Where to start?


#1

Hi everybody,

I’m new in this forum, I wanted to introduce myself but I don’t fond an appropiate place… So, since I’m interested in language, I suppoe this is the place.
I’m reading (strating to read actually) the forum checking for info, and I think I’ll find an answer for mostr of my questions, but why not to state them here…

I’m planning to do a long trip including China and Taiwan (still not sure about “technical” issues). I’m thinking about learning some Chinese, and I’d like to ask for your gentle advices…
-Do you thnk it worths, or it’s just to difficult and nobody will appreciate?
-Mandarin Chinese would be the best choice?
-I was reading in this thread (Learning Chinese in Taiwan vs mainland China, will you get a Taiwanese accent?) that we shouldn’t worry about learning a mainland accent or Taiwan accent, do you agree?
-Could you recommend a good place to check main differences between Mainland and Taiwan Chinese?

Thanks a lot in advance!


#2

Chinese is really hard, especially (for me) the written part. Each person’s brain works in a different way though, and I know people who can easily write and read characters but speak like some bad text-to-speech program.

If you plan a long trip it may be useful to learn a minimum of basic communication skills, useful sentences and stuff like that. In some area of Taiwan the amount of people who can use English is close to 0 and I’d expect China to be the same. When I went to Qingdao I’ve only heard English from hotel staff.

North Chinese accent sounds dreadful, it’s as if they speak with a potato stuck in their mouth. South Chinese accent is more pleasant, and closer to Taiwanese accent. The written language is a bit different, traditional (in Taiwan) vs simplified (in China) Chinese.

If you only want to leArn Chinese for travelling, don’t worry too much about the accent, though


#3

Hi, thanks for answering!
Ok, so in your oppinion it’s not important the variety; that point of written (simplified vs traditional) sounds more scary. I think that siplified wii be… more simple :yum:
If you can suggest me a good place to start learning, your advice will be welcome! You know, with resources or exercices…
Also, do you think that I should start just reading and writting, or also listening and tying to talk?
Thanks again!


#4

To me, simplified is harder.

This is just my personal experience. Me and my Taiwanese coworker who manages employees before. One of them, who is from the U.K. uses simplified Chinese to communicate with us. And we both kinda hate it. We can read it but its just annoying.

And unless you’re going to spend years diving in and only use Chinese, you probably won’t develop much of a Taiwanese or Chinese accent. You’ll probably have a harder time getting rid of your own accent. The only difference might be your use of vocab and the way you say things.


#5

And unless you’re going to spend years diving in and only use Chinese, you probably won’t develop much of a Taiwanese or Chinese accent.

Yep, you’re right.

I’ll pay attention, you’re not the first to say that trad are better.