Monday, May 15, 2006

How does an English speaker learn Chinese?

I can only tell you what I'm trying:

First and foremost, a local teacher. To my mind there's absolutely no point in trying to learn a language as different as this without hands-on help. I've been lucky enough to find a very well organized, and reasonably priced teacher here in Cork, Ireland.

Secondly, there are a huge number of resources on the internet for Chinese language students. The three principal ones I use are:
- Daily free podcasts at various levels. Hosted by an Irishman in Shanghai! For a very small fee you get access to pdf transcripts. Site includes wiki, blog etc. - Not just a dictionary, but also contains explanations for Chinese characters. An excellent resource but a bit too weighted towards traditional characters (e.g. Hong Kong), rather than simplified (official PRC version). - This overcomes any shortcomings of the previous resource by allowing you to copy-paste simplified characters and search on them. Content tends to be more relevent for day to day vocabulary, though it's probably not as authoritative as

That should get you going!

No comments: