I'm a beginner in Chinese and having a hard time finding out where to start. What would you recommend?
@defendthechibi: mmmmdamn. ok, so Chinese is not a lang I approached on my own, I started in a class, but with that said here’s some combination of how that went down and what I would suggest (if you are a self-learner of Chinese pls do add):
1. Get a fucking fantastic foundation in pinyin and tones. I cannot emphasize this enough—start good habits now or it’ll be really terrible to find out no one understands you because you were like “tone, I’ll come back to that!” Here is a very nice pinyin chart with literally every syllable combination recorded with every tone. Here’s a pinyin practice game. If you can get someone who already speaks Mandarin to help that’s of course ideal, especially for the retroflex sounds, but not essential. Either way make sure you practice speaking aloud. Here’s a funny tone explanation that’s secretly great.
2. Pick a book and stick with it. So this is not Mandarin-specific, but I find that self-learners (myself included) have a habit of starting like three different texts for one language and it’s a mess. Decide if you wanna start with traditional or simplified characters, then pick a textbook, it wont be perfect because nothing is, and maybe just a grammar book for reference. We used Integrated Chinese in class, but I don’t know that I’d recommended it for soloing, Practice Makes Perfect has great other books I’ve used and seems like a better choice. This series is good grammar help, and so is Modern Mandarin Chinese grammar (pdf). When looking for textbooks I recommend reading reviews and also taking into consideration the time/pace you want to work at. Learning a language is a lifetime thing so really you just gotta start somewhere and plow ahead. (also check what the library has!)
2.5 Don’t buy those damn books of character lists. I’m sure you’ve seen them, “memorizing hanzi!” “500 common characters!” whaaaatever. Whatever textbook yr using will tell you what characters you need right then, and if that’s not enough there are plenty of frequency lists online. More importantly,do learn the radicals. When it comes to actually getting characters into your brain it’s some combination of mnemonic device (which works better if you make it up, not if some rando writer does anyway) and rote muscle memory—so all you need is paper. Get square/grid paper and pay attention to proportions or if you must get a book, get one that has practice space. Skritter is amazing and wonderful and I cannot praise it enough but also it is not free. But like if yr really serious you’ll probably have to put some money down somewhere. Whatever you do, do not buy Chineasy it is a plague upon our language learning household. (note: some people suggest not learning characters until after awhile of studying spoken. That sounds sort of terrible to me, and it also means you won’t be able to engage with anything Chinese online. But it is a thing, and sites like Yabla, FluentU, and ChinesePod could be a way to go [and are good anyway])
3. Practice, practice, practice! Ok cool you started doing some stuff! Check you out! If you want to get feedback start posting snippets on Lang-8, you can even meet people to skype with. Or if you want (and have a smart phone) you can get a chat buddy on hellotalk. Maybe there’s a meetup group in your area who knows. Make yourself/download an Anki deck, etc. etc. Just try to always do a little something everyday. I think because of characters Chinese has a particularly steep learning curve—I still can’t open a webpage and just like read it—so it might be better to focus on practicing what you know rather than trying to engage too much with “actual” Chinese. That said….
I hope that sounds like a setup for success! Here’s some dictionaries: MDGB, HanziCraft, lineDict (let’s you draw characters). If you have a smartphone get Pleco. Here’s a thing that annotates text & has rollover translation: MandarinSpot (maybe get a plug-in if yr into those). Here are general help sites: SayJACK & Chinese Grammar Wiki. There are so so so many other resources out there, but rather than stockpile them all right now I think it’s better to focus on whatever textbook/system you chose and just start moving. Once you have a little more of a base then look for cool blogs or whatever works well for YOU.
If there was something more specific you wanted just throw that @ me. If people have suggestions you can send them in and I’ll compile them so we don’t have to reblog this massive thing くコ:彡 くコ:彡 くコ:彡
can you believe, i, a dark larrie, decided to expose myself to the entirety of my whole high school??? honestly…i love it, but i also hate myself as per usual (just in case someone doesn’t know, this was my senior quote that went into the year book)
There's no way to know for sure, but I bet she ended up with Wish Robin.
What? Why would it send her to a world where she's a wanted criminal who's just killed the reinging monarchs, made off with the princess, and has a price on her head? I wrote 'the evil queen gets a fresh start' not 'the evil queen has a public execution'.
I'm sure it'll work out.
Didn't you say Rumple was trying to kill you when you left too?
I was thinking about initials earlier and Harry Potter came to mind, but then I thought of Draco and how his initials are DM
and now all I can think about is a Drarry situation where a Harry who is is up to date on memes runs up to Draco after a long day at work and slides down on his knees like a rockstar until he collides with Draco and just seductively whispers in to his ear “sliding into DMs like”
Mmmm but do you ever get that feeling where you like someone and it starts out as such an innocent thing then you get scared as it starts growing into something more like love? And you’re scared that the person won’t feel the same way so you convince yourself of that and try to forget them but you can’t because all you can do is remember their pretty smile and beautiful laugh and you think ‘Jesus fuck I’m so far gone’ and you start crying at 2:30 AM over said person? Yeah, I feel.
Can you translate "Fate" by Lee Sun Hee and connect it to SoSoo? I feel like it would fit rlly well, but the lyrics I read don't seem to fit grammatically. Could you do that for me? Please? I loved your translation of "Wind" and I really wish you would do "Fate." Thank you so much. You are a wonderful person.
Oh Anon, you’ve caught me on a good day… and with my favorite song!~
There’s the video that made me watch an entire drama :)
So let’s begin with the lyrics. Here are my translations based on what I’ve learned from my uber traditional, grammar nazi family.
“인연” (”Fate”) by Lee Seon Hee:
I promise after this moment has passed, On the day we can meet again, I will throw everything away and stand by your side, As we walk the rest of the way together.
They call it how fate*, there is no denying it. In my life, a day as beautiful as this, Could it ever come again? On the agonizing road of life, you were a gift. And, so rust cannot tarnish our love, I will clean and shine it every day.
As if we were drunk, our meeting was short, But I opened the closet doors and made us a place. And though our love could not be fulfilled, I have no regrets. Because there is nothing that lasts forever.
They call it destiny, there is no denying it. In my life, a day as beautiful as this, Could it ever come again? There are so many words I want to say, but you, my dear, will already know them. Throughout the long road, on the day we can meet, Don’t ever let go again.
The love I could not have in this life, the fate I could not have, Wandering throughout the long roads, on the day we can meet again, Don’t let me go again.
Alright, wipe your tears. Let’s get into it.
A bit of backstory: this song comes from Lee Joon Ki movie The King and the Clown (왕의 남자). The singer is one of Korea’s most famous, revered vocalists: Lee Seon Hee. She is a devout Buddhist.
Again, there are no genders in this song. The “you”s and the “my” are not gendered, so it could be So speaking to Soo or vice versa.
Now, this is definitely a sad song, but it’s one about lovers who have been separated that have hope that they’ll meet again. Hope. That’s what the singer is trying to convey. It’s a constant yearning that aches for the other person and reassures them that one day, they’ll find each other again.
That sounds familiar because So said something along the lines of: “If we are not of the name world, I will find you, my Soo.”
*- The title of the song in Korean is “인연” (een-yeon) which very very roughly translates in English to “fate”. However, the meaning is much more complex because the word in itself has no romantic connotation. Generally, the definition encapsulates how two people’s lives intertwine in their actions together. This could apply to the strangers you pass on the street or even to your spouse.
The song, however, is about a lover trying to find their other half in the next life, promising that they will never let the other person go if they are found. (Returned to quote: “
If we are not of the name world, I will find you, my Soo.”)
See, the PDs of MLSHR created a scene where SoSoo meet in present day and he hands her a handkerchief. Historically, Gwangjong became obsessed with Buddhism towards the end of his life. One aspect of Buddhism is the idea of reincarnation and rebirth.
The song specifically states: “The fate I could not have in this life.” That is the single line that completely and fully links the song to So and Soo. It is about their fate in Goryeo and how their relationship stopped after Soo left Songak.
“The day we can meet again,” isn’t tomorrow or next week- or even next year. “The day we can meet again,” isn’t in this lifetime, but the next one. It’s when the So and Soo can find one another again and love each other completely. It’s when they have nothing standing in their way and nothing impeding the path they will walk together.