Saturday, 13 July 2013
RESOURCES: 5 fascinating things I've learned about Mandarin
1. Mandarin is spoken by an incredible 885 million people! That's more than double the 400 million people who speak English.
2. If you speak both Mandarin & English, you can communicate with over half of the world's people! (Mandarin is the most widely-spoken first language in the world)
3. It's a tonal language. I did have some vague idea of this before we started learning Mandarin, but had no idea how central the tones are to the language. It's not just a few words, there is a tone to learn for almost every single character! There are 4 different tones (and one so-called 'toneless' tone) to learn.
4. The grammar is easy! After all the effort to learn the 2,000 characters you need for basic literacy, at least there is very little grammar to learn. You don't need to conjugate verbs to make tenses at all, and there is no difference between singular and plural nouns.
5. There are 2 styles of writing Mandarin, traditional and simplified (with fewer strokes per character). Luckily, the simplified version is predominantly used today in mainland China! Pin It now!