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Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
(简体字:为什么中文这么TM难?) (繁體字:為什麼中文這麼TM難?) The first question any thoughtful person might ask when reading the title of this essay is, "Hard for whom?" A reasonable question. After all, Chinese people seem to learn it just fine. When little Chinese kids go through the "terrible twos", it's Chinese they use to drive their parents crazy, and in a few years the same kids are actually using those impossibly complicated Chinese characters to scribble love notes and shopping lists. If this were as far as I went, my statement would be a pretty empty one. If you don't believe this, just ask a Chinese person. Everyone's heard the supposed fact that if you take the English idiom "It's Greek to me" and search for equivalent idioms in all the world's languages to arrive at a consensus as to which language is the hardest, the results of such a linguistic survey is that Chinese easily wins as the canonical incomprehensible language. 1. Beautiful, complex, mysterious -- but ridiculous. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Related:  LanguageChinese Learning Resources

'As happy as a clam' - the meaning and origin of this phrase What's the meaning of the phrase 'As happy as a clam'? Very happy and content. What's the origin of the phrase 'As happy as a clam'? Why would clams be happy? "It never occurred to him to be discontented... The first definitive record that I can find of the 'high water' version is from the US newspaper The Bangor Daily Whig And Courier, December 1841: "Your correspondent has given an interesting, and, undoubtedly correct explanation of the expression: 'As happy as a clam at high water.'" However, several biographies of General Robert E. The expression was well-enough known in the USA by the late 1840s for it to have been included in John Russell Bartlett's Dictionary Of Americanisms - A Glossary of Words And Phrases Usually Regarded As Peculiar To The United States, 1848: "As happy as a clam at high water," is a very common expression in those parts of the coast of New England where clams are found. See other 'as x as y similes'. See other phrases that were coined in the USA.

Written Chinese Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo The sentence's meaning becomes clearer when it's understood that it uses three meanings of the word buffalo: the city of Buffalo, New York, the somewhat uncommon verb "to buffalo" (meaning "to bully or intimidate"), as well as the animal buffalo. When the punctuation and grammar are expanded, the sentence could read as follows: "Buffalo buffalo that Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo." The meaning becomes even clearer when synonyms are used: "Buffalo bison that other Buffalo bison bully, themselves bully Buffalo bison." Sentence construction Bison engaged in a contest of dominance. A comic explaining the concept The sentence is unpunctuated and uses three different readings of the word "buffalo". Marking each "buffalo" with its use as shown above gives: Buffaloa buffalon Buffaloa buffalon buffalov buffalov Buffaloa buffalon. "New York bison New York bison bully, bully New York bison", or:"New York bison whom other New York bison bully, themselves bully New York bison". Usage

Fascinating Chart Details The History of the Alphabet Most of us use the letters of the alphabet everyday, but did you ever stop to wonder how their shapes came to be? The history of the alphabet is fascinating, and each of the 26 letters has its own unique story. Matt Baker (of UsefulCharts) has designed a handy poster that documents the evolution of our familiar alphabet from its ancient Egyptian Proto-Sinaitic roots (c. 1750 BCE) up to present day Latin script. The limited edition Evolution of the Alphabet chart shows how early shapes and symbols eventually morphed to become the ABCs we know today. The letter “C” was originally shaped like a boomerang or hunter’s stick. You can buy the Evolution of the Alphabet chart and check out more of Baker’s poster designs on the UsefulCharts website. Matt Baker (of UsefulCharts) has designed a handy poster that documents the fascinating history of the alphabet. Matt Baker / UsefulCharts: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube h/t: [Reddit] All images via Matt Baker / UsefulCharts. Related Articles:

Grace Pei's Grades 9-10 Novice-High to Intermediate-Low Chinese Class — 'Asking for and giving directions' TEQ Instructional Videos for Chinese Language Teachers Chinese language teacher Grace Pei, who teaches at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Mississippi, demonstrates how to teach a common skill such as asking for directions by guiding students step by step to learn and practice new language skills in context. The functional objective for this lesson is for students to be able to ask for, and give, local directions, including by using Google Earth. For guidance on how to use these materials, please see How to Use the TEQ Series: Instructional Videos for Chinese Language Teachers. Watch Chinese language teacher Grace Pei help her students practice asking for and giving directions. Your comments and feedback are always highly appreciated.

James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher The example refers to two students, James and John, who are required by an English test to describe a man who, in the past, had suffered from a cold. John writes "The man had a cold" which the teacher marks as being incorrect, while James writes the correct "The man had had a cold." Since James' answer was right, it had had a better effect on the teacher. The sentence can be understood more clearly by adding punctuation and emphasis: James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.[5] Usage[edit] The sentence can be given as a grammatical puzzle[6][7][8] or an item on a test,[1][2] for which one must find the proper punctuation to give it meaning. The sentence is also used to show the semantic vagueness of the word "had", as well as to demonstrate the difference between using a word and mentioning a word.[11] In the novel "Flowers for Algernon" written by Daniel Keyes, it was used as proof of intelligence. See also[edit] References[edit]

Confusables: Assure, Ensure, and Insure - Spellcheck probably won’t help you choose correctly among assure, ensure, and insure. In fact, because of some overlap in definitions, you might have some problems yourself deciding which word is the right one, especially if you’re working with historical texts. According to Etymonline, ensure and insure both probably extend from the same Anglo-French root, which in turn may have been influenced by or been an alteration of an earlier word that developed into assure. So the meanings of these three words have long overlapped — and likely given pause to writers and editors for several centuries. Ensure vs. The differentiation of ensure and insure is widely — though not universally — recognized among writers and editors: Insure applies to a financial contexts. Their differentiation occurred slowly and extended well into the twentieth century. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, … Assure

Language Materials Project: Language Profile Mandarin Citations Mandarin Links Select a New Language Number of Speakers: 885 million Key Dialects: Northern, Northwestern, Southwestern, Eastern or Lower Yangtze River Geographical Center: China GENERAL INTRODUCTIONMandarin is the most widely spoken of all Chinese languages/dialects and is used by upwards of 720 million people in China, or 70 percent of the population of China (Grimes 1992). Substantial numbers of speakers are in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, the USA, Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, South Africa, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. LINGUISTIC AFFILIATIONMandarin, belongs to an independent branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The major linguistic distinctions within Chinese are Mandarin, Wu, Min, Yue (commonly known as Cantonese), and Hakka (Kejia). LANGUAGE VARIATIONSeveral subgroups of dialects have been distinguished, including: Northern, Northwestern, Southwestern, and lower Yangtze River dialects. There is some morphological complexity.

40 most common radicals | Junjie's China blog November 10, 2007 – 1:31 am When I started learning Chinese my teacher gave me a list of the most 40 common Chinese radicals. Might be helpful for anyone. 人 rén – man, person 刀 dāo – knife 力 lì – power 又 yòu – both, again 口kǒu – mouth 囗 wéi – enclosure Used as a radical only, not as a character itself 门 mén – door 土 tǔ – earth 夕 xī – sunset 大 dà – big, large 女 nǚ – female, woman 子 zǐ – son 寸 cùn – inch 小 xiǎo – little, small, young 工 gōng – labor, work 幺 yāo – tiny, small 弓 gōng – bow 马 mǎ – horse 心 xīn – heart 戈 gē – dagger-axe 手 shǒu – hand 日 rì – sun, day 月 yuè – moon 贝 bèi – cowry (shell) 木 mù – wood 水 shuǐ – water 火 huǒ – fire 田 tián – field 目 mù – eye 示 shì – to show 糸 mì – fine silk, Used as a radical only, not as a character itself 耳 ěr – ear 衣 yī – clothing 言 yán – speech 走 zǒu – to walk 足 zú – foot 金 jīn – metal, gold 隹 zhuī – short tailed bird 雨 yǔ – rain 食 shí – to eat To the newbie learner: These are only radicals, often they are not used as words. Related Articles:

Teachers' Strategies for Pronouncing and Remembering Students' Names Correctly The names of white and nonwhite children alike are mispronounced, Kohli and Solórzano write, but the experience is much more damaging for a child who “goes to school and reads textbooks that do not reference her culture, sees no teachers or administrators that look like her, and perhaps does not hear her home language,” since these cues (plus advertisements, movies and other indicators of societal values at large) already communicate “that who they are and where they come from is not important.” For one Latina study participant, having her name mispronounced made her wish her parents were more Americanized; a Sri Lankan American reported feeling that his name was “an imposition on others.” They’re not imagining things. The latter also “happens a lot with white teachers responding to names that are seen as typically black,” Campbell-Kibler says. How then can educators overcome the hurdles to doing so? “How would you like me to say your child’s name?” Then try the name.

Why Speak Chinese #WhySpeakChinese Waste your life, learn to speak a foreign language Waste your life, learn to speak a foreign languageBy Anthony Browne We all know le problème: we are a nation of monoglots, linguistically challenged and so culturally inferior and economically constrained. Only one in four of us can claim to speak in foreign tongues, whereas our chic European chums babble away in a veritable Babel. European governments have lobbied, and the British Government has responded: from 2010 every primary school shall teach foreign. All the time we spend learning another language, we should spend instead learning something useful — like economics, business studies, politics, law or computer science. Learning another language may make you feel clever, but it is no longer necessary for speaking with the foreigners you’re most likely to want to speak to: the educated and those working in tourism. I spent three hours a week for six years learning French, but it has proved a total waste of time. From The TimesDecember 23, 2002 An interesting point of view.