How many times?

zmanthebeeman

zmanthebeeman

:P Greetings to all. Retired airline pilot -- my wife and I are going to China for 16 days in October (our retirement trip that we have saving for for a long time). A couple of questions 1- how many times at first did you have to go over each lesson to get it down? wow -- I speak other languages (Russian & Spanish) -- I've never had this much trouble. 2- What was your breakthrough point? When it all start to come together? 3-Any recommendations on how to start to read Chinese? Any books that you would recommend? Our local community college has a course in Chinese but it is lame (unfortunately) -- maybe I could learn this so well that I could teach it (just kidding). THANKS in advance for any replies.
cj_222

cj_222

Hey mate, Funny that you should ask that. I've been studying Chinese for over a year now (through a school, self-study, and using Rocket Chinese) yet I still find myself looking through the audio materials every so often even if I'm done with it just to refresh my memory. I think the key with studying Mandarin is that you have to find somebody to talk it with so that your memory of the lessons - and your speaking skills - stay sharp in the process. It's easy to speak English because we (talking about people in general) have been trained to talk with it and interact using the language on a daily basis while we don't get that luxury in speaking Mandarin. Here in my country, that's definitely the case. :)
zmanthebeeman

zmanthebeeman

CJ Many thanks for replying -- am definitely seeking out Mandarin speakers (we live in Annapolis, Maryland US). Wasn't your ex PM fluent in Chinese? Mr. Rudd. Yikes. Thanks again. Zman
barryh

barryh

Hi, I've been learning Mandarin off and on for fifteen years and in my experience the only way to improve is 1) keep at it in some way every day if possible. 2) Try thinking in Chinese as much as possible eg: when you get up, what day is it? etc. etc. 3) when you learn a few words try and put them into a meaningful sentence. Many years ago while studying communication I learned Morse Code which is really another language. It was taught as a number of sounds, not dots and dashes. Mandarin is the same. I would like to see Rocket Chinese have some lessons with a few sentences in Chinese so we could play them over and over, and the following week give the English translation. That way one does not get to "Journalize" and is a much better for the brain to retain the meaning of the words learned.
barryh

barryh

By the way...I forgot to respond to your enquiry re books. For learning the characters I would recommend "Reading and writing Chinese" by William McNaughton from the Tuttle Language Library. Also for spoken Chinese, "Putonghua" by Mabel Lee and Zhang Wu-Ai published by Wild Peony Pty. Ltd., an Australian company. Of course you will benefit immensely by sownloading sme of the Rocket Chinese lessons onto your iPod or phone and whenever you have some idle time just let it play. Barryh

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