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Steve's Language Learning Tips, How I Learned Chinese

How I Learned Chinese

Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. And today, I want to talk about how I learned Mandarin Chinese

Now, before we get into that, if you enjoy these videos, please subscribe. You can click on the bell to get notifications and by all means, come and join me at LingQ to learn languages. Now, how I went about learning Mandarin Chinese. First of all, let me tell you that I was 23 at the time. And the reason I started learning Mandarin Chinese is because I was working for the Canadian Government Trade Commissioner Service.

And Canada was about to recognize the people's Republic of China. They wanted to train some people in Chinese. I was, I was lucky enough to be selected and off I went to Hong Kong. Actually, I had a choice of going to the Defense Language Institute in Monteray, but I decided instead I would rather go to Hong Kong, which is a Chinese environment, although not a Mandarin speaking environment.

So. I took about a year to get my level up to what was a sort of British Foreign Service Exam, translating newspaper editorials from English to Chinese, Chinese to English. I had to write a diplomatic note in Chinese by hand and obviously speak and translate and so forth. Took me about a year, but the important thing about being in Hong Kong is that it was not a Mandarin speaking environment so that, um, you know, my total immersion in Chinese was done without the benefit of being surrounded by people who speak the language.

So how was I able to do that? When I think back on it now, the main thing, and I'll go into detail as to how I went about learning, you know, the characters and learning to read and speak. But, but the main thing was the motivation. And that's the big story for me, China represented, uh, you know, this exotic world, civilization, culture, and I'll get into more detail on that, but, but I needed to be very much motivated because it was a lot of work.

I had to learn characters. I had to learn the tones and I was motivated by my interest in the culture. Today it's much easier to learn languages. We didn't have access to MP3 files. We had great big clunky, uh, open reel tape recorders. Most, uh, texts had no, uh, you know, obviously you didn't have online dictionaries, you didn't have online anything.

Today we have LingQ where I learn, uh, you know, I started learning Russian at age 60 on LingQ. I started learning. Arabic and Persian, I'm still learning them. I'm 75. It's just so much easier. Um, the whole, you know, the, the iPhone, the, the internet, everything has made language learning easier, including LingQ, of course.

But back then, we didn't have that. So I needed very strong motivation. Of course, today, if you have all of the advantages of learning with modern technology, Uh, and you're motivated, then you've got the best of both worlds and you need to be motivated. So to me, the motivation was that here was this ancient civilization, unknown to me, uh, you know, 4,000 years of history, Chinese talk about 5,000 years, but there's 4,000 years in terms of, you know, uh, some kind of record of some government there.

And for long periods of history, China was the most developed country in the world. Uh, probably up until, you know, three, four or 500 years ago. And all of a sudden this, this self satisfied, sophisticated almost world unto itself center of the, sort of the culture of East Asia, all of a sudden comes into contact with a civilization, Western European or not necessarily Western, but European civilization,

that has benefited from the, uh, you know, the science, the enlightenment, the, the industrial revolution. And all, and has gunpowder now and has other technical advantages that the Chinese don't have. And they're faced with the fact that they are at a disadvantage. And so here's this new culture. How do you react to it?

When I think of say the Qing Dynasty, which was actually a Manchurian dynasty, But more or less assimilated into Chinese culture. And then in 1911, you have the, the, what they call the nationalist revolution and all of a sudden it's no longer, you know, an imperial state it's some kind of Republic, but that period from 1911 through to 1949 was to me the most fascinating period of China. When I was learning in Hong Kong, we had to read The People's Daily and Mao's thoughts and all of that kind of stuff.

And it, wasn't very interesting because a lot of the sort of communist boiler plate, uh, you know, ideology and stuff, it's just a lot of repetition of, of certain themes that are kind of divorced from reality, but the novels of the 20th century in China, the struggles as, as intellectuals, try, try to come to terms with this new civilization and how much of the new civilization should they, you know, accept or integrate into their civilization?

What can they maintain of theirs? To me that must've been an amazing. Uh, you know, intellectual struggle. And of course, then there were different, you know, answers. There was the communist answer. There was a, you know... more of a liberal answer. There was more of a fascist answer.

There were lots of answers as was the case in many other countries. And I'm discovering that in Arabic or in Persian, when you see 19t hcentury Egypt or 19th century, uh, Iran have to deal with this, you know, collision now with these very arrogant, uh, Westerners who want to impose their, uh, will, uh, uh, on these very proud civilizations.

So that to me was, was interesting. So if I look at what I did. You know, first of all, you can see behind me, lots of Chinese books. Okay. And so I did a lot of reading. I started with this, uh, 20 Lectures in Chinese Culture, and I must admit that, you know, reading about the history of China, uh, you know, 1500 years ago or more recently, some of the, uh, declarations by, by, uh, you know, um, Sun Yat Sen for example, the sort of nationalist revolution and then, uh, you know, Mao's thoughts and all of that and reading about it in Chinese

was very exhilarating for me. And I followed that 20 lectures book up with, and I should say that before I got into that, before I started reading, we had this where I went to school, New Asia college in Hong Kong, Kowloon side. It was part of the Yale in China program. So there, and there's so many books in the Yale in China program and the starter book for them was Chinese Dialogues,

which was a series of dialogues spoken rapid-fire or so it seemed to me and they used their own, uh, transliteration system. It wasn't the pin yin. So I became accustomed to words and sounds for a good, I think two or three months before we started into reading and learning the characters. Once I had some characters then I could

get into the 20 lectures in Chinese culture, although we had no audio for it, which is unfortunate. And also this intermediate reader in, uh, Chinese, modern Chinese, lots of emphasis on patterns. And to me, the secret to learning Chinese is don't use a traditional dictionary because it's very time consuming.

And you'll forget in any case, any dictionary, once you close the dictionary, you've forgotten what was there, but with the Chinese dictionary and I got lots of them, it takes so long to look over it. It's a complete waste of time. I only dealt with reading material where there was a glossary behind each chapter. Of course, nowadays, That's no longer necessary because you have online dictionaries.

And so if you're reading in LingQ, you can look up words immediately. You can save them to a database. There's so many more things that you can do now that weren't available back in those days. But so the first thing is don't use the traditional dictionary, which today you don't need to do. And the second thing was, don't get tied up in grammatical explanations because the, the grammarians try to get in there and create all kinds of terms and stuff.

I never looked at any of that stuff. I dealt strictly with patterns. Here's how they say it in... here's how we say it in English. Here's how they say it in Chinese. And, and if I do enough reading and eventually enough listening, I will get used to those patterns in Chinese without worrying about grammatical explanations.

Uh, Oh, I did want to show you, as I say, passion is part of it, obviously, and I liked the, the characters and I had these 1000 flash cards with the what's known as the radical, which determines, you know, the, sort of the meaning of the character to some extent was in red. And I went through those. I had sort of a self-styled space repetition system that I use.

But eventually of course you come to terms with the tones and it's very difficult to remember the tones of individual words. So I listened to a lot of Xiang Sheng and I have at home. I have a lot of CDs of Xiang Sheng. I just grabbed a few here. My favorite is Hou Bao Lin and Iwasn't able to grab one of his.

But these Xiang Sheng are comedians that it's like a comic dialogue and they exaggerate the pronunciation as they're trying to be funny. And I just found them, you know, especially Hou Bao Lin. I just, it was almost like listening to music...

That helped me with my tones because you have to get the tones inside a phrase of some kind. So if I hear these tones, these, these phrases bouncing around in my brain, it helped me, even though the, uh, the Xiang Sheng comic dialogues contain a lot of references to historical characters or to literature and things of that nature that I didn't, you know, had no idea of.

Uh, so I didn't understand them that well, but it was the music of those dialogues that helped me. So that was the other thing that was very useful for me in learning tones is to do a lot of listening to that kind of material. Now I have here two boxes of CDs. Of it, which I haven't yet had time to listen to.

I kind of set them aside, you know.... And I don't know how many, how many CDs and I've got countless, uh, Xiang Sheng CDs and, and historical CDs and so much stuff. And of course, nowadays you don't even have to go... I used to go to S... when I was traveling to China, uh, you know, in 2003, maybe when I went, yeah.

If they do promote my book, uh, so I bought all this stuff, but no, of course you can go online and you can find YouTube videos, which by the way, you can import into LingQ with the subtitles. And that becomes a lesson. And so there's so many more things that you can do that I couldn't do back in those days.

So just to summarize, and I would recommend that you check out the video that I did on how I learned French. And that was of course the first call it language that I wanted to learn to a level of fluency and compare that to my experience with learning Chinese. And you'll see that the common denominator is

that I, I developed a passion for certain aspects of Chinese civilization of French civilization. And that's what sort of drove me to overcome the obvious difficulties. And the difficulties are not insurmountable. Chinese for example, has the advantage that once you have characters, it's easy to build vocabulary,

because they are the new words in the way we understand where it's are combinations of different characters. Uh, the grammar and in Chinese is if I compare it to Slavic grammar, it's very, very straightforward, but you have to learn the characters and you have to tackle the tones. So with each language, there are ,difficulties to overcome these difficulties

you have to basically have a passion. And a, I'm not gonna speak in Chinese today, but you could refer to some of my videos where I have had discussions in Chinese, uh, and, uh, yeah, I've maintained it, uh, maintained it. And even though I don't have much occasion to speak Chinese, uh, I think I speak Chinese better today than when I wrote my exam exam back in 1969, even though I was able to write then, and today I would have a lot of difficulty.

In fact, I can't write. By hand in Chinese. I can write on the computer, but back then I could. But today, because I occasionally revisit Chinese and I listened to CDs and content, and we have Chinese friends here in Vancouver. I think I speak better now than I did back then. So there you have it. I'm kind of rushing through it.

So I don't, I don't want the, this video to be too long, but that's a brief sort of introduction on how I learned Mandarin Chinese. Thanks for listening.


How I Learned Chinese Wie ich Chinesisch gelernt habe Cómo aprendí chino چگونه چینی یاد گرفتم Comment j'ai appris le chinois Come ho imparato il cinese 私はいかにして中国語を学んだか 중국어를 배운 방법 Como aprendi chinês Как я учил китайский язык Çinceyi Nasıl Öğrendim Як я вивчив китайську мову 我是怎么学中文的 我是怎麼學中文的

Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. And today, I want to talk about how I learned Mandarin Chinese

Now, before we get into that, if you enjoy these videos, please subscribe. Теперь, прежде чем мы углубимся в это, если вам нравятся эти видео, подпишитесь. You can click on the bell to get notifications and by all means, come and join me at LingQ to learn languages. 您可以单击铃铛来获取通知,并且一定要快来加入LingQ以学习语言。 Now, how I went about learning Mandarin Chinese. First of all, let me tell you that I was 23 at the time. Прежде всего, позвольте мне сказать вам, что мне было 23 года в то время. And the reason I started learning Mandarin Chinese is because I was working for the Canadian Government Trade Commissioner Service. И причина, по которой я начал изучать китайский язык, заключается в том, что я работал в Канадской государственной торговой службе.

And Canada was about to recognize the people's Republic of China. Und Kanada stand kurz davor, die Volksrepublik China anzuerkennen. Y Canadá estuvo a punto de reconocer a la República Popular China. They wanted to train some people in Chinese. Querían entrenar a algunas personas en chino. I was, I was lucky enough to be selected and off I went to Hong Kong. Fui, tuve la suerte de ser seleccionado y me fui a Hong Kong. Actually, I had a choice of going to the Defense Language Institute in Monteray, but I decided instead I would rather go to Hong Kong, which is a Chinese environment, although not a Mandarin speaking environment. En realidad, tenía la opción de ir al Instituto de Idiomas de Defensa en Monteray, pero decidí que preferiría ir a Hong Kong, que es un entorno chino, aunque no un entorno de habla mandarín. На самом деле, у меня был выбор поступить в Институт оборонных языков в Монтерее, но вместо этого я решил, что лучше поеду в Гонконг, который является китайской средой, хотя и не говорящей на мандаринском диалекте.

So. I took about a year to get my level up to what was a sort of British Foreign Service Exam, translating newspaper editorials from English to Chinese, Chinese to English. Me tomó alrededor de un año subir mi nivel a lo que era una especie de Examen del Servicio Exterior Británico, traduciendo editoriales de periódicos del inglés al chino y del chino al inglés. Мне потребовалось около года, чтобы поднять свой уровень до своего рода экзамена на британскую дипломатическую службу, переводя газетные передовицы с английского на китайский и с китайского на английский. I had to write a diplomatic note in Chinese by hand and obviously speak and translate and so forth. Tuve que escribir una nota diplomática en chino a mano y obviamente hablar y traducir y demás. Took me about a year, but the important thing about being in Hong Kong is that it was not a Mandarin speaking environment so that, um, you know, my total immersion in Chinese was done without the benefit of being surrounded by people who speak the language.

So how was I able to do that? When I think back on it now, the main thing, and I'll go into detail as to how I went about learning, you know, the characters and learning to read and speak. Cuando lo piense ahora, lo principal, y entraré en detalles sobre cómo fui aprendiendo, ya sabes, los personajes y aprendiendo a leer y hablar. But, but the main thing was the motivation. And that's the big story for me, China represented, uh, you know, this exotic world, civilization, culture, and I'll get into more detail on that, but, but I needed to be very much motivated because it was a lot of work. Y esa es la gran historia para mí, China representó, eh, ya sabes, este mundo exótico, civilización, cultura, y entraré en más detalles sobre eso, pero necesitaba estar muy motivado porque era mucho de trabajo. И это большая история для меня, Китай представлял, ну, вы знаете, этот экзотический мир, цивилизацию, культуру, и я расскажу об этом более подробно, но, но я должен был быть очень мотивирован, потому что это было очень много. работы.

I had to learn characters. I had to learn the tones and I was motivated by my interest in the culture. Мне пришлось выучить тона, и я был мотивирован своим интересом к культуре. Today it's much easier to learn languages. Сегодня намного проще учить языки. We didn't have access to MP3 files. У нас не было доступа к файлам MP3. We had great big clunky, uh, open reel tape recorders. У нас были большие громоздкие магнитофоны с открытой катушкой. Most, uh, texts had no, uh, you know, obviously you didn't have online dictionaries, you didn't have online anything. В большинстве текстов не было, ну, вы знаете, очевидно, что у вас не было онлайн-словарей, у вас не было ничего онлайн.

Today we have LingQ where I learn, uh, you know, I started learning Russian at age 60 on LingQ. Сегодня у нас есть LingQ, где я учу, знаете, я начал изучать русский язык в 60 лет на LingQ. I started learning. Я начал учиться. Arabic and Persian, I'm still learning them. Арабский и персидский, я все еще учу их. I'm 75. мне 75. It's just so much easier. Um, the whole, you know, the, the iPhone, the, the internet, everything has made language learning easier, including LingQ, of course.

But back then, we didn't have that. Но тогда у нас этого не было. So I needed very strong motivation. Of course, today, if you have all of the advantages of learning with modern technology, Uh, and you're motivated, then you've got the best of both worlds and you need to be motivated. もちろん、今日、あなたが現代のテクノロジーで学ぶことのすべての利点を持っていて、やる気があれば、あなたは両方の世界の長所を手に入れ、やる気を起こさせる必要があります。 So to me, the motivation was that here was this ancient civilization, unknown to me, uh, you know, 4,000 years of history, Chinese talk about 5,000 years, but there's 4,000 years in terms of, you know, uh, some kind of record of some government there. Entonces, para mí, la motivación fue que aquí estaba esta civilización antigua, desconocida para mí, uh, ya sabes, 4000 años de historia, los chinos hablan de 5000 años, pero hay 4000 años en términos de, ya sabes, uh, algún tipo de registro de algún gobierno allí. だから私にとっての動機は、ここに私には知られていないこの古代文明があったということでした、ええと、あなたが知っている、4、000年の歴史、中国人は約5、000年について話します、しかし、あなたが知っている、ええと、ある種のことに関しては4、000年がありますそこにいくつかの政府の記録。 Так что для меня мотивацией было то, что здесь была эта древняя цивилизация, неизвестная мне, ну, вы знаете, 4000 лет истории, китайцы говорят о 5000 лет, но есть 4000 лет с точки зрения, вы знаете, эээ, какой-то запись какого-то правительства там.

And for long periods of history, China was the most developed country in the world. Uh, probably up until, you know, three, four or 500 years ago. And all of a sudden this, this self satisfied, sophisticated almost world unto itself center of the, sort of the culture of East Asia, all of a sudden comes into contact with a civilization, Western European or not necessarily Western, but European civilization, Y de repente esto, este autocomplaciente, sofisticado casi mundo en sí mismo, centro de una especie de cultura del este de Asia, de repente entra en contacto con una civilización, europea occidental o no necesariamente occidental, pero civilización europea, 突然之间,这种自我满足,复杂的几乎世界变成了东亚文化的中心,一下子就与一种文明接触,西欧或不一定是西欧,而是欧洲文明,

that has benefited from the, uh, you know, the science, the enlightenment, the, the industrial revolution. And all, and has gunpowder now and has other technical advantages that the Chinese don't have. And they're faced with the fact that they are at a disadvantage. Y se enfrentan al hecho de que están en desventaja. And so here's this new culture. How do you react to it?

When I think of say the Qing Dynasty, which was actually a Manchurian dynasty, But more or less assimilated into Chinese culture. Cuando pienso en la dinastía Qing, que en realidad era una dinastía de Manchuria, pero más o menos asimilada a la cultura china. Когда я думаю, скажем, династия Цин, которая на самом деле была маньчжурской династией, но более или менее ассимилировалась с китайской культурой. And then in 1911, you have the, the, what they call the nationalist revolution and all of a sudden it's no longer, you know, an imperial state it's some kind of Republic, but that period from 1911 through to 1949 was to me the most fascinating period of China. Y luego, en 1911, tienes lo que llaman la revolución nacionalista y de repente ya no es, ya sabes, un estado imperial, es una especie de República, pero ese período desde 1911 hasta 1949 fue para mí el período más fascinante de China. А потом в 1911 году у вас есть то, что они называют националистической революцией, и вдруг это уже не имперское государство, а какая-то республика, но период с 1911 по 1949 год был для меня Самый увлекательный период Китая. When I was learning in Hong Kong, we had to read The People's Daily and Mao's thoughts and all of that kind of stuff. Cuando estaba aprendiendo en Hong Kong, teníamos que leer The People's Daily y los pensamientos de Mao y todo ese tipo de cosas. 私が香港で学んでいたとき、私たちは人民日報と真央の考えとそのようなものすべてを読まなければなりませんでした。 Когда я учился в Гонконге, нам приходилось читать «Жэньминь жибао», мысли Мао и все такое прочее.

And it, wasn't very interesting because a lot of the sort of communist boiler plate, uh, you know, ideology and stuff, it's just a lot of repetition of, of certain themes that are kind of divorced from reality, but the novels of the 20th century in China, the struggles as, as intellectuals, try, try to come to terms with this new civilization and how much of the new civilization should they, you know, accept or integrate into their civilization?

What can they maintain of theirs? ¿Qué pueden sostener de los suyos? 彼らは彼らの何を維持することができますか? To me that must've been an amazing. Para mí eso debe haber sido increíble. Uh, you know, intellectual struggle. And of course, then there were different, you know, answers. There was the communist answer. There was a, you know... more of a liberal answer. There was more of a fascist answer. Hubo más de una respuesta fascista.

There were lots of answers as was the case in many other countries. And I'm discovering that in Arabic or in Persian, when you see 19t hcentury Egypt or 19th century, uh, Iran have to deal with this, you know, collision now with these very arrogant, uh, Westerners who want to impose their, uh, will, uh, uh, on these very proud civilizations. И я обнаруживаю, что на арабском или персидском, когда вы видите Египет 19-го века или Иран 19-го века, вам приходится иметь дело с этим, вы знаете, столкновением сейчас с этими очень высокомерными, э-э, западными людьми, которые хотят навязать свои, э-э, будет, э-э, об этих очень гордых цивилизациях.

So that to me was, was interesting. So if I look at what I did. Así que si miro lo que hice. You know, first of all, you can see behind me, lots of Chinese books. Знаешь, во-первых, ты видишь позади меня много китайских книг. Okay. Хорошо. And so I did a lot of reading. I started with this, uh, 20 Lectures in Chinese Culture, and I must admit that, you know, reading about the history of China, uh, you know, 1500 years ago or more recently, some of the, uh, declarations by, by, uh, you know, um, Sun Yat Sen for example, the sort of nationalist revolution and then, uh, you know, Mao's thoughts and all of that and reading about it in Chinese Я начал с 20 лекций по китайской культуре, и я должен признать, что, вы знаете, читая об истории Китая, ну, вы знаете, 1500 лет назад или совсем недавно, некоторые из, э, деклараций, ну, вы знаете, например, Сунь Ят Сена, своего рода националистическую революцию, а затем, ну, вы знаете, мысли Мао и все такое, и чтение об этом на китайском языке

was very exhilarating for me. And I followed that 20 lectures book up with, and I should say that before I got into that, before I started reading, we had this where I went to school, New Asia college in Hong Kong, Kowloon side. Y seguí ese libro de 20 conferencias, y debo decir que antes de entrar en eso, antes de comenzar a leer, teníamos esto donde fui a la escuela, New Asia College en Hong Kong, lado de Kowloon. It was part of the Yale in China program. これは、雅礼協会プログラムの一部でした。 So there, and there's so many books in the Yale in China program and the starter book for them was Chinese Dialogues, Also, und es gibt so viele Bücher im Programm von Yale in China, und das Startbuch für sie war Chinese Dialogues,

which was a series of dialogues spoken rapid-fire or so it seemed to me and they used their own, uh, transliteration system. Das war eine Reihe von Dialogen, die im Schnellfeuer gesprochen wurden, oder so schien es mir, und sie benutzten ihr eigenes, äh, Transliterationssystem. これは、連発的に話された一連の対話でした。それは私には思えたので、彼らは独自の音訳システムを使用していました。 это была серия диалогов, произносимых в спешке, или мне так показалось, и они использовали свою собственную, э-э, систему транслитерации. 在我看来,这是一连串的对话,说得很快,他们使用了自己的音译系统。 It wasn't the pin yin. Es war nicht das Pin Yin. So I became accustomed to words and sounds for a good, I think two or three months before we started into reading and learning the characters. So gewöhnte ich mich gut an Wörter und Geräusche, ich glaube zwei oder drei Monate, bevor wir anfingen, die Schriftzeichen zu lesen und zu lernen. ですから、言葉や音に慣れてきたので、文字を読んだり学んだりするのは2、3ヶ月前だと思います。 Once I had some characters then I could

get into the 20 lectures in Chinese culture, although we had no audio for it, which is unfortunate. And also this intermediate reader in, uh, Chinese, modern Chinese, lots of emphasis on patterns. そしてまた、この中級の読者は、ええと、中国語、現代中国語、パターンに多くの重点を置いています。 And to me, the secret to learning Chinese is don't use a traditional dictionary because it's very time consuming.

And you'll forget in any case, any dictionary, once you close the dictionary, you've forgotten what was there, but with the Chinese dictionary and I got lots of them, it takes so long to look over it. Y te olvidarás en cualquier caso, cualquier diccionario, una vez que cierras el diccionario, te olvidas de lo que había allí, pero con el diccionario chino y yo tengo muchos, toma tanto tiempo revisarlo. It's a complete waste of time. それは完全に時間の無駄です。 I only dealt with reading material where there was a glossary behind each chapter. Solo traté material de lectura donde había un glosario detrás de cada capítulo. Of course, nowadays, That's no longer necessary because you have online dictionaries.

And so if you're reading in LingQ, you can look up words immediately. You can save them to a database. There's so many more things that you can do now that weren't available back in those days. 当時は利用できなかった、今できることは他にもたくさんあります。 But so the first thing is don't use the traditional dictionary, which today you don't need to do. しかし、最初にすべきことは、従来の辞書を使用しないことです。これは、今日では使用する必要がありません。 And the second thing was, don't get tied up in grammatical explanations because the, the grammarians try to get in there and create all kinds of terms and stuff. Y la segunda cosa fue, no se deje atrapar por explicaciones gramaticales porque los gramáticos intentan meterse ahí y crear todo tipo de términos y esas cosas. そして2つ目は、文法的な説明に縛られないでください。なぜなら、文法学者はそこに入り込み、あらゆる種類の用語やものを作成しようとするからです。

I never looked at any of that stuff. I dealt strictly with patterns. 私は厳密にパターンを扱いました。 Here's how they say it in... here's how we say it in English. これが彼らの言い方です...これが私たちが英語で言う方法です。 Here's how they say it in Chinese. これが彼らが中国語でそれを言う方法です。 And, and if I do enough reading and eventually enough listening, I will get used to those patterns in Chinese without worrying about grammatical explanations. そして、十分に読んで、最終的には十分に聞くことができれば、文法的な説明を気にせずに、中国語のパターンに慣れることができます。

Uh, Oh, I did want to show you, as I say, passion is part of it, obviously, and I liked the, the characters and I had these 1000 flash cards with the what's known as the radical, which determines, you know, the, sort of the meaning of the character to some extent was in red. Äh, oh, ich wollte Ihnen zeigen, wie ich schon sagte, Leidenschaft gehört natürlich dazu, und ich mochte die Charaktere und ich hatte diese 1000 Lernkarten mit dem, was als Radikal bekannt ist, das bestimmt, wissen Sie , die Art der Bedeutung des Zeichens war in gewissem Maße in Rot. Uh, Oh, quería mostrarles, como digo, la pasión es parte de eso, obviamente, y me gustaron los personajes y tenía estas 1000 tarjetas con lo que se conoce como radical, que determina, ya sabes , el tipo de significado del carácter hasta cierto punto estaba en rojo. ええと、ああ、私が言うように、私はあなたに見せたかったのですが、明らかに情熱はその一部です、そして私はキャラクターが好きでした、そして私はこれらの1000枚のフラッシュカードを持っていました。 、、、文字の意味のようなものはある程度赤でした。 And I went through those. そして、私はそれらを通り抜けました。 I had sort of a self-styled space repetition system that I use. 私は自分が使っている一種の自称の空間反復システムを持っていました。

But eventually of course you come to terms with the tones and it's very difficult to remember the tones of individual words. So I listened to a lot of Xiang Sheng and I have at home. だから私はXiangShengをたくさん聴いて、家にいます。 I have a lot of CDs of Xiang Sheng. I just grabbed a few here. My favorite is Hou Bao Lin and Iwasn't able to grab one of his.

But these Xiang Sheng are comedians that it's like a comic dialogue and they exaggerate the pronunciation as they're trying to be funny. Pero estos Xiang Sheng son comediantes que es como un diálogo cómico y exageran la pronunciación mientras intentan ser divertidos. And I just found them, you know, especially Hou Bao Lin. I just, it was almost like listening to music...

That helped me with my tones because you have to get the tones inside a phrase of some kind. Eso me ayudó con mis tonos porque tienes que obtener los tonos dentro de una frase de algún tipo. ある種のフレーズの中にトーンを入れなければならないので、それは私のトーンで私を助けました。 So if I hear these tones, these, these phrases bouncing around in my brain, it helped me, even though the, uh, the Xiang Sheng comic dialogues contain a lot of references to historical characters or to literature and things of that nature that I didn't, you know, had no idea of. ですから、これらのトーン、これら、これらのフレーズが私の脳の中で跳ね回っているのを聞くと、相声の漫画の会話には歴史上の人物や文学、そして私が持っているその性質のものへの参照がたくさん含まれているにもかかわらず、それは私を助けましたあなたが知っているように、知らなかった。

Uh, so I didn't understand them that well, but it was the music of those dialogues that helped me. Uh, entonces no los entendí muy bien, pero fue la música de esos diálogos lo que me ayudó. So that was the other thing that was very useful for me in learning tones is to do a lot of listening to that kind of material. ですから、それは私が音色を学ぶのに非常に役立ったもう一つのことでした。そのような素材をたくさん聞くことです。 Now I have here two boxes of CDs. Of it, which I haven't yet had time to listen to.

I kind of set them aside, you know.... And I don't know how many, how many CDs and I've got countless, uh, Xiang Sheng CDs and, and historical CDs and so much stuff. And of course, nowadays you don't even have to go... I used to go to S... when I was traveling to China, uh, you know, in 2003, maybe when I went, yeah.

If they do promote my book, uh, so I bought all this stuff, but no, of course you can go online and you can find YouTube videos, which by the way, you can import into LingQ with the subtitles. And that becomes a lesson. And so there's so many more things that you can do that I couldn't do back in those days.

So just to summarize, and I would recommend that you check out the video that I did on how I learned French. And that was of course the first call it language that I wanted to learn to a level of fluency and compare that to my experience with learning Chinese. Y ese fue, por supuesto, el primer idioma que quería aprender a un nivel de fluidez y compararlo con mi experiencia con el aprendizaje del chino. And you'll see that the common denominator is

that I, I developed a passion for certain aspects of Chinese civilization of French civilization. And that's what sort of drove me to overcome the obvious difficulties. Y eso es lo que me llevó a superar las dificultades obvias. And the difficulties are not insurmountable. Chinese for example, has the advantage that once you have characters, it's easy to build vocabulary, たとえば中国語には、キャラクターができたら語彙を簡単に作成できるという利点があります。

because they are the new words in the way we understand where it's are combinations of different characters. Uh, the grammar and in Chinese is if I compare it to Slavic grammar, it's very, very straightforward, but you have to learn the characters and you have to tackle the tones. So with each language, there are ,difficulties to overcome these difficulties

you have to basically have a passion. And a, I'm not gonna speak in Chinese today, but you could refer to some of my videos where I have had discussions in Chinese, uh, and, uh, yeah, I've maintained it, uh, maintained it. And even though I don't have much occasion to speak Chinese, uh, I think I speak Chinese better today than when I wrote my exam exam back in 1969, even though I was able to write then, and today I would have a lot of difficulty.

In fact, I can't write. By hand in Chinese. I can write on the computer, but back then I could. コンピューターで書くことはできますが、当時はできました。 But today, because I occasionally revisit Chinese and I listened to CDs and content, and we have Chinese friends here in Vancouver. I think I speak better now than I did back then. 当時よりも今は上手に話せると思います。 So there you have it. I'm kind of rushing through it. Estoy un poco apurado. 私はそれを急いで通り抜けています。

So I don't, I don't want the, this video to be too long, but that's a brief sort of introduction on how I learned Mandarin Chinese. Thanks for listening.