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Getting started with Chinese 2
Getting started with Chinese 2

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Introduction

你们好!Nĭmen hăo!

Welcome to Getting started with Chinese 2!

This two-week course will teach you how to ask questions using ‘what’ and ‘where’, use time expressions in the correct order and speak about different activities such as watching TV and learning Chinese. Little by little you will improve your ability to make more sophisticated conversations and to understand more complex language in a variety of different scenarios.

Each week comprises 3–4 hours of interactive activities, explanations, exercises and tips about language learning. It is a good idea to keep notes either on paper or electronically in your preferred digital device so that you can keep track of your progress. At the end of both weeks you will have a quiz with 10 questions to revise what you have been learning and check your progress. Each week also has consolidation and expansion activities, and you will be encouraged to build your own phrase book little by little.

One important thing to do before you start is to take some time to decide how you will allocate your time to your studies. Learning Mandarin Chinese, like learning any language, is a gradual process; it’s often described as a ‘marathon, not a sprint.’ Little and often is the best approach, so if possible, spread your 3-4 hours over the week, rather than devoting one whole afternoon or evening. This will give you plenty of opportunities to revisit vocabulary and language structures, to revise quickly what you did last time and above all, to practise and consolidate. This is the best way to learn vocabulary and perfect your pronunciation and tones. If you are keen to learn characters, you can make paper flashcards or use some apps such as Quizlet to make digital flashcards.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • refer to different languages and use different terms such as China, Chinese books, Chinese people and Chinese language
  • talk about activities, such as watching TV and learning Chinese
  • recognise where time expressions should be placed in sentences
  • ask questions with shénme 什么 (‘what’), nǎr 哪儿 (‘where’) and understand the different usages of dōu 都 (‘all, both’)
  • ask a choice question with háishì 还是 (‘or’).