Learning Mandarin

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
YPL
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 1:02 am

Learning Mandarin

Post by YPL » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 1:24 am

Hi all

Please can anyone suggest tried and tested courses where I can learn Mandarin in Singapore? Also whats the best way to practice as I hear most people speak English.

many thanks

Modery
Member
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 3:24 pm
Contact:

Post by Modery » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 10:47 am

One option is this one: http://www.scciob.edu.sg/index.cfm?GPID=385
Other option: Check your nearest community centre http://one.pa.gov.sg/CRMSPortal/CRMSPortal.portall

Best way to practice? Chinese friends.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6869
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 20 Mar 2012 11:48 am

Modery wrote: Best way to practice? Chinese friends who are from PRC, not local Singaporeans.
Fixed that for you!

User avatar
AndyWillie
Regular
Regular
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 6:20 pm

Post by AndyWillie » Thu, 22 Mar 2012 1:11 pm

But Chinese friends from China, there would be difficulty in learning no? As far as my understanding goes, China Chinese aren't very good in speaking English at all which would hinder the teaching experience..I would say Singapore Chinese is a better option.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39643
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 22 Mar 2012 2:16 pm

Rong. ;-)

Singaporean Chinese speak a bastardized version of Mandarin much like their bastardized version of English (called Singlish). Ask any PRC with some English about their opinion of the local version of Mandarin and you will get my drift.

So what if their English if rough, you want to learn Mandarin, not English. They will be helping your and vice versa.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

durian123
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 7:58 pm

Post by durian123 » Mon, 26 Mar 2012 8:47 am

I have been studying Mandarin for just over a year with a teacher from mainland China. I chose a private tutor because my work hours are completely unpredictable and I'd find it very hard to attend regular weekly classes at say 6pm, and I also really like the personalised teaching (some days you can't face writing another character, so you can just sit down and chat instead). Happy to give you her number if you are interested.

I think learning from a mainlander will give you a more "standard" way of learning, and definitely one closer to the Mandarin spoken in most of the world, which is why I went down that road. There are also many mainlanders with degrees in Mandarin, or in teaching Mandarin, whereas Singaporeans are much less likely to have one of those.

However, I also do language exchanges with Singaporeans (gumtree has loads of ads for that), because there's not much point learning Chinese if I'm not going to be able to communicate with anybody in the country where I live. And yes, their Chinese is a bit different, but that doesn't make it wrong, so there's no need to be condescending. (English speakers the world over speak different forms of English after all.)

I also use a bunch of internet resources: ChinesePod is one of the best out there.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6869
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:35 pm
Location: Once more unto the breach

Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 26 Mar 2012 11:13 am

durian123 wrote: I also use a bunch of internet resources: ChinesePod is one of the best out there.
Also try PopUp Chinese. I used to subscribe to ChinesePod, but switched to Pop-up with a few others I used to study with. Their lessons are a bit more concise, useful, and don't have so much wasted time. ChinesePod sounded a lot like a morning radio show. And although it didn't have a bearing on me personally, something rubbed me the wrong way when I heard how one of their founders shut down their chain of local language schools, ran off in the night without paying any of the teachers, and is wanted in China :P

durian123
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 7:58 pm

Post by durian123 » Mon, 26 Mar 2012 12:07 pm

I actually did take a look at PopUp Chinese but found ChinesePod to be more my thing. You scared me there with your story about founders fleeing the country, but having read a bit about it (and having continued to happily subscribe to ChinesePod for the past year) I'm tempted to feel like Ken Carroll was more caught up in a nasty storm then intentionally malicious. Then again that's just based on a bit of googling.

Bottom line: if you're starting from scratch, check out the various options, (CPod and PopupChinese come up a lot) and see what works for you. I would seriously recommend some "real" lessons on top though.

Makingthemove
Regular
Regular
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 7:52 am
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Post by Makingthemove » Tue, 02 Oct 2012 7:28 pm

I picked up a flyer from a shop in Clementi Mall recently, sounded very efficient, next course begins in Nov, 16 weeks, once a week. Will find it and post again.

Segue
Regular
Regular
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 1:09 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by Segue » Tue, 02 Oct 2012 8:03 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Rong. ;-)

Singaporean Chinese speak a bastardized version of Mandarin much like their bastardized version of English (called Singlish). Ask any PRC with some English about their opinion of the local version of Mandarin and you will get my drift.

So what if their English if rough, you want to learn Mandarin, not English. They will be helping your and vice versa.
Exactly. I recommend the Singapore Chinese Chamber of commerce. http://www.scciob.edu.sg/ Very good teachers there (from Mainland China).

I studied Mandarin for a number of years. I took the test and was placed in the Advanced business section at Scciob. I was the only white guy there. Because I have lived in Beijing, I learned with a more standard mainland accent which gave me an advantage.

Most of the local Singaporeans really butcher the grammar, word usage and tones. My teacher would love to poke fun of them. She would often comment that non-native speakers have an advantage as they were not exposed to dialects and simple word usage you take on when you learn as a child. For most Singaporeans, Mandarin is a second language - many can get by but very few speak it well.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests