"What's your name?"


November 22, 2017

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Chinese is so hard!!!


You likely need to approach Chinese from several angles. I combine Duolingo with Yoyo Chinese as a supplement. You will have to pay for a membership, but the charming hostess explains the grammar clearly in her video series, offers review guides, and requires that a quiz be completed before you continue to the more advanced levels. Like Duolingo's, flashcards are available to improve your recognition and recall of Chinese. Pragmatics (conversational skills), phonology (pronunciation), syntax (word order), and morphology are all emphasized as well.

When I have more free time (if ever!), I will study with Duolingo, Yoyo Chinese, Rosetta Stone, and YouTube's "Easy Chinese" (to improve my listening comprehension). Truly, the best way to learn Chinese is to befriend a native speaker, frequently visit a restaurant or similar place where Chinese is the primary means of communication, and / or enroll in a full-immersion language course at a university or community college. These interactions FORCE you to retrieve the necessary vocabulary to formulate a coherent yet spontaneous thought. In other words, you will have the opportunity to express yourself naturally rather than rely only on imitation and memorization. This is the ability that most individuals strive to achieve in their language studies: the chance to understand (through the passive skills of reading and listening, which many of these online programs do provide) and to be understood (through speaking and writing, which most online programs cannot adequately provide) by a native speaker.

I hope this inspires you to continue your journey through this beautiful language! Keep practicing. :)

Sincerely, Thomas


Very well said, I appreciate your attitude and inspiration!


Thanks to you ! I tried Yoyo chinese with Duolingo....It is better !


LingoDeer is also a good one to add to your repetoir. I've given up on Mandarin twice. Third time's the charm!


You only lose the moment you stop trying!


I do Duo and lingodeer


Thanks a lot Thomas


"Chinese is so fun!" ftfy




Sometimes seemingly grammatically correct, other times not. That's what is a pain.


I don't why. Chinese learnin on Duolingo is so hard for beginner than HelloChinese or LingoDeer. Both of them are great for beginner.


Thank you. I'm doing lots of languages, trying to surround myself with them and motivate my kids, but Mandarin seems to make no sense, and it's so very, very hard. At least the Japanese has the intro Hiragana.


I think the way they've gone straight to the full characters doesn't help. Getting a grounding in pin-yin helps a lot with learning the vocab and some useful phrases. But the useful phrases tend to use complex characters. When I learnt characters for Japanese in school we learnt the basic symbols that are common components of characters before learning how to combine them into the more complex kanji used in common phrases. It makes them easier to remember and easier to spot the differnces

I second the suggestion of adding something else in for learning Chinese. Duo is fun and good practice but on it's own I was totally lost


Very much agree with you about starting with characters. They should not overload beginners.


IN SHORT: I found the best way to learn words to be to use them as if you are talking to someone, and listen to yourself say them as if someone is talking to you. It sounds crazy, but quizzing yourself at hearing and speaking will get it drilled into your head beautifully without pain. I prefer Hello Chinese to Duolingo.

LONG WAY: Someone else recommended a paid app, but honestly Hello Chinese is excellent, and there are a BILLION free Chinese apps. You qould only pay for convenience. You might also like Pandorow, which has articles on specific differences between Chinese and Western cultures, offers flashcards for HSK (the official tests for varying Chinese proficiency) and teaches words through a script in a hypothetical conversation. I am using Hello Chinese for learning new words, Duolingo and Pandorow whenever I'm bored of Hello Chinese, Drops to learn letters/radicals, blogs to learn about grammer, and YouTube videos for pronounciation and songs for memorization. Using all thise is easier than it sounds. One book I have says to learn by watching a movie or TV show with the script or closed captions available. During the video, write down words you're curious about. Then during or after the video, look up the definition of those words. You can find how to spell them on the script or closed captions, which is why those are important. The book goes on to advise making flashcards out of those words, but I don't like that idea, so I personally will write a list of the words I learned, for reference, and try to use them in my daily life. Then I'll come back to the list if I found I forgot one.


Oh yes Byrøn, why i keep getting this and other sentences wrong is beyond me, and how the hell young kids learn it at an early age, we just got to keep at it,

[deactivated user]


    It will be great to have the English translation to show up, not only the Chinese character and sound


    Exactly! Please show the English translation or meaning at least so we know what we are trying to learn.


    叫 was not in the hints. Have to rely on memory, since -no explanation given for wrong answer.


    Report that the hints are wrong. I did. It's the only way they fix it.


    How do you report stuff?


    After you have submitted your answer, there is the word report. Click on it, and you can choose what you want to report from the options listed.


    It means "called". Though it seems it is "silent" sometimes. lol


    I'm not clear on when you use 叫 and when you don't, when asking someone's name. Sometimes it's part of an answer, other times it's not. Can anyone explain?


    It depends on the sentence and the context. For example, “What is your name" can be either 你的名字是什么 (your name is what) or 你叫什么名字 (you called what name).


    The way learning numbers was structured was excellent and i felt i was learning well. Names is really badly put together and im finding it impossible to learn. Its like going from very basic learning to intermediate with no steps in between.


    I actually have to take a screenshot in orderto get over this lesson


    So this litterally means "You're called what name?", right?


    When it's literally translated it's 'You named what (么 indicates a question, I think) First name?


    Actually, shén me (什么) is another type of question. I'm just confused when mïng zì (名字) is used. It seems almost optional after jiào (叫), but I can't figure out why.


    Yes, you're right. In the right context, “你叫什么?” ”我叫李华。“ would be perfectly normal.
    Take note that it would be colloquial and informal.


    I think that should be related with dialog's formality


    No, you're mixing up with 马, which is used at the end of yes-no questions.


    I didn't even get far enough to learn that, ahaha, I gave up in the end ;P but thanks.


    Please add the audio, so we can hear it spoken correctly.


    你的名字是什么? This is accepted in other exercises. Shouldn't it be accept here as well.


    Technically yes.


    I can't do the task that asks me to put about 10 characters in order according to what I hear. But you won't let me skip it. I agree with people below that going for the Chinese characters from the get go is not helpful to beginners.


    from this point, it goes miles too fast. the beginning of the course is splendid with lots of repeating three wprsdL hello, goodbye and good, very stimulating. i follow the courses spanish, french, german, english and russian and i really admire your system. but in this course i 'm loosing you: 1. the pronounciation of for instance si is completely different from si; 2. from one character in a sentence you proceed all of the sudden to a whole range of characters ( and yes i know i can control them with a right mouse click) the place of the words in the sentence is not comprehensible and in a month excercising 6 languages this is the first time that it becomes very discouraging because i can't finish the lessons anymore making faults all the time. Five languages big fun, but this is a big disappointment after the fantastic beginning with the greetinglesson. i understand that characters are quit diferent from letters but here you are overestimating your students far too much. I experience an extremely gap between the greetings lessons (why not 20 levels there in stead of only 5) and the numbers and names. Sorry, perhaps i will try again after the book Chineasy by Shaolan, kind regards Karel from the Netherlands


    That's true. If and when you decide to take it up again, shoot your questions here and there are many who will endeavour to give a good answer.


    quick question, what's the difference between asking "ni jiao shen me ming zi" and "ni jiao shen me"? excuse the lack of accents, I can't figure them out on this keyboard


    they mean the same thing. directly translated; "ni jiao shen me ming zi" = you are called what name? "ni jiao shen me" = you are called what?

    [deactivated user]

      Considering the fact that 什 specifically refers to "what" and 么 is the main interrogative sign (basically, the Mandarin question mark), could you also use "你名字什么" to ask for a name, as it would roughly translate to "What is your written first name?" Is 你叫什么名字 simply a colloquialism, or more formal/polite? Also, why do you include 字 in the question? Does it clarify that it wants your written name and not your spoken one, or is it simply more specific?


      I will be taking Thomas' advice to study with a more comprehensive tool, but until then can anyone please explain to me why in this sentence, 什五 (what) is placed before 名字 (name) when previous sentences were constructed differently?


      When is wū (五) used? It means 5. Do you mean me (么)? I'm not sure about the answer to your question, but perhaps they are alternative ways to say it or the sentence is slightly different. (e.g. Hey, Hi, Hello)


      Again, you're right. It depends on context and structure. I think the sentence you mean is 你的名字是什么 (your name is what), this one is 你叫什么名字 (you are called (by) what name).


      "Your is whats name," is that right or am i reading it wrong


      You (are) called (by) what name


      It's possible to leave out the name part (名字) at the end. So then it's just: You called what? Instead of: You called what name? It is odd that the hints dont show that you should use called.


      Yep it is. I answered above, its about context.


      Why sometimes shen me at the end and sometimes in the middle?


      什么 basically is like a fill in the blank. So " 你叫什么名字?" = you (你) are called (叫) what (什么) name (名字) - its not always this direct. but 什么 basically means what


      I click the symbols that the sentence suggests in order, but it's wrong. How about a breakdown of the correct translation then. Left out symbolms...but no idea what they mean or why they are used.


      Very hard to understand


      为什么 “ 你的名字是什么?” 是不好?




      but "你的名字是什么?" should be accepted, right?


      Yes, and duolingo accepts only one if the options only provide for one.


      https://www.learn-chinese.com/ev-lesson-3-what-is-your-name/ I found this to listen to, and explain, in audio, I found it helped me when I made a mistake here. I am still persevering, but found the discussion comments saying to use google to hear the correct Chinese, really helpful, today lessons have gone a little easier. Thank you.


      I use Duolingo, Drops, and Hello talk

      Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.