Tuesday, January 25, 2011
as I said many many times, I am very sure that there are people out there who have much more experience with language learning or language tutoring than me and I do not consider myself to be an expert in this field at all. People sometimes ask me, how to start learning a foreign language, but truly, I don't know how to answer and I really don't think that I am the most competent person to do so too. I have not read any book on how people learn or should learn languages, and I have only some teaching experience. The few things that I've read about how we learn languages or new things in general were mostly online and almost everything that I've learned myself I learned by trying and trying until something eventually worked (doing a lot of thinking during the trial and error process of course), so I don't know how many people would be interested in listening to my rants on language learning, since they only might work for me and might not work for the next person.
But, maybe there will be someone out there who might get some new ideas from what I say and I can be only happy about that so I will try to make this small introduction to language learning today, starting with a "how to learn a simple language" podcast. Enjoy.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
- comparison of languages based on their formal structure
- no historical connections
- only the analysis of the prestent state of the language
Types of typology: syntactic, phonetic..
Syllabic language - every syllable is a morpheme
Morpheme - shortest sound which still has a meaning
Tone - a melody of the voice, in which a syllable is pronounced and which has the same importance as any letter of the syllable
Historical division of Chinese
1000 B.C. – 3rd/4th cen A.D.
- probably no tones – they developed form suffixes
- probably not a syllabic language
4th cen A.D. – Yuan Dynasty (13th cen)
Ming - Qing dynasty
Modern standard Chinese
普通話 (pu tong hua), 國語 (guoyu)
Common language of the Chinese people
Phonetics - based on the
Vocabulary - based on the northern dialects
Grammar - based on the literary works that were written in the contemporary written language called 白話 (baihua)
Two forms of written Chinese today
- written form of Mandarin
- based on the contemporary Song dynasty spoken language
- 白 (bai2) - to speak, to tell
- 話 (hua2) – story
- “language of the story tellers”
- vocabulary based on northern dialects
文言文Wen yan wen
- “elegant speech”, in opposition with Baihua
- based on the language in which the Analects of confucius (論語 - Lunyu)
- also called Calssical Chinese
- a distant analogy with Latin
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Since there is a fairly large amount of youtube channels, blogs or podcasts, where people can get very good information on language learning or anything related to this field, I thought that I might be talking about things that have been said many times before and decided to try to do this recording in a more academic way. I’d like to discuss a rather specific topic, but a one that still might be interesting to listetners not so familiar with the subject – the Chinese script.
I hope you’ll enjoy it and wish you a belated Happy New Year.
- writing is a form in which you can express language units
Characteristics of the Chinese scritp:
Han dynasty reform
說文解字 (Dictionary by Xushen)
The explanation of simple and analysis of compound characters
Division of Chinese characters into 6 cathegories by Xushen:
- 象形字 – pictograms
Ri4 – Sun (Classical Chinese)
Yue4 – moon (Classical Chinese)
Ren2 – man
Mu4 – tree (Classical Chinese)
- 指事字 – simple indicatives
Shang4 – above
Xia4 - below
- 會意字 – compound indicatives
好 女 + 子
Hao4 – affection towards sth.
林 木 + 木
Lin2 – forest
森 木 + 木 + 木
Sen1 – deep forest
- 形聲字 – phono semantic compound characters
Qing1 – green/blueish color
請 言 + 青
Qing3 – polite
情 心 + 青
Qing2 – situation, matter
清 水 + 青
Qing1 – Clear, The Qing Dynasty
部首 – bu4shou3 - radical
- 假借字 – phonetic loans
我 手 + 戈
Wo3 – I, me
- 轉注字 – derived characters
Lao3 – Old. This is the abbreviation of the character 老 Lao3 – old.
Kao3 – Old. The element 丂 is added to 耂, but the character has roughly the same meaning and rhymes with the original one.