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Topic: Why is Mandarin so incredibly easy to learn?
Message: Posted by: panlives (Mar 24, 2011 01:16PM)
http://blog.memrise.com/2011/01/why-is-mandarin-so-incredibly-easy-to.html
Message: Posted by: gdw (Mar 24, 2011 03:14PM)
Kinda makes me interested in learning it. Sounds similar to mem deck work. The first part is the hardest.
Message: Posted by: critter (Mar 24, 2011 03:22PM)
Groovy. Now try and learn all of the characters.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Mar 24, 2011 03:37PM)
Hmm. Read the footnotes. He admits he's lying. Plus it's an ad.

Mandrin is tough to the untrained ear because it's tonal. One word has five different meanings depending on tone. If you haven't grew up around it, it's really tough to hear the differences- be careful or you'll call your Chinese mother-in-law a horse.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Mar 24, 2011 04:05PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-24 16:37, EsnRedshirt wrote:

Hmm. Read the footnotes. He admits he's lying. Plus it's an ad.
[/quote]
I don't know that he is lying. As he says, he is oversimplifying and exaggerating a bit for comic effect and in order to make a point.

I think his overall point remains, that Mandarin is relatively easy to learn.

Of course, that's just HIS opinion.

But, you are correct, he does have something to sell.

I have to tell you, though, my nephew and his wife have both learned Mandarin. Both picked it up fairly quickly. Mind you, I am not claiming that either one sounds like a native speaker. But they have traveled and been able to make use of it.
Message: Posted by: critter (Mar 24, 2011 04:15PM)
I took a course in Standardized Chinese, which is a form of Mandarin, a few years ago at the community college. I did not do so well.
Learning to speak with the tones wasn't too bad, but hearing the tones in a native conversation is hard as ****.
And then there's the alphabet. There are hundreds of characters just in common usage alone, and thousands more that aren't so common. And then there's different ways to write each one. My teacher said that's why the illiteracy rate is so high in China.
I actually think I know more Thai right now than I do Mandarin, and I don't know much Thai.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Mar 24, 2011 08:52PM)
My wife speaks Cantonese "like a child" (her phrase in Cantonese.) She understands Mandrin, because her mother speaks it, but can't speak it herself.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 24, 2011 09:34PM)
The Mandarin Language
What a disappointment I thought that this thread was all about how incredibly easy Mandarin cooking is to learn. Man I was ready to get out my wok, and Ginsu knives.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 24, 2011 09:51PM)
Al, here is a interresting fact about Ginsu knives.

The knives were first manufactured in the 1950s in Fremont, Ohio, by the Douglas Quikut Division of Scott Fetzer. In 1978, they were marketed on television as Ginsu knives by Ed Valenti and Barry Becher. The name was made up and had nothing to do with Japan or Ginsu swords. The manufacturing company is now owned by Wall Street mogul Warren Buffet.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 24, 2011 09:58PM)
Dan
It's hockey season, and I'll be talking to you during the playoff's

FYI Dan
I now pay 99 cents to itunes for all of my music.
Message: Posted by: abc (Mar 24, 2011 11:13PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-24 16:37, EsnRedshirt wrote:
Hmm. Read the footnotes. He admits he's lying. Plus it's an ad.

Mandrin is tough to the untrained ear because it's tonal. One word has five different meanings depending on tone. If you haven't grew up around it, it's really tough to hear the differences- be careful or you'll call your Chinese mother-in-law a horse.
[/quote]
Not entirely true.
Wha we perceive as one sound "ma" for example has five different tones and they represent a lot more than just five different words. The context is important. Ma (which could be horse, mother, question particle and more) has at least 20 characters with that pronunciation if you don't count the tones but at least 3 each if you do count the tones. How do you know the difference?
Through context. If you ask a question and put the question particle "ma" at the end and mispronounce it, no-one would even notice. If you stop worrying about the pronunciation then Mandarin is actually very easy to learn. Now Cantonese, that is something else.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Mar 24, 2011 11:55PM)
I look forward to conversing with you during the playoffs as well Al!

I have Frostwire. I learned how to not share my downloads which makes it entirely legal for me here in Canada.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 25, 2011 02:32AM)
The pundits say to learn Mandarin to succeed in tomorrows business world. Also I have a collection of Chinese films. However, since I completely reject tomorrow and embrace the past with which I'm obsessed, I'm learning Italian instead. :) ciao.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Mar 25, 2011 04:49PM)
I love their oranges!
Message: Posted by: critter (Mar 25, 2011 05:17PM)
I think Cantonese food is better :)
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Mar 25, 2011 05:25PM)
I'm a fan of Panda Express!
Message: Posted by: critter (Mar 25, 2011 05:31PM)
They do have the awesome orange chicken...