While Mandarin Madness teaches people Mandarin Chinese based on audio and visual cues, the team at Native Tongue recognises that this isn’t the only method for learning a new language; each has its inherent advantages and disadvantages and each method will be more suited to an individual person’s learning style.
One of my favourite language-learning blogs ”Fluent in 3 Months” adopts a “language-hacking” approaching to language learning, with a fantastic guest post by Nina Yau, who writes at Castles in the Air, called learning Mandarin Chinese is easy; you just think its hard!
One of the things that Nina writes about is that tones are not limiting; in actual fact did you know that there are only 4 tones in Mandarin? Here’s a video I found that walks you through the tones and throws in some Mandarin Chinese grammar lessons for good measure.
From Nina’s article the 4 tones in Mandarin are:
Tone 1: Level Tone (ping) –> –
Tone 2: Rising Tone (shang) –> /
Tone 3: Departing Tone (qu) –> V
Tone 4: Entering/Stop-Final Tone (ru) –> \
According to Nina, “[I]f I write a sentence in pinyin (the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet) to say, ‘Hi, my name is Nina. You’re very pretty.’ I would write it as, ‘Ni3 hao3, wo3 jiao4 Nina. Ni3 hen3 piao4 liang4.’”
Not as hard as you think eh?