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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 ResourcesRhetoric and Language

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

How Dyslexia Remains Invisible in Chinese Schools GUANGDONG, South China — In a classroom at Weining Dyslexia Education Center, several kids around 10 years old excitedly grab colored pens and begin highlighting patterns in a series of Chinese characters. The exercise is one of many designed to help the children overcome dyslexia. Inside the classroom, they are surrounded by peers who struggle with the same disorder, but outside, they are often seen as bad students and called “stupid” or “lazy” by teachers. The need for recognition of the learning disability in China is pressing: An estimated 11 percent of the country’s primary school students have dyslexia, a total of about 10 million children, according to research published in 2016 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Chinese dyslexics are a huge group of people who need help, but they are invisible because they seem so normal in daily life. - Wang Lei, Weining Dyslexia Education Center director Su Yingzi knows this all too well. - Su Yingzi, mother of a child with dyslexia

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.

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]

Why West Africa's pidgins deserve full recognition as official languages The BBC World Service’s radio service of English-based Pidgin for West and Central Africa, BBC News Pidgin, is now a year old. And it’s thriving. According to the broadcaster it News Pidgin reaches a weekly audience of 7.5 million people in Nigeria and around the world on radio, online, Facebook and Instagram. Even though Pidgin hasn’t got the official status of a recognised language anywhere, it’s widely spoken across West Africa. Between three and five million Nigerians use it as their first language, while a further 75 million have it as their second language. Today, variations of pidgins are used in all spheres of life ranging from political campaigns, television and radio broadcast. Pidgin refers to what’s known as a trade language that emerged as a mixture of languages to help people who don’t have a common one to communicate with one another. Pidgin is used differently in different settings. The BBC’s decision to launch a service in Pidgin should be applauded. The history

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.

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

'Voldemort' and 24 Other Words You've Been Pronouncing Wrong. #19 is Ridiculous. Incorrect: Vol-de-mort Correct: Vol-de-more Incorrect: Mis-chee-vee-us Correct: Mis-cheh-vus Incorrect: ex-pre-so Correct: Eh-spreh-so Incorrect: va-lump-tu-us Correct: Vol-up-tyoo-us Incorrect: Kil-OHM-eh-ter Correct: KILL-o-mee-ter Incorrect: New-kyoo-lar Correct: New-klee-ur Incorrect: Feb-you-air-ee Correct: Feb-roo-air-ee Incorrect: per-aw-gah-tiv Correct: pre-rawg-ah-tiv Incorrect: Nuh-tell-a Correct: New-tell-ah Incorrect: Tri-ath-a-lon Correct: Tri-ath-lon Incorrect: Zoo-all-oh-gee Correct: Zoo-low-gee Incorrect: Are-tick Correct: Ark-tick Incorrect: High-ark-ee Correct: High-er-ark-ee Incorrect: Clue-Clux-Clan Coo-clacks-clan Incorrect: Man-ayze Correct: May-oh-nayze Incorrect: Min-ih-chur Correct: Min-ee-ah-chur Incorrect: per-scrip-shun Correct: pruh-scrip-shun Incorrect: Soos Correct: Soys Incorrect: Mawnk Correct: Munk Incorrect: Dram-ah Correct: Draw-mah Incorrect: Gee-ros Correct: Yee-ros Incorrect: Sell-tick* Correct: Kell-tick *unless in reference to the sports team Incorrect: Eh-leck-TOR-ul Should we even bother?

Why Speak Chinese #WhySpeakChinese 38 Ways To Win An Argument—Arthur Schopenhauer - The India Uncut Blog - India Uncut For all of you who have ever been involved in an online debate in any way, Arthur Schopenhauer’s “38 Ways To Win An Argument” is indispensable. Most of these techniques will seem familiar to you, right from questioning the motive of a person making the argument instead of the argument itself (No. 35), exaggerating the propositions stated by the other person (No. 1) , misrepresenting the other person’s words (No. 2) and attacking a straw man instead (No. 3). It’s a full handbook of intellectual dishonesty there. Indeed, I generally avoid online debates because they inevitably degenerate to No. 38. The full text is below the fold. Many thanks to my friend Nitin Pai for reintroducing me to it. 38 Ways To Win An Argumentby Arthur Schopenhauer 1 Carry your opponent’s proposition beyond its natural limits; exaggerate it. Phew.