Chinese Language - Mandarin
Mandarin is also known in Chinese as the Common Language. It is the language used throughout the Chinese community to bridge all dialect groups. Whether you are travelling to China for a holiday or on business, Mandarin is necessary for effective communication.
The Writing System
Chinese characters are like pictures. The basis of the traditional Chinese writing system is about 214 elements. They are often referred to as 'radicals'. These radicals are used either independently or as part of more complex characters.
Instead of looking at each character as mere haphazard squiggles, understand the principles behind each character and you will find that each character will reflect a logical system for representing words and concepts. Each new character will be a combination of familiar elements. Many students who have understood how easy this concept is, have derived immense joy from identifying characters seen around them, eg, in Chinese menus to people's tattoos!
The Chinese character has over the years gone through numerous changes. What you will be learning at Red Crane are the modern characters currently used in China and Singapore.
The Pinyin System
The Chinese language does not have an alphabet, so the Chinese adopted the pinyin system in 1958 for writing their language using the Roman alphabet. Correct pronunciation comes with exposure through listening and speaking. Associate certain Chinese sounds to English equivalents at first to help you learn. As you become more and more familiar with your pinyin, it will become easier. At Red Crane, your textbook comes with a CD, which would help you to rapidly improve your pronunciation.
"Jin ri shi, jin ri bi" which means "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.Proverb of the Month