DLI - Chinese Language Course - Advance Course
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It is the purpose of this manual, then, to introduce the English teacher to many of the ways in which Chinese and English differ fundamentally. It is hoped that the material presented here will assist the teacher in defining the problems that Chi-nese speakers are likely to have in learning English as a second language.
Furthermore, by contrasting the difference in the pat-terns and structures of the two languages, it is hoped that the teacher will be able to present his material more lucidly and effectively to the Chinese student. This manual abounds in remarks such as, "The Chinese language does not have..., Chinese students have great difficulty..., and, the Chinese speaker is liable to make errors like..." At no time are these remarks intended to be construed as critical of or condescending to the Chinese people or language. Anyone with linguistic training will know how difficult it is to compare the degree of "difficulty", "sophistication", or "logic" between any two languages. It is not because of these qualities, therefore, that English and Chinese differ, but because these languages are historically unrelated and geographically distant. A manual de-voted to the teaching of Chinese to native English speakers, then, would contain many remarks on the mistakes and difficulties that English speakers would have. it is very important, there-fore, that the teacher does not approach the problems which a Chinese student has in learning English in a critical or condes-cending manner, but rather with patience and understanding.
In this handbook we could not possibly describe the many varieties of Chinese, or even the varieties of Mandarin, which might be spoken by students of English teachers who will use this book. We have therefore couched our description in terms of com-parison of English with Standard Mandarin, the "ideal" form of the language which is taught in China and in Taiwan, as well as to foreign students of Chinese in other parts of the world. It is likely that only a small minority of Chinese students of English will speak precisely the form of Chinese described. The speech of most will vary from this norm, and for many the variation may be quite pronounced.
Chinese is a group of related but in many cases mutually unintelligible language varieties, forming a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the Han majority and many other ethnic groups in China. Nearly 1.2 billion people (around 16% of the world's population) speak some form of Chinese as their first language.
The varieties of Chinese are usually described by native speakers as dialects of a single Chinese language, but linguists note that they are as diverse as a language family. The internal diversity of Chinese has been likened to that of the Romance languages, but may be even more varied. There are between 7 and 13 main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 960 million), followed by Wu (80 million), Yue (70 million) and Min (70 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, although some, like Xiang and the Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility. All varieties of Chinese are tonal and analytic.
Chinese (Mandarin) is spoken in: China
Chinese (Mandarin) is also called: Beifang Fangyan, Guanhua, Guoyu, Hanyu, Hoton, Huayu, Hui, Hui-Zu, Hytad, Kuoyu, Mandarin, Northern Chinese, Putonghua, Qotong, Standard Chinese, Xui