Author Topic: Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016  (Read 2193 times)

intotherealworld

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Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016
« on: February 12, 2016, 04:50:17 AM »
Anyone want to join me with a concrete Chinese learning goal this year?

My specific goals are to increase my vocabulary by learning at least 3 new Chinese words per day for 2016, and practice speaking twice per week with an online tutor.

An interesting fact about languages is that some words are more useful than others. The most frequent 1000 Chinese characters account for around 90% of characters used today (http://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/topchars.php)

I'm actually part of a team that made anki flashcards for this exact purpose. (Anki is an amazing free program that makes use of spaced repetition to show you your flashcards at an optimal time.) 

We based our flashcards on the HSK exam ()https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanyu_Shuiping_Kaoshi), which are THE official examination of Chinese competency.

www.ChineseAudioFlashcards.com
The HSK 1 flashcards are free :) and you can use the coupon code "MMM" to get $10 off the remaining sets if you are interested.



« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 04:55:21 AM by intotherealworld »

lifejoy

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Re: Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 04:39:10 PM »
Very cool. I don't know if I'm this ambitious but I like the idea!


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maizeman

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Re: Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 06:35:46 PM »
Good luck! A great skill to have, but I fear I'm just never going to master enough of the tones to start learning organically. My mandarin is stalled at: "ni hao", "xie xie", and "ganbei"

For those interested in that it's like to try communicating using only the 1,000 most abundant words in english, here's a tool to do that: http://splasho.com/upgoer5/

You can usually get your point across, but it often takes a fair bit of work, especially for complex ideas.

intotherealworld

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Re: Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 02:58:12 AM »
For those interested in that it's like to try communicating using only the 1,000 most abundant words in english, here's a tool to do that: http://splasho.com/upgoer5/

You can usually get your point across, but it often takes a fair bit of work, especially for complex ideas.

I completely agree. 1000 words is far from fluent. But it's a start, and it's motivational to know that there's a high return on investment for the first 1000 words.

Generally it's said that 3000-5000 words are needed to read a newspaper.

I mean, 3 words per day, 1000 words per year x 3 years? It seems well within the realm of possibility. Also throw in a few months of extra intensity if you can travel to China for some time.

I think it's something enjoyable to pursue if you have an interest in China/Chinese/Languages

I'm hoping to spend some of my post FIRE life adventuring around China :)

maizeman

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Re: Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 09:04:14 AM »
Oh yeah we're in complete agreement. My point with that link wasn't to show how little you could explain with thousand words it was to show how much you can in fact explain. It just takes a lot more work than with a larger vocabulary. Which is pretty amazing when you consider the fact that according to the Oxford English Dictionary there are approximately 170,000 words total in our language.

And it would certainly be enough that when you spend time in China you'll continue to pick up new vocabulary organically.

You and I are thinking the same way. With ten hundred words you can say most things. But with more words it is easier. Amazing how well ten hundred words work when you think that the big book of words says the total number of words is so much larger than ten hundred.

They will be enough words so that when you are in the place across the big water you can keep learning new words.

Rhoon

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Re: Learn 1000 Mandarin Chinese Words in 2016
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 09:01:03 PM »
I'm in, I just started learning mandarin to help communicate with our factory engineers. They all speak fluent or near fluent English, but it's a great opportunity to converse with natural speakers.