directly. Chinese explains Chinese. First of all I need find a particular kind of "Chinese " between my students and me. Different people share differences. I will keep going on ! Thanks again!
August 8, 2014
Yes, word - clause - phrase order; longer, more complex sentences involving multiple conjunctions and multiple time place manner clauses are somewhat nightmarish, and we need to mentally rearrange them to arrive at the natural Chinese order. In English too we have many synonymous words that convey different shades of meaning - these tend to get lost in translating to Chinese where the vocabulary is simpler, and a single word is replace by one or more noun phrases. Ensuring subtle meaning is expressed in Chinese is not so easy. For example all the synonyms for amusement-entertainment seem to map back to 完完 哈哈! Think of hope vs wish. Think of tepid and lukewarm used either for heat or emotion. Negative sentences (which we can express either in negative or positive form) also get lost in Chinese because typically Chinese doesn't have the explicit antonyms. To express these 'elegantly' is difficult, and I feel I speak over-simplified Chinese as a result. Distinguishing really good, elegant Chinese is difficult. How do we do that?
August 7, 2014
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