QUICK START GUIDE – GRAMMAR TERMS
As much as possible, we try to stay in the target language, even when explaining grammar concepts. It takes some getting used to, so to help you understand grammar lessons, here are most of the [...]
We love to talk. And we hope you do, too. And, except for the foundation classes on key Chinese grammar concepts, all classes are taught entirely in Chinese…it may seem helpful to explain things in English, but in our own experience as students, we found that bouncing back and forth between Chinese and English actually slows down your progress.
We talk a lot and to make sure you have the confidence to talk as well, we provide a series of Quick Start Guides to give you all the essential tools you need to:
By the way, we only have 2 topics for conversation – your classwork and stuff you want to talk about…if it’s important to you, you’ll remember it…
Because Chinese grammar is so different than English, we focus on key grammar concepts to provide a solid foundation for all other classwork.
If you watched our video on the Differences Between Chinese and Western Languages, then hopefully you agree that Spanish, French and other adjacent languages have a large overlap with English grammar…so, you already know many of the key grammar points for those languages.
But, while Chinese grammar isn’t as complex as English (notably, no verb conjugation), it is really different. So much so that, it’s possible to understand each word in a sentence and still not understand what the sentence means.
We’re not going to walk you through all 652 pages of the Practical Chinese Grammar for Foreigners (our Bible), but we will cover the big ankle-grabbers that are likely to create confusion if they’re not addressed up front. These are grammar concepts that:
The key concepts below will help you to make sense of Chinese:
Visual Pattern Recognition skills are the key to learning written Chinese. We’re actually working on software to specifically strengthen language-independent pattern recognition skills (LIPRS), but for the moment, we use MDBG and Pleco to practice component and compound recognition.
In our experience, once you get to the point where you can easily recognize all the components and (most) common compounds for each new character, you’ll have a much better chance of remembering that character (without all those silly mnemonics).
Instead of learning one word at a time, we look at each character in a word and then all the important words that use that character. It’s kind of like getting 10 (new vocabulary) for the price of one!
You’ll be amazed at how much faster you learn characters and vocabulary when you use this approach! You’ll see a noticeable difference in your ability to memorize characters, their meanings and their usage!
Topic-centric vocabulary simply doesn’t leverage the network nature of the Chinese language.