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Showing posts from January, 2009

Getting serious about Mandarin

I'm finally making a big effort to learn mandarin properly. In addition to taking formal lessons at UC Berkley starting in February, and learning about usage from Cindy, I'm using flash cards to increase my knowledge of Chinese characters and their mandarin pronunciation (including the tones, which I've had a hard job remembering up till now while picking up mandarin informally through random conversation). I've been using some tricks to memorize characters, and this technique seems to work well for me. Here's the first set of characters. The first ten are numbers, and mostly pretty easy. 一 二 三 one (yi1), two (er4), three (san1). These are quite possibly the simplest Chinese characters ever. :) 四 four (si4). This one is kind of easy for me to remember, since I visited sichuan last year, and this character was everywhere :) It's also a box with four sides. 五 five (wu3). I convinced myself that this character has five distinct lines in it, which made it easy to remembe…