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studying chinese

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Post by sai » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 1:48 pm

that last post was me in case anyone was wondering.

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Post by jpatokal » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 9:13 pm

NBB wrote:Sai, everything you've learned about the English language, when it comes to communicating in Mandarin, none of it is going to help you one iota. It's like learning a new lingo from scratch. Expect the worst, then square it - twice.
That's the right spirit. :twisted: But seriously, the basics of Chinese grammar are very easy; just speak Singlish! No conjugations, no tenses, no gender, no nothing.

And as for Sai's comment about knowing enough to speak to the gf's folks, I've been studying Japanese for 8 years and counting, and you wouldn't believe the number of horror stories I've heard from fellow gaijin about the asking-for-her-hand ritual in Japanese... :shock:

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Post by NBB » Fri, 30 Jul 2004 10:18 pm

Hey, if that's really true JP, then let's get it on!


Mandarin Tutors?

Post by seattler » Thu, 05 Aug 2004 1:00 pm

Not sure how your search went... is it easier to find a school/class set up, or a tutor? I'm 90% moving to Singapore in a few months and would love to continue studying Mandarin - did 18 months at a school in Taiwan a number of years back, so it'll come back... right!?

Any word on what the average cost is for this (tutor/class)?

SG female

Post by SG female » Wed, 18 Aug 2004 11:38 am

NBB wrote:Angmoh (local speak for 'white guy' - actually literally it means 'red-haired monkey', but it's more of a tongue-in-cheek term than really derogatory) active in this region.
NBB... ang moh actually means simply 'red-hair'. It only got derogatory when people said ang moh gui which meant 'red haired devil/ghost', but people don't do that anymore. Not all caucs are red haired, but it's just a general term. :)

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Post by sai » Mon, 23 Aug 2004 2:07 pm

i did some research on classes. i am going to assume that most of the schools listed on the net are expensive, well placed, etc. only one place had rates listed also. the cheapest private class was S$60 per hour and it goes as high as S$8000 for an six week course. most schools said that we pick up some basic idea of differentiating between the mandarin language and other south-east asian languages during the beginner level and by the time we have completed the final advanced level, we should be able to interpret, read and write most chinese characters. then some places offer only oral communication. classes are 7-16 in size. private classes from 1-4 in size with rates increasing with class size decrease.

i suggest we go for something that is four to five hours per week, perhaps in the S$200 to S$500 range. most of these either meet for two hours per day twice a week or four hours on a saturday. then there are the company sponsored classes (depends on the stinginess of your company). or someone was telling me about these mass classes listed in the local paper which are quite affordable.

any suggestions on what we should start with? perhaps the dude with eighteen months of chinese study under his belt can suggest how we ought to start.

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Do u realize what your nick name means in hokkien?

Post by Cam » Tue, 24 Aug 2004 4:35 am

just so u know

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Post by jpatokal » Wed, 25 Aug 2004 11:52 pm

S$60 per hour per person sounds pretty high to me... if you're happy with less structured lessons, you can get moonlighting Chinese students (as in "students from China") to tutor you for much less.


Post by RollerGirl » Mon, 30 Aug 2004 2:01 pm

You should be able to get a private tutor for cheaper then that. My tutor comes to my condo once a week for $45 (but at the time I had poor negotiation skills - I wonder now if she would have done the lesson for $40). She teaches for 1 1/2 hours.

At the moment I'm going through the basics and soon she will start introducing me to the characters. She is originally from Shanghai which is good as she points out the words/phrases that locals dont say here. I dont work (just a tai-tai here!) so picking a time for me is easy, but I know she sees a businessman in my condo once a week after work - and if you are travelling for work/play etc it is easy to stop the lessons, for what ever length of time, until you return and can resume them.

You might be better off asking around for a personal recommendation for a private tutor from work colleagues/friends when you get here.


Post by gwailo » Wed, 01 Sep 2004 1:08 pm

The reference to "red haired" comes from the observation that the hair on the arms of white boys is reddish when viewed in the sun. Kow refers to your often observed behavior.

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Post by Bafana » Wed, 01 Sep 2004 1:49 pm

gwailo wrote:The reference to "red haired" comes from the observation that the hair on the arms of white boys is reddish when viewed in the sun. Kow refers to your often observed behavior.
Are you on any special form of medication taht we should know off??? :shock: :roll: :wink:


Post by Guest » Sun, 03 Oct 2004 7:36 pm

Hi all,

It is still better to learn from a school, class etc.

And preferably learn from those which doesn't teach pin ying.
That was how I learn it 18 years ago.

Learn the words, 1 word by word, increasing the difficulty of the words by the number of strokes.

If you just want to speak, get 1 or 2 people who speaks Mandarin, a dictionary and go karaoke...I'm sure that helps alot.

I just finished a tutoring lesson to a french today, he is a very hardworking person, I am sure he will improve very soon.

On contrary to "get a dictionary", I do not think it is 100% necessary if your school is giving you enough grammer information and vocabulary. We only need to get a chinese dictionary during Primary 4, (10yrs old).
And we started with elementary books with alot of pictures.

I am sorry to say that there is no short cuts in learning, only hardwork and on on lor! I'm presently preparing materials for my other Quebec friend also, best cheapest place to get tools is go popular. I sent a chinese<-> English dictionary which cost less than S$10 to my friend.

I hope this will help.


Post by Guest » Mon, 04 Oct 2004 11:03 am

I'm local, just wanted to clear the air about the angmoh part. It translates to 'red-hair'. If its "angmoh gao", then it translates to red-haired monkey.

i don't here "angmoh gao" much these days, just angmoh. And no, its not something derogatory.

Simple Talk

Post by Simple Talk » Mon, 04 Oct 2004 12:07 pm

To learn Chinese effectively, you need lots of exposure to hearing it outside of your tuition classes.
Watch the Chinese drama shows on TV, especially those with Chinese subtitles - read them while they are being spoken. Try to avoid reading the English subtitles if they are there!


Re: studying chinese

Post by sefuserLAH » Mon, 04 Oct 2004 4:56 pm

sai wrote:hey guys

i wanted to study chinese. i was wondering if anyone out there wanted to study it with me in like september or october if classes are available. i speak english or rather american. i did not want to go by myself to the school or class.

I reckon the easiest way to pick up mandarin would be to date a chinese girl , China not local.there's nothing like learning thru good daily conversation.
worked well in spain, picked up the language from an adorable chica in 3 months there.

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