Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Challenge!

Firstly, I'd like to thank all the readers of Mandarin Segments for their support during the year. Blogging is fun, but really connecting with you all has been fantastic! I appreciate the time you take to read my posts, but I especially appreciate the time you take to leave comments, to disagree, and to engage me. 非常感谢!

And on the basis of your input, I'd like to pose a challenge to all of you ...

Although I spend a lot of time planning my articles, it's really the comments from readers that enhance the message that I'm trying to share, and that give other readers a wider perspective on the topic.

If you subscribe to Mandarin Segments through an RSS reader or through email, you might have the original post delivered to you, but you might not know about the comments that have subsequently been added. The same applies if you just link here from my Twitter account, without seeing any later input.

So I'd like to challenge you to go back an re-read some older posts, and catch up on the debate. Here are some suggestions as to what you might be interested to read (although feel free to read more widely than this) ...

Heisig - the experiment
Back in August I decided to learn to read and write Chinese. A few short months later I had learned 1500 characters from Heisig's "Remember the Simplified Hanzi, Book 1" (affiliated link) and I am now able to read basic texts quite well. Here are some of the key posts along the way:
Some Controversial Posts
WordPacks - making it easier to learn Chinese 

And some fun ...

So check out the posts, read the comments, and please feel free to leave more comments. I'd love to hear from you!

In the meantime, I wish you all the best for the holiday season - and a fantastic new year.

London, England
24 December 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Daily Dragons

Do you believe in dragons?

You might not know it, but you deal with dragons everyday. At least, you do if you speak Chinese.

This  is another in my WordPack series, with this topic having been inspired by a post at the "Those crazy Chinese" blog. The goal of WordPacks is that, by linking these words together by a single theme, it makes it much easier to learn words. And if you're learning Chinese, let's face it, the more help you can get, the better.

The theme today is: dragons.  (If you couldn't work that out from the title of the blog post then you really shouldn't be learning Chinese! :-)

The Simplified character for dragon is (and it is in traditional Chinese writing). Even if you're only learning Simplified, this is a good example of a character which you should also learn to recognise in Traditional - because it appears so often in the name of Chinese restaurants.

Daily Dragons

龙 :   lóng​:    dragon (also a common surname)
水龙头 :   shuǐ​lóng​tóu:​    tap (water dragon head)
尼龙 :   ní​lóng​:    nylon (nun dragon!)
龙船 :   lóng​chuán:​    Dragon boat
龙卷风 :   lóng​juǎn​fēng​:    tornado, cyclone (dragon curl wind)
变色龙 :   biàn​sè​lóng​:    chameleon (change colour dragon)

Dangerous Dragons

龙 :   lóng:​    dragon
恐龙 :   kǒng​lóng:​    dinosaur (fear dragon)
霸王龙 :   bà​wáng​lóng:​    Tyrannosaurus Rex (mighty king dragon)
翼龙 :   yì​lóng​:    Pterodactyl (winged dragon)

Delicious Dragons

龙眼 :   lóng​yǎn​:    dragon fruit (dragon eye)
龙虾 :   lóng​xiā​:    lobster (dragon shrimp)
乌龙茶 :   wū​lóng​chá:​    Oolong tea (dark dragon tea)
小龙虾 :   xiǎo​lóng​xiā:​    crayfish, langoustine (small dragon shrimp)

Dragons of Distinction

李小龙 :    Lǐ​ Xiǎo​lóng​:    Bruce Lee's chinese names (Li small dragon)
成龙 :    Chéng​ Lóng​:    (one of) Jackie Chan's chinese names (accomplish dragon)
九龙 :    Jiǔ​lóng​:    Kowloon district of Hong Kong (nine dragons)

If you're a newbie, you should make sure that you can at least recognise 龙, and that you also remember the word: shuǐ​lóng​tóu.   At elementary, at least know the above, plus all food references. At intermediate you probably know all of them.

Off you go ... go slay another dragon!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Do not scream!

I only just noticed that a recent MandMx cartoon was sourced from a Mandarin Segments blogpost ...