Sunday, September 30, 2007

Learning Mandarin /Putonghua For English Speakers

It has been a while since I posted as I thought that no one was reading my blog until a dear friend of mine asked me whether if I have posted anything new recently.

So , that sparks me to write again and to share things or issues that are dear to my heart.

Thus, in continuation about learning Mandarin / Putonghua which I have last posted, I would like to share my experience and the technique which I have used to get to a stage whereby I can read and speak the language.

1. Speak
Mandarin - It is essential that you go back to the basic of pin yin - learning the basic sound from romanized lettering. (i.e, bo, fo, mo po and etc) For Malaysian like me who are English educated, I know that you would think that you know how to speak simple conversational Mandarin - you should still get proper training in this area before you go further. This is the building block of the language. Once you master this like the back of your hand, you can not go wrong.

2. Write Mandarin -
Frankly, this is one skill which you have to give up so that you would not always trapped with knowing limited characters. For adult learners or those who start late, learning how to write is just too fastidious. And if you are learning from beginners, I assure you, you will be bored with those primary, beginner or children level book whereby you can't seem to go beyond "Greetings" or "When to Meet for a Picnic". Once you know the basic Pin Yin and if you ever need to write, you can always use the computer to help you with that.

3. Recognize Mandarin - the most important element.
I have deliberately replace the word READ with RECOGNIZE. Unlike learning English or any other languages there are written in alphabets, you can't read Mandarin. You recognize Mandarin ! First thing to do is to learn the basis of how Mandarin characters are form. Do you know that almost 80% of Mandarin Characters are differentiated by 1 part of the character to represent meaning , while the other part of the character represent sound ?

What i have done was to master the 1st item followed by the 3rd. My wife would be a testimony to how each time when i get to the restaurant, I will start reading the menu and also every time when I am out, I would be reading the shops name and etc.

To bear testimony to those who read my blog, I am willing to share an e-book which I have authored for those who write to me. It details the concept or methodology which i have learned my Mandarin.

P/S Just to give you a boost of confidence, I am now working in Greater China and am giving presentation in Mandarin to my clients.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The China Dragon

China - first of all it is an extremely fascinating place. For a start, it is one of the first 4 earliest civilization in the world. And with a history dating back to more than 5,000 years, it is not
surprising that it is a sophisticated society but not necessarily modern.

The country is a fascination by itself. I guess most of us has heard about how cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou has developed in such a short period of time. I akin that to the hunger that has been suppressed for so many years.

However, to understand any people or their culture, we need to learn the language.

I, for one is a Chinese but from Malaysia, a South East Asia country found it difficult. Like many Chinese immigrants my forefather seeks his fortune in South East Asia while the rest chose countries like Northern American, Europe and such.

As such I grew up without learning Chinese or better known as Mandarin or Putonghua. I grew up with English and Malay Language. I only started learning when I was 21.

And yes, I learned it like a native English speaker.

Is it difficult to learn ? You bet it is and still is. I gave up before several times but always my goal to be understood in China pushed me on.

The good news is that I had found a way or rather a system of my own to learn the language. The key was to be able to recognise as many characters as possible so that I can start communicating in it.

Will share more in my next post.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First Time Blogging

Hello World !

This is my first time blogging after hearing so much about this new phenomenon which had caught the web on fire !

I was very much encouraged to do so by 2 famous bloggers on the World Wide Web , namely
Guy Kawasaki and the recent book author Penelope Trunk. ( read that it was not her real name)

A quick introduction, I am a Malaysian Chinese but who have spent a decade in Singapore and now currently based of Hong Kong.

Glad to meet you all.

Will write more in my next posting.