Skype Learn Chinese--the bridge: A New Way to Mandarin Chinese

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.

Skype Learn Chinese  A New Way to Mandarin Chinese Lesson 11

The Present method of Studying Mandarin

A Summary

Skype Learn Chinese  A New Way to Mandarin Chinese Lesson 11 Part I

The present method of studying Mandarin in Skype Learn Chiense is to write the characters and say the Pinyin repeatedly when you are in Skype Learn Chiense until they are stored in long-term memory after your Skype Learn Chinese class. Plus, there are books that provide descriptions of the ancient forms of characters in Skype Learn Chinese. They explain how characters developed with Skype Learn Chinese. Also there are books in Skype Learn Chinese that explain the roots of characters, and how they are used to build up characters. There are also books in Skype Learn Chinese of ‘stories’ with  pictures to help the student to remember a character’s meaning and written form. Plus grammar books and dictionaries provide explanations of the common usage of Mandarin in Skype Learn Chinese. This system is based on repetition, explanations, and remembering the different stories and pictures for each character, however. There is no systematic procedure for recall, but memorization and recall are two, totally separate functions. We can put things into memory by explaining them to ourselves but we can’t recall anything from memory by their explanations. Recall works by the association of Skype Learn Chinese ideas and the brain’s idea-associations are different from the steps of reasoning that connect explanations together.


For the Skype Learn Chinese student, the mind has two parts. 1. The reasoning portion of the brain is where we live and think our conscious thoughts. Imagine that it is the frontal lobes in our bulging, brainy forehead where we try to understand and figure out stuff. 2. The other part of the brain is where “it” lives, the ego, who runs the body and its motor functions, sensing pleasure and pain, or feeling love and hate and remembering all our experiences and coming up with all our ideas. It puts its ideas together by association and calls that ’thinking’. We remember things by explaining them, from books and charts and rational stuff while “it” likes pictures and goofy ideas and acting superior.



Well, for this book we have separated ’study’ into two parts for the student. We use explanation for those things that need to be understood, grammar, writing, speaking and stuff, and picture illustrations for memorizing ideas. The principle involved is to give “IT” a picture to use as a heading on a file-folder in its memory cabinet and to attach a memory cue, a ’story-in-a-sentence’, that ’explains’ how to understand, write, or say the idea. This concept is used to group compatible ‘explanations’ into categories and this, then, produces related ‘sets’ of ideas that separate the subjects, characters and Pinyin into general to specific areas of recall. For example, the structure of grammar is ‘headed’, “Markers” (which act similar to punctuation), and this contains the various explanations for adjectives, adverbs and so on. The way that “IT” flips through the general-to-specific idea-structure, to recall an item, is automatic, however, because this is the way the mind works, and the student may, actually, ’see’ the page on which the information is stored.


Now, we are introducing you a popular way of learn Chinese--Skype  Learn Chinese. In our Skype Learn Chinese class, we will offer you a wonderful Chinese learning journey.

Skype Learn Chinese  A New Way to Mandarin Chinese Lesson 11 Part II

Ancient Chinese characters were pictographs. A horse was written        Now, it is         It has been stylized over thousands of years and bears no more pictographic resemblance to a horse than a bus. So, its fascination is for the scholars of etymology rather than the beginning students of Chinese. In the same way, characters which form the roots of more complex characters have become stylized as roots and, often, bear little resemblance to their original character and, so, beginning students do not benefit from their ’construction’ value. Thus, this ’other’, rather ’unusual’ means of presenting the language to beginning students has been adopted.


 “bing” has five strokes that, generally, match the strokes of almost all Chinese characters: 1. horizontal, 2. vertical, 3. corner, 4. diagonal, 5. point. (Corner is c to indicate it has a hook), The first letters of these words for strokes  are used in a memory cue that ’explains’ the  sequence of strokes in writing a character. For example, “bing”, h v c d p, is not written, perhaps, as one might expect, but might have a memory cue: here even a sequence is “deep”. But we try to keep it on the point of the context and usually, the character’s meaning. In this way, a picture-idea for “IT” would be associated with a ‘catchy(?)’ memory cue for ’it’s’ easy recall !


We think Pinyin is easier to remember than any other language, but the tones are another story. We use the same picture-ideas and memory cues for Pinyin, however, and either use numbers or these animal representatives (on the right) to signify tones. It may seem like a lot of separate stuff, but think how much “IT”  deals with every day, (every hour). “IT” can handle it.



This, then, is it, and “IT” and we, hope you enjoy it.


Pinyin plays an important part in Chinese Mandarin. Our Skype Learn Chinese class will help you to improve your Pinyin skills then you will get into a higher level of Chinese

Skype Learn Chinese  A New Way to Mandarin Chinese Lesson 11 Part III

Reading. The focus is the meaning of the characters. 2. Writing. The strokes of characters are what is important. 3. Pinyin. Here, the student realizes a benefit in that the words are much simpler than any Western languages. 4.The tones. They are included separately because they are so different from Western speech as to require special attention.


Many of the characters, which the student sees when reading, are no longer recognizable. The character


The strokes of characters are remembered as memory cues and we also use very simple objects in the characters, i.e. box, peak, lid). To remember the strokes for writing, we list the strokes (and objects) in the order that they are written, using the ‘bing’ character as a guide. You will notice that the first letters of the strokes are colored in the ‘bing’ description:

1. horizontal, 2. vertical, 3. corner, 4. diagonal, 5. point -  c is red to indicate it has a hook.

The letters are used in a sentence as a memory cue for a character. So the writing cue for mǎ horse would be {a box on a balancing  horse}, and the cue and the picture, then, would work together, by association, in you-know-who’s mental filing cabinet (as soon as the student becomes familiar with the system) to provide ’idea’ recall instead of rote memory.


The Pinyin for the characters just has to be memorized, although lists are made into memory cues when applicable, but the Pinyin words are simpler to remember than any European language. The tones are another kettle of fish, however. We have produced some animal representatives to put in the pictures for the tones. These little creatures take part in the picture stories and so are remembered as part of the character. Thus, the apparently disconnected cat in its cat-box



 In our Skype Learn Chinese class, we are ready for anyone who wants to try to learn Chinese by Skype Learn Chinese.



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