Report on finish the Chinese Treee
我的 多儿的飞机刚降落。 再见
Hello everybody. Here is my report on finishing the Chinese tree.
I) What was my motivation to study Chinese.?
I am a linguist ( at university level) and am passionate about learning languages. I have always wanted to master Chinese II) Is Chinese difficult to learn? : a) No and b) yes c) but No. Because its grammar is very simple; the tones and homophones ( reportedly complicated) are not difficult and are actually much less so than English or French Yes. Because it is has no alphabets and the only way ( historically and currently) is to know the Chinese characters. but it is not difficult to learn to speak it ( all Chinese children do ) III) What is the proficiency level in Chinese ( or any other language)? a) The highest level is when one can speak, read and write correctly at college level or higher. For Chinese these levels are defined by HSK = Hànyû Shuîpíng Kŝoshi (汉语水平考试） Level Characters Words 1 174 150 2 173 150 3 270 300 4 447 600 5 621 1300 6 978 2500 Total. 2663 5000 b) China is reported to have a 96+ % literacy level. In fact, this equates to knowing 800 characters actively ( read and write) and 1500 characters ( read and recognise) passively. IV) My appreciation of “Duolingo for English speakers”: a) Duolingo is a recent ( and rather late) arrival in very crowded segment proposing the study of the Chinese language. In doing so it is striving to emulate its success with other modern languages. Its main advantages are : it is free, it is Internet based and is a disciplined approach. b) I am sorry to say this but my main complaints are : - Most of the example sentences are dull and uninteresting; -Unfortunately, their English translations ( Duolingo is very rigid) are often unnatural ( if the Chinese Tree were reversed, namely “ English for Chinese Speakers”, with these same English sentences, they would be disastrous. Even when grammatically correct, most of them are not “normal” English sentences. - English is a language of humour and fun. They are completely absent. V) Conclusion : Learning a foreign language as an adult is always daunting. We cannot simply repeat everything ( like a child would do naturally) or be content with being taken for ignorant tourists with a serious language handicap. In my opinion, Duolingo is a good introduction and can bring us to a level of HSK 2 upon successful completion. There is a lot more to learn. But thanks nevertheless to Duolingo because : 你可以带马去喝水，但你不能让他喝水 VI) Tips and advice : It is essential to have a good dictionary on the smartphone ( there are many of varying qualities). Never give up. VII) What is the most versatile, universal, simple and complicated language ? Music. It has only 7 alphabets. Anyone can sing ( and with practice learn to read, play and write music). And it can make you happy starting with your morning shower. Wish you good luck.