Chinese Pronunciation, Writing & Grammar
Before you start learning basic Chinese knowledge and special wushu
expressions at Flash Mavi, you have to know a few things about
writing, grammar and pronunciation. To learn more Chinese visit: www.zhongwen.com. You
will not find special wushu vocabulary at zhongwen.com.
About the Chinese Language:
Chinese is written left to the right and downwards. Book pages are also numbered the same as in english. Japanese is different.
- In Chinese you have characters and pinyin. Characters are the letters you see in china town and pinyin is phonetic transcription in roman letters. At zhongwen.com you find a pinyin Chinese-english dictionary.
- What if you don`t know how to pronounce a word or a letter.
Example: If you don`t know, how the "x" in xuan in pronounced, choose any word with "x" (for instance "xiao") at zhongwen com, open the pronunciation-sound-file and listen.
- In Chinese there aren't many different sounds, so it won`t take you long until you can say everything correctly.
- But... there are 5 different tones.
(0) without tone or low tone
(1) First tone "–" high
(2) Second tone "\" sound falling - down
(3) Third tone "v" up and down
(4) fourth tone "/"down.
- The Chinese language is not difficult at all. Don`t have too much respect of this language. Those who know Chinese and claim it to be the most difficult language, just want to look smarter in front of others. Chinese is as easy as a simple computer language like "BASIC". Actually its grammar is almost the same. Chinese only looks confusing at the beginning, but its very logic, there isn't much grammar and and words are very easy to remember. There ain`t 50000 different characters. There are only like 150 sub-letters that are written into a bigger one. There might be 50000 words, 5 to 10 thousand of which might be uses in this millennium. Just like in every other language. Those 5 to 10 thousand words are made up of 400 to 800 syllables. Those 4 to 8 hundred syllables have 60 different pronunciation, not including the different tones. So you only have to learn 60 different pronunciations until you can pronounce a word perfectly. English or german has much more different pronunciations. The only thing you have to get used to, are the tones. But not every pronunciation has all the possible sounds and you usually get a word, when you put two or three syllables together. So don`t get too much respect of the tones either.
The character "tree" consists of one syllable, which consists of one letter "tree" a cross with two lines that go down from the middle. (like a tree)
The character "wood" consists of one syllable, which consists of two letters -> Two trees
The character "jungle" consists of one syllable, which consists of three letters -> Three trees"
Two on the bottom and one above.
The character "wood" is spoken "lin".
But there are many words that are spoken "lin"
In order to not get confused with another word you say: "Shu Lin"
- If you know the syllable eclectic, you already know one half of many many other words.
If you connect the syllable electric with vision you have "TV"
If you connect the syllable electric with cell you have "battery"
If you connect the syllable electric with vehicle you have "tramway"
If you connect the syllable electric with cell and letter you have "email"
If you connect the syllable electric with brain you have "computer"
Etc. etc. etc. So you never have to learn entire word. Only at the beginning. The more you know, the easier it gets to learn Chinese. At the end you will only connect characters you already know.
- Learning to write Chinese characters is easier, because its more interesting. Chinese Characters are painted.
- Grammar example:
You don't need to change the order of words to form a question or a past tense sentence in Chinese. For a yes no question for example, you just say your sentence with a question mark at the end. Only that in Chinese the question mark is spoken.
Question mark = "ma"
You are hungry "ma" => Are you hungry.
You are american "ma" => Are you an american.