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Great emka 2022-01-30 2:49

Hello Benny, Xian has a lot to offer. Of course, the Terracotta Warriors are the main attraction, but also fortifications, Wild Goose Pagoda and much more. Here nice night street scene.
I am trying to learn Mandarin Chinese and I find it fascinating.
Very often, the geographical names are meaningful, sometimes with the world's directions. Beijing means Northern Capital, Nanjing - southern Capital, Yunnan - south of the clouds, Pudong - east of the river Pu (in Shanghai).

The simpler characters join to make more complicated ones with a quite different meanings. Sometimes it is surprising and funny.
Woman underneth of the roof = peace, peaceful An.
Pig under the roof - home (jia)
Cow under the roof = prison, jail.
Too much (of something) tai. But tai tai is wife.
Woman and boy, son = good, hao, Good is the woman who has a son.

Excelllent picture.

Have a nice Sunday

MAlgo

  #1  
Old 01-30-2022, 12:40 PM
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BennyV BennyV is offline
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Thumbs up To emka: learning Chinese

What a pleasant surprise to read that you've started studying Chinese, Malgo!!

I spent a few years studying it some time ago already, reaching a level which was good enough to deal with all the practical things you might need when travelling and maybe tell a quick joke or two. My C
hinese is certainly not good enough to really hold a conversation or read a basic newspaper article.

When it comes to characters, at my "highest", I knew quite a lot of them (no idea how many precisely). Now I recognize many of them, I know that once knew them, but haven't got a clue anymore. When travelling, speaking is more important than reading.

But I still love characters, find them beautiful and often surprising in what they represent, i.e. a way of life/thinking.

Here is my "Learning Chinese" picture I posted a while ago, featuring "Xi'an" and my daugher (how time flies...) back then.

https://www.trekearth.com/viewphotos.php?l=7&p=844195

Xie xie!

Benny
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Old 01-30-2022, 01:57 PM
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emka emka is offline
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Hello Benny,


I didn't know that you are a language teacher. And what language are you teaching?
Now it is my n-th attempt to learn Chinese. A tried earlier, before my two trips to China, to be able to say at least something, in basic situations. But I learned only pinyin and I saw it was useless in China. So now I am fascinated by the characters.
I saw your old photo and the note. A wonderful picture with your little daughter. And I agree - the most important thing is motivation. What is the sense of learning something when the chance of using it is very small? But it is fun, so I am trying again. I have never attended any courses, I just watch youtube.

I think Chinese is not so difficult, but the tones and characters are not inviting.

What I like is that it is so different and surprising. For instance, the vocabulary of the family members. Or the big numbers. We divide them by three (thousand, million, milliard etc), in Chinese, it is four - 10000 is wan 万. Hundred thousand is ten wan.

再见

Malgo
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Old 01-30-2022, 07:05 PM
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BennyV BennyV is offline
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Ni hao

You sure are right about learning Chinese to be fun and full of surprises and you've given quite a few great examples. Here are two more:

- naming the fingers, do you know what a "ring finger" is in Chinese? 无名指
which is "wmngzhi"...meaning "the finger without a name" (!) I mean they are with 1.5 billion people and they haven't thought of a good name for "ring finger" )

- my favourite phrase in Chinese probably is "不是猫" (bsh māo) which sounds exactly like what small children call "a cat" in Dutch!

Speaking is practical, but studying the characters is where it is really at. They can say so much about the Chinese view on life, e.g. the different ways of addressing foreigners (from 'foreign devils' to 'honourable strangers'). Or this one: 打听 (dating) which is the common way of saying that you want to go and get some information, but it literally translates as "hit and listen".

Anyway, bon courage for your studies!

(I took evening classes in Belgium for about 4 years and then had lots of fun practicing on the road while travelling.)

Benny

PS: I teach English and Dutch, but every year I take a few lessons out at the end of the school year to teach some Chinese too. My students (17-18yrs) love it and it's great fun for me too.
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