Introduction to the Chinese Language....

Discuss the Chinese language.
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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:14 pm

Introduction to the Chinese Language....

Postby selra » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:23 pm

Chinese is a very fascinating language for a number of reasons. To most people, Chinese is the definition of an indecipherable language, but to those who are familiar with it Chinese is a miraculously straightforward and logical system for conveying meaning. It is beautiful in its minimalism, and delicately expressive.

To be more specific, the language that I am referring to is Mandarin Chinese. It is the most widely spoken language in the Chinese language family. Other Chinese languages include Wu, Taiwanese, and Cantonese. It is one language in the Sino Tibetan language family, and shares at least a little of its grammar and organization with some other Asian languages.

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. It has four tones, or five including a neutral tone. It had this in common with the Vietnamese and Thai. This is very intimidating for English speakers who attempt to learn Mandarin Chinese, but it comes more naturally than you would think. A tonal language is one in which the tone or pitch with which one pronounces a word changes the meaning of that word. In practice, the process of repeating vocabulary words again and again cements the tone in memory so that it comes forth quite naturally.

Many people have called Mandarin a monosyllabic language. This has to do in part with the way the Chinese is written. Each Chinese character corresponds to a single phoneme or sound. However Chinese is in reality a disyllabic language, in that it groups two sounds to make a word.

Chinese is different from English in that it does not have any articles such as "a", "the", "an" etc. it is also different from English in that its grammar and structure are very straightforward. It rarely breaks its own rules in the way that English does.

Mandarin Chinese is a fascinating language spoken by about 750 million people worldwide. Chinese has a bad reputation for being a difficult language to learn, and very few English speakers have taken the initiative to learn Chinese and become fluent in it. However, Chinese can be an easy language to learn. If you are curious about learning Mandarin Chinese, look into language learning programs and experience all that this great language has to offer.

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