To Conquer Characters, Rethink Radicals
When I began learning Chinese at age twenty-one, I was encouraged to discover that every character has a "radical", a component which communicates meaning. Characters containing the "three dots", for example, denote something to do with water. River and lake , wash and rinse , and sweat and tears all contain the water radical on the left.
As a Chinese teacher, I feel like I am at war. The enemy is a voice in the back of my students' minds repeating "you can't do this." If they quit, the battle is lost.
The “New” New HSK: Suddenly So Significant
"Cataclysmic" is how I describe the impact I foresee of the recent decision of Beijing's educational establishment to allow HSK test takers to type instead of write.
"HSK" stands for hanyu shuiping kaoshi (). Beginning in 1992, the HSK tests Chinese proficiency just as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tests English proficiency. Revised in 2009, it's now called the "New HSK."
A Pinyin Opinion
I am frequently asked for advice on how to learn Chinese. My answer always includes a pitch for perfecting pinyin. (Pinyin is a system which romanizes Chinese Characters, whereby is rendered nihao.)
Seven Reasons Chinese is Becoming Easier to Learn
The study of Chinese as a second language is exploding around the globe, yet few Westerners today read, write and speak Chinese fluently. No wonder native speakers often say, with a certain satisfaction, their language is tai nan xue, "too hard to learn."