DLI - Chinese Language Course - Intermediate Course

We made using the DLI - Chinese Language Course - Intermediate Course material easier to use and more effective. You can now read the ebook (in the pane on the left), listen to the audio (pane to the right) and practice your pronunciation (use on the Pronunciation Tool tab on right) all at the same time.

The DLI - Chinese Language Course - Intermediate Course material can be used both as a self-guided course or with the assistance of a qualified Chinese tutor.

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Defense Language Institute Chinese (Mandarin) - Image Your chief concern as you start this course is learning to pronounce Chinese. The Orientation Module, which plunges you right into trying to say things in Chinese, naturally involves a certain amount of pronunciation work. This resource module is designed to supplement that work with a brief, systematic introduction to the sound system of Standard Chinese, as well as to its written representation in Pinyin romanization. The essential part of this module consists of the pronunciation and Romanization (P&R) tapes and the accompanying dis-plays and exercises in the workbook section of this module. You should work through at least the first four of these tapes, and preferably the first six, while you are studying the Orientation Module.

Following the workbook section of this module, you will find a summary of pronunciation and romanization. You might want to glance at this before starting the tapes, particularly to locate certain charts and lists which could be helpful for reference. But it would probably be better to put off studying the summary until after you have finished the tapes. The tapes are intended as an introduction, while the summary is not. For one thing, text discussions of the sounds of the language cannot equal the recorded presentations and your teacher's oral presentations. For another thing, the summary provides considerably more infor-mation than you will need or want at first.

Both the tapes and the summary contain discussions of the sounds of the language and their spellings. You may find that these discussions offer useful hints, allowing you to put your intellect to work on the problems of pronunciation and roman-ization. However, particularly in pronunciation, most of your learning must come from doing. It Is important to practice reading and writing the romanization, but it is vital to practice recognizing and producing the sounds of the language. Serious and sustained attempts to mimic, as faithfully as pos-sible, either your instructor or the speakers on the tapes will allow you to pick up unconsciously far more than you can attend to consciously.

The most important thing for you to do is to abandon the phonetic "prejudices" you have built up as a speaker of English and surrender yourself to the sounds of Chinese. Being less set than adults in their ways, children are quicker to pick up a proper accent. Try to regress to the phonetic suggestibility of childhood, however hard it is to shed the safe and comfortable rigidity and certainty of adulthood. The most your intellect can supply is a certain amount of guidance and monitoring.

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

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