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  #21  
Old February 6th, 2008, 10:13 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

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Originally Posted by JJFinch View Post
Oh, I can't see any of the characters...they just show as squares on my computer. I don't speak a single word of any type of Chinese.

So, to start with basics, how would I say "hello" in whichever version of Chinese anyone feels like teaching me?

Thanks in advance!
There's not really a direct translation for "hello." The phrase 你好 is often used as a greeting, which means "How are you?" It's pronounced "nee hao" in Mandarin and "nay ho" in Cantonese. Formally, you would add 嗎 to the end, which is pronounced "ma" in both.

I answer the phone in Cantonese by yelling "Wei??" and also a common greeting in the morning is "jo sun" which means "good morning." I don't know what they say in Mandarin...


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  #22  
Old February 7th, 2008, 2:30 am
pottercomics  Male.gif pottercomics is offline
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Is the proper answer to "ni hao ma?" is "wo henhao"?


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  #23  
Old February 9th, 2008, 2:04 pm
_0XHermioneX_  Female.gif _0XHermioneX_ is offline
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Re: Chinese (中文)

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Oh, I can't see any of the characters...they just show as squares on my computer. I don't speak a single word of any type of Chinese.
That's because you haven't got a programme that read other languages. but if you have Vista, it can read any other languages, I think.

Quote:
Is the proper answer to "ni hao ma?" is "wo henhao"?
Yup.


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  #24  
Old February 10th, 2008, 3:18 am
Lyra Black  Undisclosed.gif Lyra Black is offline
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Re: Chinese (中文)

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Originally Posted by YellowPoofBall View Post
a common greeting in the morning is "jo sun" which means "good morning." I don't know what they say in Mandarin...
It's 'zao' or more formally 'zao an' in Mandarin. I've never actually heard anyone say zao an. Everyone says zao.


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  #25  
Old February 18th, 2008, 2:29 am
chochang86  Female.gif chochang86 is offline
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Re: Chinese (中文)

你门好!
How exciting to find a Chinese thread on this HP forum. I haven't been here for so long and so much seems to have changed!
I'm studying Chinese now in my spare time and it is my ambition to read The Philosopher's Stone in Chinese ^^ Does anyone know where I can buy a copy of the Chinese version?? I'm living in the UK right now and would be looking for a copy with simplified characters as I still haven't got my head around the traditional ones >.<


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  #26  
Old March 4th, 2008, 6:55 pm
pietherapy  Female.gif pietherapy is offline
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Re: Chinese (中文)

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Originally Posted by pottercomics View Post
Would you mind explaining basic sentence structure? If it's anything like Japanese's, then I'm sure it's quite easy. Does the verb go at the end, like in Japanese? Since both Chinese and Japanese use the Chinese symbols, I shouldn't have trouble with learning them—the only problem is Japanese's multiple meanings. Otherwise, the pronunciations are so different, I'll remember which word be longs to which language (for the most part).
I know this is a few months out of date for a response, but I wanted to try and help you by comparing Japanese and Chinese sentence structures.

In Chinese, as YellowPoofBall mentions, the structure of subject + verb + direct object is just like English, but I wouldn't assume that most Chinese grammar is exactly like English. One of the most important features of the Chinese sentence is that, in formal speaking, you most always require the use of a subject (like a pronoun - I, he, you...). In Japanese this can be omitted.

Here's an example (in roman script so everyone can read)

Chinese: wo you gou (I have a dog)
Japanese: inu ga arimasu (I have a dog)

In the Chinese version, you have all the components that make a typical Chinese sentence, with a structure resembling English: Subject (I) + verb (have) + object (dog). In Japanese, the pronoun is highly optional in pretty much most contexts, so you have simply "inu (dog) ga (this is a particle, and merits extensive explanation elsewhere) arimasu (have)." With the pronoun, the Japanese sentence would read "Watashi wa inu ga arimasu." But because the context is implied, you get simply "inu ga arimasu."

Another important difference between Chinese and Japanese is that Chinese verbs are NOT conjugated. What we would refer to as "helping verbs" are added to the verb word to make different meanings. For instance, to say "I study," you would say "wo xue." To change to "I studied," you simply add the particle, or helping verb, "le." Thus "wo xue" becomes "wo xue le," or "I studied."

In Japanese, of course, the opposite is true. Verb conjugation is extensive and at times complicated, as the actual verb itself is morphed and changed and added to or retracted to get different meanings. I could go into Japanese conjugations (one of my favorite pastimes - how sad is that?) but this is a Chinese thread

I hope that helps. I'm about to begin studying linguistics for graduate school so I'm trying to get as much experience as I can in language comparisons and formation.


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  #27  
Old March 5th, 2008, 3:44 am
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Re: Chinese (中文)

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Originally Posted by pietherapy View Post
I could go into Japanese conjugations (one of my favorite pastimes - how sad is that?)
We're in the same boat. Nihongo ga suki desu!


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  #28  
Old April 24th, 2008, 3:42 am
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Nihao ma!
My brother and I are interested in learning Mandarin Chinese. Could someone help me with some basic phrases?


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  #29  
Old July 12th, 2008, 3:33 am
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Re: Chinese (中文)

I'm learning Mandarin at school

Ni hao!

That's about all I know though I missed quite alot of it...

We learnt numbers the other day, that was very interesting!

And the four different ways of saying something is comfusing...


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  #30  
Old July 12th, 2008, 1:09 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

I've been learning Mandarin Chinese for 2 years now and it's so exciting ! I like it cause it's completely different from our alphabetical system.
I've only been able to say a few words and some full sentences but I like it anyway...

I had trouble learning the numbers and how to write the day but now I understand it pretty well.
My writing of the characters is terrible though ! I wonder how my teacher manages to understand what I write on my tests !


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  #31  
Old July 12th, 2008, 1:42 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

I am Mandarin. I talk to my family in mandarin and i can write some.

I.E.

I know how to write Chinese. 我知道那样写中文。


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  #32  
Old July 19th, 2008, 6:00 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

你好马?

Is that correct for saying hello? Or asking how someone is?

我不是中国人. 我是加拿大人.

你是中国人马? 你也是美国人马?

Did that make sense? I hope it made a little bit of sense atleast...!!


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  #33  
Old July 19th, 2008, 7:45 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

My family and I visited Beijing last year and me and my brother were planning on buying Rosetta Stone for Mandarin (since all we basically know is a few basic phrases) and I was wondering if anyone here knew if that was a reliable program to use for language learning?


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  #34  
Old September 28th, 2008, 3:57 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Hey, does anyone know any good programmes for writing Chinese Mandarin on the computer?


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  #35  
Old September 30th, 2008, 8:39 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

I'm chinese and I go to Mandarin school every Saturday. I'm on level 9. Sooo....anyone who wants to learn mandarin, I can teach you!


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  #36  
Old September 30th, 2008, 8:40 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

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Originally Posted by CharityBurbage View Post
你好马?

Is that correct for saying hello? Or asking how someone is?

我不是中国人. 我是加拿大人.

你是中国人马? 你也是美国人马?

Did that make sense? I hope it made a little bit of sense atleast...!!
just change 马 to 吗


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  #37  
Old September 30th, 2008, 8:40 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC2456 View Post
Hey, does anyone know any good programmes for writing Chinese Mandarin on the computer?
no. but you can write chinese on Microsoft word. You just need to insert mandarin in your language bar!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharityBurbage View Post
你好马?

Is that correct for saying hello? Or asking how someone is?

我不是中国人. 我是加拿大人.

你是中国人马? 你也是美国人马?

Did that make sense? I hope it made a little bit of sense atleast...!!
ya...just change it into what Voldemorts8thHorcrux said. Other than that, I'm just gonna say that you are AWESOME at chinese!

Are you mandarin too, Voldemorts8thHorcrux?


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Last edited by muggleborn168; September 30th, 2008 at 8:43 pm.
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  #38  
Old October 2nd, 2008, 1:56 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Oh, what a coincidence! I just read about Mandarin in the paper today, and it was said that some language professor or something like that had named it the easiest language to learn, and I decided to add it to my "Languages-I-want-to-learn"-list! And the next thing I see: A Chinese thread on CoS Forums!

But I'll have to ask: Is Mandarine really that easy to learn? (No matter what you answere, I won't remove it from my list, it's the language spoken by most people in the world, so I still want to learn it )


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  #39  
Old October 3rd, 2008, 5:07 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC2456 View Post
Hey, does anyone know any good programmes for writing Chinese Mandarin on the computer?
Like muggleborn168 said, if you use Widows it's just a matter of accessing it through the language options in control panel. On Windows XP this is how you set it up (and I think it would be similar on other windows versions):
Start menu -> control panel -> Date, time, language and regional options -> add other languages -> choose the 'languages' tab and then the 'details' button. Now you can add languages by hitting the 'add' button. You'll probably notice that there are several Chinese options, the Chinese (PRC) option is probably the best (it can do both simplified and traditional).

When all this is done you should see an 'En' or 'Ch' appear on the tool bar at the bottom of your screen. This is the language bar, En means English and Ch means Chinese. You can toggle between the two.

Two free programs which are useful for leaning or just translating are DimSum and zdt. They do much the same thing, they both contain a reasonably large dictionary and can translate full phrases. I don't think either of them are really easy to use (mainly because a lot of their features aren't immediately obvious), but they're both excellent value considering they are free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morning_Star
Is Mandarine really that easy to learn?
That's a difficult question to answer because in some ways it's relatively easy and in other ways it's hard. It also depends on what other languages you can speak. My opinion as a person of European background who doesn't speak any other Asian language...

What makes Chinese initially quite difficult is the writing system. I think if you already know some characters (eg, if you are Japanese of Korean) then this will help a lot. I live in Taiwan, but I have a few Japanese colleagues who can approximately read a Chinese newspaper even though they haven't studied much Chinese. They can't read it really well, but enough to have a fair idea what the article is about. But if you don't have this advantage then it can be quite hard at first. However, after a while the components of the different characters become more familiar and leaning a new character is almost as easy as leaning any new word in any language.

Listening can be tricky for a new leaner. Firstly there are the tones. If you have a good ear you can pick it up fairly quickly, but many students struggle and a few never quite get it. Secondly, there aren't many different sounds in Mandarin and this mean many words sound identical (even when taking into account the different tones) and the only way to distinguish them is from the context, and that can only be done by understanding the majority of the sentence being spoken. So, if you hear a sentence but only caught 1/4 of the words you really have very little chance of guessing what was said because you missed the context. You get used to it after a bit, but it can be frustrating at first.

On the plus side, the grammar is quite simple. You don't usually use plurals and you don't conjugate verbs and you don't have 'the' and 'a'. The sentence structure is quite strict. In English you can switch parts of a sentence around and still make a grammatically correct sentence, but Chinese is less flexible. For some students this can be a problem, but I like it because I'm generally good at remembering rules like this.


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Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.

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Last edited by Lyra Black; October 3rd, 2008 at 5:34 pm.
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  #40  
Old October 4th, 2008, 7:53 pm
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Re: Chinese (中文)

Silly computer just showing me boxes with numbers instead of characters! It's cool to see this thread here though. I started learning Mandarin in university two weeks ago (well in the university - I'm doing it outside my course) so I'm not very good yet but I'm really enjoying it.


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