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aysiu
January 21st, 2006, 11:05 PM
Why can't Chinese just be simple like English?

I mean, everywhere I go people are speaking English. If I need help, I can always ask questions about English. English is taught in schools, and most of the bookstores stock books in English.

Chinese just isn't ready for ordinary people. Maybe linguists can use Chinese as a hobby language, but I mean--come on--Chinese doesn't even have an alphabet. How is Joe Sixpack going to learn Chinese? Ordinary people don't want to learn a language; they just want to use it. They want a language that "just works" out of the box.

In the past thirty years, I've had only a few small problems with English. It's almost always done what I wanted it to do. The few times I've tried to speak Chinese, though, I've just had people laugh at me. I don't want to have to take classes just to try to fix my broken Chinese.

People just need to give up already. English is here to stay and gets lots of third-party support. In fact, when I travel to other countries, they usually speak English there, too. You can't really survive traveling to other countries if you speak Chinese.

Also, Chinese just overwhelms you with the options. Do you really want to have to decide between Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and all the other local dialects? Sure, English has a few phrases that aren't shared between the British and the Americans, but at least they can understand each other. People don't like choice. They like a single language.

Chinese is just not ready for the desktop, folks. It doesn't matter if 1/6 of the world's population speaks it...

majikstreet
January 21st, 2006, 11:19 PM
ROFLMAO..

is this a joke lol?

matthew
January 21st, 2006, 11:21 PM
aysiu: one of your better ironic articles. Thanks for the pointed laugh!

xequence
January 22nd, 2006, 06:15 PM
Ya, Da Chinse Languge Ddnt Dtct Ma Hurdware, I Hed To Go 2 Da Xorg Config An Do Stuffz. Alsoo I Cudnt Get Da Nvida Drvrs Wurkin.

(Wow, when I type in all caps it changes it to that XP)

aysiu
January 22nd, 2006, 06:19 PM
is this a joke lol? It is. I just get so f'in tired of all these stupid "Linux is not ready for ordinary users" assertions that I needed an outlet.

Having tried a couple of times to learn Chinese (my parents' native tongue), I figured it would be a good comparison, as learning Linux is a lot like learning a new language... but easier, of course.

mstlyevil
January 22nd, 2006, 06:19 PM
Beautiful point. I think korean is even less ready for the desktop myself. :D

Iandefor
January 22nd, 2006, 09:17 PM
lol... I like it. Good job, Aysiu!

fuscia
January 22nd, 2006, 10:19 PM
Beautiful point. I think korean is even less ready for the desktop myself. :D

like netbsd?

aysiu, you do realize there are some people who would completely agree with what you wrote, don't you?

nice work, btw.

Vlammetje
January 22nd, 2006, 10:44 PM
Hilarious! :D

aysiu
January 22nd, 2006, 10:52 PM
aysiu, you do realize there are some people who would completely agree with what you wrote, don't you? Well, those people I don't think will ever switch to Linux, anyway... and at least they're not hypocrites.

matthew
January 22nd, 2006, 11:10 PM
aysiu, you do realize there are some people who would completely agree with what you wrote, don't you? This is generally true of good satire. Besides, inside jokes are always funnier, aren't they?

ubuntu27
January 22nd, 2006, 11:20 PM
Uff! I almost start a flame trying to defend the Chinese Language. :D [But, thank goodness I didn't :P ]

I though you were serious.

fuscia
January 23rd, 2006, 11:46 PM
This is generally true of good satire. Besides, inside jokes are always funnier, aren't they?

what inside joke?

Tails
January 24th, 2006, 12:12 AM
lmao... ya... Chinese is far more difficult to learn than English... lol I have been living in Hong Kong for 14 yrs.. and then come to UK for 7 yrs now... i almost forgot how to write chinese words.... lol... even my spoken cantonese just getting poor... XD

mohapi
January 24th, 2006, 02:50 AM
:mrgreen:

edit: I see that my posts are still appearing out of order in the thread. That's good. I like that. It reinforces my belief that everything I say should have been said a few minutes earlier, and is more important than what I was thinking just now. I think.

:D

matthew
January 24th, 2006, 05:19 AM
what inside joke?I was going to respond by discussing the metaphoric use of Chinese Language as a means of discussing poor attitudes lack of desire to work preventing people who would rather complain from actually learning how to use their OS of choice...but that would be pedantic and you obviously know that. :)

Instead I will refer to the TV series Firefly in the episode titled "Mrs. Reynolds" where Mal refers to "Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh laa-doo-tze." (The explosive diarrhea of an elephant.)

Extra points for anyone who figures out what that means.

TetsuoTW
June 27th, 2006, 05:02 AM
Instead I will refer to the TV series Firefly in the episode titled "Mrs. Reynolds" where Mal refers to "Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh laa-doo-tze." (The explosive diarrhea of an elephant.)
OK I speak Chinese - Mandarin at that - and now I understand why so many Chinese speakers were frustrated/irritated/utterly bemused by Firefly.

Daxiang baozhashi de laduzi? ME FAIL CHINESE? THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE!

GuitarHero
June 27th, 2006, 05:12 AM
Clever

Ob1
June 27th, 2006, 06:25 AM
good one,

but there really is no language problem, or there will be less of it, Chinese people have developed a great interest in the English language and they consider it useful since it's used in all commercial and international-related things.

And it is taught in their education system

seshomaru samma
June 27th, 2006, 09:52 AM
I personaly think English is not ready for the desktop as well
I would cancel letters C ,letter X and letter Q as well as silly combinations such as ph (use f instead) or ght (whats the point of this combination anyway?) . I would insist on all words written phoneticaly like in Spanish. Infact , why don't we cancel English all together and install Spanish as the universal language (together with Shanghainese...)

Adios
(再會)

aysiu
June 27th, 2006, 10:05 AM
Um, in case people didn't get it, this was meant to be satire.

I don't believe at all that Chinese is less "ready for the desktop" than English. That's kind of the whole point...

OrganicPanda
June 27th, 2006, 10:22 AM
lmao, very witty ... the point about the different variations was very well thought out, well done

seshomaru samma
June 27th, 2006, 11:26 AM
No worries,
my post was also an attempt at a satire
(though I really think English should get rid of X ,C and Q...)

TetsuoTW
June 27th, 2006, 12:57 PM
Actually there are at least two approved systems for romanizing Chinese. Almost all the signs here in Taiwan have both traditional Chinese and the romanized characters. Unfortunately they can't decide which of these two systems to use, so there are signs using both systems which could confuse someone without any exerience using them.I don't know what part of Taiwan you're in, but there's sod all of them in Taipei - aside from road signs - that are romanized. Plus there's way more than two approved systems; try six. And that's only recognized, named ones, never mind the fustercluck of "well it kinda sounds right" systems here. Anyway, my point wasn't the romanization - it was the fact that the Chinese is grammatically bumfarts.

And back on topic - Jesus Christ people, I think some of you need to have satire detectors installed. Are y'all usually this literal-minded in here?

tsb
June 27th, 2006, 03:43 PM
I don't know what part of Taiwan you're in, but there's sod all of them in Taipei - aside from road signs - that are romanized. Plus there's way more than two approved systems; try six. And that's only recognized, named ones, never mind the fustercluck of "well it kinda sounds right" systems here. Anyway, my point wasn't the romanization - it was the fact that the Chinese is grammatically bumfarts.

Not sure what you are trying to say in the first sentence. The government only sanctions the use of two systems AFAIK, but like I said there may be others. The "kinda sounds right" stuff must not be sanctioned. The news was full of this about a year ago. What's wrong with the grammar? Chinese is much, much simpler than English grammatically. Learning how to write it is another thing. ;)

bruce89
June 27th, 2006, 03:52 PM
Yes, English is the most complicated language in the world, it's just that (some of us) are used to it. Chinese is a lot more compicated to write down though, lots of letters to choose from.

Stormy Eyes
June 27th, 2006, 04:49 PM
aysiu, you do realize there are some people who would completely agree with what you wrote, don't you?

There are some people who would agree with Johnathan Smith's "Modest Proposal", too. On my home planet, we call such people "cat food".

sandwormblues
June 28th, 2006, 12:24 AM
fei4 hua4, ni3 shi4 ben4 dan4. if somebody needs to use ASCII to communicate in mandarin, they can easily do so. spoken mandarin is one of the easiest languages on the planet to learn. it was INVENTED to be easy to learn. outside of beijing, pretty much NOBODY speaks it as a first language... if zhou blow in xiamen can learn it by 1st grade, it had better be easy to learn.

as for written english, joe-sixpack american can barely use that anyway.

aysiu
June 28th, 2006, 12:25 AM
fei4 hua4, ni3 shi4 ben4 dan4. if somebody needs to use ASCII to communicate in mandarin, they can easily do so. spoken mandarin is one of the easiest languages on the planet to learn. it was INVENTED to be easy to learn. outside of beijing, pretty much NOBODY speaks it as a first language... if zhou blow in xiamen can learn it by 1st grade, it had better be easy to learn.

as for written english, joe-sixpack american can barely use that anyway.
I'll repeat what I said earlier. The post was intended to be satirical.

leeyee
July 11th, 2006, 10:12 AM
Well, what's an experience to read this thread while I'm a guy speak Chinese! In my opinion, Linux desktop do has gotten a better support for Chinese already, and Chinese characters work very well in my Dapper. But as all of you guys know that, English is quite a widely used language, it is then necessary to learn English for us speak "foerign languages", just for communication, or just for FUN!

In anther word, I think we Chinese speakers should also do much for opensource, to develop Chinese support for them. Just like SCIM, stardict, firefly etc.

Cheers!

benplaut
July 11th, 2006, 10:14 AM
ayisu needs some sort of special title... like

'Beloved forum writer, with wisdom beyond his years and endless patience'

anyway, nice work :)

tsb
July 11th, 2006, 11:53 AM
Well, what's an experience to read this thread while I'm a guy speak Chinese! In my opinion, Linux desktop do has gotten a better support for Chinese already, and Chinese characters work very well in my Dapper. But as all of you guys know that, English is quite a widely used language, it is then necessary to learn English for us speak "foerign languages", just for communication, or just for FUN!

In anther word, I think we Chinese speakers should also do much for opensource, to develop Chinese support for them. Just like SCIM, stardict, firefly etc.

Cheers!

I got your PM. Do you really think chinese support is better? It doesn't work right unless you change to a Chinese environment without unnecessary configuring. Try SCIM in an Englih enviroment. The fonts are also poor IMO, and it makes the English fonts look worse as well. My wife thinks so, too. SUSE has some nice rendering IMO, but it's still not as nice as Windows for Chinese characters. I'm no technical expert, but what's so hard about having nice looking fonts and an easy to use and configure multi-language environment? Are there so few options available? I'd glady pay for some Windows quality font rendering.

leeyee
July 11th, 2006, 01:02 PM
Well, I can give you a warranty, it does! I think you can ask your wife to try this (http://wiki.ubuntu.org.cn/%E5%BF%AB%E9%80%9F%E8%AE%BE%E7%BD%AE%E6%8C%87%E5%8 D%97/DapperDrake) if she want a English enviroment but a Chinese support of inputting and fonts displaying. And I assume that she can understand simplified Chinese well.
Good luck!

Karma_Police
July 11th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Having tried a couple of times to learn Chinese (my parents' native tongue), I figured it would be a good comparison, as learning Linux is a lot like learning a new language... but easier, of course.

This is offtopic but...
"China launched a Web site, www.linese.com (http://www.linese.com/), on Saturday offering free Chinese lessons and materials to promote the study and use of the language abroad."

Seen here: http://digg.com/tech_news/Want_to_learn_Chinese%2C_China_wants_to_teach_you

It's the Chinese language equivalent of Ubuntu... Chinese language for the people. :p

shrimphead
July 11th, 2006, 01:52 PM
thanks Aysiu, that is possibly the funniest thing I've read all week

Miguel
July 11th, 2006, 04:52 PM
I suppose then Spanish is the NetBSD equivalent in languages, since it "runs" natively in so many different countries. :cool:

BTW: We can talk about windows being ready for the Desktop when you can do high performance computing in windows. No hassle-free HPC? No decent terminal? No gui-less session? No windows. It's easy, for some people, the applications offered in windows simply don't cut it.

AlanRogers
May 10th, 2007, 05:09 PM
After the stupidity and bigotry in a parallel thread earlier today, this put a very welcome smile on my face, thanks. Shame that so many couldn't see it for the satirical release that it was.

karellen
May 10th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Why can't Chinese just be simple like English?

I mean, everywhere I go people are speaking English. If I need help, I can always ask questions about English. English is taught in schools, and most of the bookstores stock books in English.

Chinese just isn't ready for ordinary people. Maybe linguists can use Chinese as a hobby language, but I mean--come on--Chinese doesn't even have an alphabet. How is Joe Sixpack going to learn Chinese? Ordinary people don't want to learn a language; they just want to use it. They want a language that "just works" out of the box.

In the past thirty years, I've had only a few small problems with English. It's almost always done what I wanted it to do. The few times I've tried to speak Chinese, though, I've just had people laugh at me. I don't want to have to take classes just to try to fix my broken Chinese.

People just need to give up already. English is here to stay and gets lots of third-party support. In fact, when I travel to other countries, they usually speak English there, too. You can't really survive traveling to other countries if you speak Chinese.

Also, Chinese just overwhelms you with the options. Do you really want to have to decide between Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and all the other local dialects? Sure, English has a few phrases that aren't shared between the British and the Americans, but at least they can understand each other. People don't like choice. They like a single language.

Chinese is just not ready for the desktop, folks. It doesn't matter if 1/6 of the world's population speaks it...

briliant :)
I like your style

nightfire117
May 19th, 2007, 01:45 PM
Haha, great job Aysiu. Very clever. "It doesn't matter if 1/6 of the world's population speaks Hehe, nice.

~Nightfire

Tundro Walker
May 19th, 2007, 01:56 PM
So is "talk to the hand" the English equivalent of BSOD?

Tundro Walker
May 19th, 2007, 02:12 PM
Holy crap. Ayisu's just come up with the next big fad since "all your base". Anytime someone writes an article bashing Linux...just replace the word "Linux" with "Chinese".

Let's try it, shall we?



Is Chinese Difficult to Use?
Introduction
http://linuxplanet.com/graphics/fill/clear.gif
James Andrews (jandrews@mydesktop.com)
Saturday, May 29, 1999 01:36:47 PM
This is a frequently asked question about Chinese. Perhaps because most people have heard that Chinese is similar to Japanese. Japanese has an image problem. Many people only know Japanese as something tedious they came across at college. Other people think of it as something used by scientists and run on powerful but expensive workstations. However, in several important ways Chinese is not like Japanese. Chinese runs on personal computers. This means that it is suitable for and aimed at a wider base of users than Japanese. As well as the hardware, the applications software for Chinese is developed with a different market in mind. You, the user, are the target for Chinese software and not an abstract set of development goals.

Another concern with Chinese is that it is not like the old operating system you are used to. Yes, Chinese is not German or English. But there are similarities in addition to differences. All modern operating systems support software to run a 'English Icons, Mouse, Pull-down menus' or EIMP graphical user interface. Chinese is no exception. Using a Window Manager under Chinese is, in essence, no different to the desktop on other operating systems.Legend...
Chinese = Linux
Japanese = Unix
German = MacOS
English = Windows

Here's the original article (http://linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/205/1/).

Tanoku
May 19th, 2007, 02:34 PM
That last article didn't make much sense to me. :p

You may want to replace "operating system" with language.

Tundro Walker
May 19th, 2007, 02:54 PM
That last article didn't make much sense to me. :razz:

You may want to replace "operating system" with language.

Use your imagination...lol

I've actually been reading some Linux vs. Windows "flame war" sites, and they take on a whole different perspective when you make it Chinese vs. English.... Talk about racist! LOL!

ncappel1
May 27th, 2007, 02:21 PM
There are some people who would agree with Johnathan Smith's "Modest Proposal", too. On my home planet, we call such people "cat food".

I believe that you mean Jonathan Swift. I got a link, it is this you're referencing, correct?
http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

haha good one

hyperair
September 12th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Good one, aysiu. Bananas for the win ;)

tuskenraider
April 28th, 2008, 10:02 PM
So effing funny!!!!!!!! and so true about the "linux will never be ready for ordinary users" people...

*whats that you have a better way of doing things?? no no no uncle Bill wouldn't approve of me learning a new non-M$ way of doing things!!*


your computer has no brain - use your own !

myusername
April 29th, 2008, 03:46 AM
actually i think german should be used as the international language...its the only language i know of that actually spells stuf like it sounds

but what do i know im just a kid from alabama

Kingsley
April 29th, 2008, 04:03 AM
actually i think german should be used as the international language...its the only language i know of that actually spells stuf like it sounds

but what do i know im just a kid from alabama

I love the German language, but no thanks. I'd rather not deal with saying or spelling long German words every day, ie. "Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung" for "speed limit." Of course that example is kinda extreme, but a lot of their words are quite lengthy.

myusername
April 29th, 2008, 04:04 AM
that is true

chineselearner
July 15th, 2008, 05:31 PM
In addition to that german is so hard to pronounce.

Masoris
July 15th, 2008, 05:56 PM
What is point of this joke?
This: http://www.trigeminal.com/samples/provincial.html
Or this?: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SCIM

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 06:02 PM
ROFL


What is point of this joke?
This: http://www.trigeminal.com/samples/provincial.html
Or this?: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SCIM
It is meant to show that the phrase "Linux is not ready for the desktop" is quite lame.

clanky
July 15th, 2008, 06:50 PM
Aysiu,

Did you ever learn to speak Chinese?

aysiu
July 15th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Aysiu,

Did you ever learn to speak Chinese?
I have taken a smattering of classes in both Cantonese and Mandarin, but I don't know enough to carry on a conversation in either dialect.

clanky
July 15th, 2008, 07:20 PM
And that is many people's experience of Linux, a lot of people know how to do the basics, but without constant support would be unable to keep their Linux systems working.

Joshuwa
July 15th, 2008, 07:26 PM
Let's not forget that the majority of computer users sit down at their PC to get work done, not to learn.

Perhaps there is flaw in that scenario, but it is the way it is.

As a Linux user, I enjoy using Linux because it fits my needs.

But does that mean it fits my neighbors needs? Or that if it doesn't, his needs should be altered so that it does?

Of course not.

Linux is ready for *some* desktops, but it isn't ready for everyone's desktop.

The statement that 'Linux is not ready for the desktop' is not only true, it is also not the problem; the problem with that statement is the idea that it should be true.

Linux does not have to be "ready" for the desktop, nor does it need the approval of the blogosphere for me to enjoy it.

If it bothers you when others say Linux is not ready for the desktop, perhaps you should consider why you are using it.

clanky
July 15th, 2008, 07:51 PM
I think that is a very fair point.

I use started using linux at home because I work on a ship where all the navigational systems run on linux computers and I wanted to learn a little bit about them, I carried on using it because I enjoy learning new things and I actually quite like the system, but I can't see the point in getting upset because other people prefer windows.

Canis familiaris
July 15th, 2008, 07:59 PM
As A Linux User, I Enjoy Using Linux Because It Fits My Needs.

+1

Dharmachakra
July 15th, 2008, 08:07 PM
I don't understand why some people must take a light-hearted post so seriously.

cardinals_fan
July 15th, 2008, 08:13 PM
Let's not forget that the majority of computer users sit down at their PC to get work done, not to learn.

Perhaps there is flaw in that scenario, but it is the way it is.

As a Linux user, I enjoy using Linux because it fits my needs.

But does that mean it fits my neighbors needs? Or that if it doesn't, his needs should be altered so that it does?

Of course not.

Linux is ready for *some* desktops, but it isn't ready for everyone's desktop.

The statement that 'Linux is not ready for the desktop' is not only true, it is also not the problem; the problem with that statement is the idea that it should be true.

Linux does not have to be "ready" for the desktop, nor does it need the approval of the blogosphere for me to enjoy it.

If it bothers you when others say Linux is not ready for the desktop, perhaps you should consider why you are using it.
Thank you for that well worded argument. The next time I see a "Linux isn't ready" post, I'm linking to this.

endafy
July 22nd, 2008, 10:30 AM
私は中国語を愛する。 それは非常にすばらしい言語である!

Sugz
July 22nd, 2008, 11:07 AM
^ English only board mate
Oh and hmmmm i think ill stick to english, when i have finished my degree and am satisfied that i have the knowledge to get myself a fulfilling job, then ill consider learning another language.
I think chinese is a huge step in terms of contrast between english and other international languages.
Other languages use alphabetic characters. Even Greek and russian i am able to find out the sound of their words quite easily.
But chinese i can imagine a complete mind boggling pile of symbols, rules, alternative meanings. Aaah too much for my mind to comprehend, especially at this stage of my life

endafy
July 23rd, 2008, 01:55 AM
Sorry it was Japanese saying how good Chinese is... lol I forgot to mention that...

ghindo
July 23rd, 2008, 02:16 AM
I don't understand why some people must take a light-hearted post so seriously.I don't understand why some people are bumping a thread from 2006

Dharmachakra
July 23rd, 2008, 02:53 AM
I don't understand why some people are bumping a thread from 2006

Bumping isn't always a bad thing. The "readiness" of Linux, in particular, is a constant arguement for many.

Masoris
July 23rd, 2008, 06:32 AM
私は中国語を愛する。 それは非常にすばらしい言語である!

Why do you think so?

Canis familiaris
July 23rd, 2008, 06:39 AM
私は中国語を愛する。 それは非常にすばらしい言語である!
पता नहीं आप क्या बोल रहे है.

ubuntu27
July 23rd, 2008, 06:50 AM
Why can't they just speak ________? (http://www.trigeminal.com/samples/provincial.html)

Must Everyone Speak English? (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/11/02/opinion/garver/main1002905.shtml)

angry_johnnie
July 23rd, 2008, 07:22 AM
Maybe we should have a new subforum, called "Aysiu's Greatest Hits." :p
It's a lot of fun to read some of this stuff. It never gets old. :-)

Masoris
July 23rd, 2008, 07:39 AM
पता नहीं आप क्या बोल रहे है.

Me too.

ubuntu27
July 23rd, 2008, 07:32 PM
Maybe we should have a new subforum, called "Aysiu's Greatest Hits." :p
It's a lot of fun to read some of this stuff. It never gets old. :-)

I vote for that!

Its so great to have an English teacher (Aysiu) here among us :)

afeasfaerw23231233
October 31st, 2008, 07:52 PM
It recalls me an article of wikipedia I recently read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilingual#Definition_of_.22language.22


Definition of "language"
In addition there is no clear definition of what "one language" means. For instance the Scandinavian languages are so similar that many of the native speakers understand all of them without much trouble. This means that a speaker of Danish, Norwegian or Swedish can easily get his count up to 3 languages. On the other hand, the differences between variants of Chinese, like Cantonese and Mandarin, are so big that intensive studies are needed for a speaker of one of them to learn even to understand a different one correctly. A person who has learned to speak five Chinese dialects perfectly is quite accomplished, but his "count" would still be only one language.

As another example, a person who has learnt five different languages like French, Spanish, Romanian, Italian and Portuguese, all belonging to the closely related group of Romance languages, has accomplished something less difficult than a person who has learnt Hebrew, Standard Mandarin, Finnish, Navajo and Welsh, of which none is remotely related to another.


For a new beginner I don't think you should learn Cantonese and Mandarin simultaneously. Cantonese, just like many dialects of spoken Chinese (Wu, Min, Hakka, etc..) are very difficult to speak. I of course don't find any difficulties as Cantonese is my mother language. But if someone wants to learn Chinese, I would suggest him learning Standard Mandarin first. As you know Chinese are composed of characters, you could never figure out how to pronounce them by just looking at them. And I think one of the greatest differences between English and Chinese in pronunciation is that Chinese uses "tones" to distinguish the words, for example, Mandarin has five tones and Cantonese even has nine tones. But English has no tones at all! New learners of Chinese (especially Cantonese) would usually mixed the tones up. When we say "YES" in English, our tones will be different according to the situation,
Yes. (to confirm something)
Yes! (exited!)
Yes? (with curiosity)
...
However we can't do this when speaking Chinese. Different tones mean different characters. If the tones of Cantonese are messed up then it would sound very funny and stupid! (but the classmates shouldn't laugh at you) The "stress" in spoken Chinese work differently from English.
As the same as other languages, many learners cannot pronounce some initial consonants such as "ts" or "tʃ", but that doesn't matter, just like many Eastern Asian cannot pronounce the Spanish rr and French r. Most people would understand though the word is not pronounce correctly. But wrong intonation is serious.

Writing Chinese is also very different from English as the character is a logograph. The only thing to do is learning and reciting them by heart (plus some imagination -- not a joke). Most chinese dictionaries have radical index and table, it should help you to remember the characters more easily. Although there are some books talking about the history and architectures of forming the characters, they are all boring literature stuff (I had to read them because of the exams, yuk) and I don't think they would help.

Though many people think Chinese is lousy, but there is a great benefit that Chinese only have one written form, and the grammar of the written chinese is the same everywhere(unless you want to study the classical literature too - yeah, that's a must for we chinese students :( ). If you bring a newsprint from Beijing to a person who only speak a dialect -- say Cantonese, Taiwanese or Hakka, whatsover -- I am 99% sure that he could read it, unless he's an illiteracy.
If you have to decide between Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese or all the other local dialects, then you should go for Mandarin as most Chinese people speak it. Also, Mandarin is easier. Cantonese is more difficult than it. It is not uncommon for Chinese people who only speak their own dialect but are able to understand it perfectly (maybe even able to speak a little) what a Mandarinian said. Personally I don't speak Mandarin very fluently but I know exactly what the others say. Yes there are too many dialects in Chinese and many of them are not mutually intelligible. I only speak a few dialects. Believe it or not, most dialects of Chinese are not writtenable! That means you can speak Cantonese but can never write Cantonese! There is no Cantonese characters! So it makes learning Cantonese even more difficult. But if you are interesting in learning dialects, i'd recommend Cantonese as it is the second-most spoken Chinese if i recall well.

For the traditional and simplified Chinese characters issue, actually they are just the same unless the simplified one have fewer strokes. No one ever teach me the simplified one but i learnt it "automatically" after reading a literature book ordered from the mainland China (yep, they were cheaper). Don't being scared by the names and think that they're two completely different things.

Sorry for such a boring post and bad English. Hope it helps.

P.S. How long have you learnt Chinese?

Phreaker
October 31st, 2008, 08:08 PM
All hail the Slavic languages!

chineselearner
November 7th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Many people make mistake while referring to Chinese language.

There is no such language as Chinese. There is either Cantonese Chinese which is a pure form of traditional Chinese, or Mandarin Chinese which is a modern form of traditional Chinese. :guitar:

Mandarin Chinese is far much easier to learn as compared to the traditional Chinese or Cantonese Chinese.

Jay_Bee
November 7th, 2008, 01:28 PM
So... Ubuntu is Chinese for human beings? :confused:

samh785
October 27th, 2009, 04:45 AM
No worries,
my post was also an attempt at a satire
(though I really think English should get rid of X ,C and Q...)
b..b...but those are my favorite letters... :sad:

Edit: Sorry for the necromancy, I didn't see that this was an old thread :(

CJ Master
October 27th, 2009, 04:51 AM
If a mod locks this thread I will burn them. WITH FIREEEEEE.

Loved the joke, I too don't care for the "not ready for desktop" threads.

cariboo
October 27th, 2009, 04:58 AM
Just for that :) this thread is closed.