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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 China Resources Page <p><span>If you can see this line, then JavaScript is turned off on your machine and you will not be able to use some features of this site. Please click <a href="../securitywarning.html">here</a> for more information.</span></p> The linked pages have been prepared for use in classes relating to China and may be assigned for direct use on-line if desired. Some are reference materials — maps, charts, &c. or brief essays. Unless otherwise indicated, these materials were all written by me and may be freely used by teachers and students without additional permission. Click here for a technical note about displaying tone-marked letters and Chinese characters and test page to check your browser's present capabilities. Organization of This Page Other Pages of Links on this Site 1. Historical Texts for Class Discussion Sīmǎ Qiān: The First Emperor of Qín (Qín Shǐ Huángdì 司马迁秦始皇帝) (Anonymous Translation. 2. 3. Confucian & Philosophical Documents for Class Discussion 4. 5. 6. 7. Return to top

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.

Pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese\ Introduction The purpose of this section is to clarify some important issues regarding the pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese. I have noticed over the years that some sources are publishing incorrect information about Mandarin pronunciation. It is my intent to identify a few of the misconceptions and to make the reality of the pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese crystal clear, both in linguistic terms and in everyday language. Please note that the criticisms I make are based on linguistic science. I have earned a master’s in applied linguistics here in China, and the facts which I present here are not in dispute among linguists, there are simply not widely understood by many students of Chinese. I have a unique history with regards to my linguistic development (in English), but I have also successfully learned to produce all of these sounds myself as an adult. In short, a lot of the websites out there which offer instructions on the pronunciation of Mandarin are wrong.

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.

Chinese Grammar Wiki 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: