Skype Learn Chinese has become part of James' life. James Collard, a TCH student, who has been fasinated by Chinese language and culture, has enjoyed our program for more than 8 years.
After a lot of assiduous work and study, finally here is James' unique inputs and understanding about Skype Learn Chinese learning and teaching. What is incredible is that he worked on everything in person, from the scheming, writing, editing, drawing, to printing.
Tribute to his perseverance and achievements!Appreciation of his insights into Chinese language and culture!Admiration for his passion and enthusiasm for Chinese!We are all so proud of him!!
James will be very pleased to share his study with everyone who is interested.
Do you find it helpful in learning Chinese? What imputs do you have about your Chinese learning? Yow are welcome to share your experience and ideas with us.
This book is written for English-speaking students who are taking Skype Learn Chinese courses. A basic level vocabulary and understanding of Chinese grammar and culture is presented in this Skype Learn Chinese series. It is an effort to introduce the Skype Learn Chinese students to the language by explaining its basic principles in simple steps. The purpose is to prepare the student with a foundation on which to build, with confidence, its ensuing complexities.
TO:English-speaking students who are taking Skype Learn Chinese
Western-style grammar has been imposed on the Chinese language since the days of the early missionaries, to quote a learned source, “Words in classical Chinese are not formally marked for grammatical function. Nevertheless, in their syntactical behavior they do fall into distinct classes that correspond to such categories as nouns, verbs and adjectives in other languages.“ This “falling into distinct classes” requires significant effort, however. In the Chinese greeting, “Nǐ hǎo”, “You good (or ok), hǎo an adjective, “falls” into the category of verbs, because, presumably, all sentences need verbs. The result of this “falling” technique, is that hǎo, now becomes a ‘special’ case in Chinese, to be learned separately from its common uses, and this becomes a standard practice as “falling” continues to be the way to fit Chinese into English grammar. This adds an enormous level of complexity to the language.
English is a language of dictionary definitions for words which carry their meaning into a sentence, to give the sentence meaning, and grammar that changes the spelling of words to indicate their function. Chinese is a language of ideas that are put to use in sentences, which, then, specify the meanings of their ideas. The ideas are not rewritten in any way to indicate their function, the sentence makes their function clear. Marker words are added to the sentence, in a similar way that English uses punctuation, to indicate specific word functions or needs of syntax (sentence structure). The written language was successful for over two thousand years before the missionaries arrived and it never needed a grammar book. So, we are using Chinese grammar in this book.
Pictures and memory cues are also used in this book to present Pinyin and characters to students and they tell a story for the student to visualize. This helps to memorize them, but more importantly, it gives the student a visual memory to recall. Recall is based entirely on the association of ideas and making associations of symbolic characters is very difficult and requires strenuous repetition. Remembering and recalling ‘picture stories’ is the same way that we remember the events of our vacation or a movie. It hardly takes any effort at all. but the technique is new and takes some getting used to.