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  1. #1

    Default Conversational Chinese, A Guide for Dummies

    The idea of this thread came from a few sources. Previously, when I was bored and no one would join my groups, I would list in my LFMs "Come learn to speak to a farmer!". Recently, I also participated in one server thread where people were asking if there was any "unofficial" thread. The result it this!

    Before I begin, some self introduction. I'm Chinese by race, Singaporean by nationality. Singapore is a small sunny island state situated at the tip of the Malaysian Pennisular. Population is approximately 60% Chinese, 22% Malay, 12% Indian and 6% Others. English is our first language and we also learn our mother tongue, which in my case, Mandarin.

    As many people have problems with the pronunciation, Mandarin characters are taught using Hanyu Pinyin. It is sort of a direct translation of phonetics in English. However, there is a slight difference. In the English phonetics, there is usually a set to represent a particular sound, but in Hanyu Pinyin, there are four. We have what we call "sounds" for each. Sound come in 4 varieties which we represent using -, /, \/ and \. These symbols are usually placed on top of the vowel. However, it is difficult to put them in text and in some books, usually represented by (1), (2), (3) and (4) respectively.

    The "-" sound or the first sound is to pronounce the word without variation in tone. The "/" sound or the second sound is to pronounce it with an increaing pitch. For "\/" or the third sound, the pitch drops slightly then picks up. And the "\" or the fourth sound is a short downward tone with a sharp cutoff.

    Take the word "pin" for example. pin(1) can signify the word to represent "fight". pin(2) can signify the word to represent "piece together". pin(3) can signify the word to represent "bottle". Last but not lease, pin(4) can signify the word to represent "hire". This is not the end yet for there can be many words with the same Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation. In addition, the same word cand also have a few pronunciation.

    Have fun with this guide and hope this helps people communicate better.

    Lesson 1 - Greetings/Introductions (DDO style)

    Ni(2) Hao(3) - ni = you, hao = good, meaning "how are you?"

    Ni(2) Shi(4) Na(3) Li(3) Ren(2) - shi = yes, na = there, li = in, ren = person, meaning "where are you from?"

    Wo(3) Lai(2) Zhi(4) Mei(3) Guo(2) - wo = me, lai = come, zhi = from, mei = beautiful, guo = country, meaning "I'm from America"

    Ni(2) Hui(4) Jiang(3) Ying(1) Yu(3) Ma(1) - hui = will, jiang = speak, ying yu = english, ma = ending for question "do you speak English?"

    Ni(2) Zai(4) Na(3) Li(3) - zai = at, meaning "where are you?"

    Wo(3) Men(2) Zai(4) <insert quest name> - men = group, meaning "we are at <insert quest name>"

    Lesson 2: Conversations with a Plat Seller

    dui(4) bu(4) qi(3) - dui = right, bu = no, qi = up, meaning "sorry"

    wo(3) bu(4) yao(4) mai(3) jin(1) - yao = want, mai = buy, jin = gold, meaning "i do not want to buy gold/plat"

    qing(3) ni(3) bu(4) yao(4) shao(1) rao(3) wo(3) - qing = please, shao rao = harass, meaning "please do not harass me"

    ni(3) zai(4) zhe(4) yiang(4) wo(3) ke(3) yao(4) kao(4) ni(3) - zhe = this, yiang = thing, ke = will, kao = sue, meaning "if you continue do it, i'll will sue you"

    qing(3) ni(3) xiang(4) ning(3) mu(3) qin(1) wen(4) hao(3) - xiang = towards, ning = your, mu = female, qin = relative, wen = ask, meaning "please say hi to your mother for me"

    Lesson 3: Simple Pronunciations

    In hanyu pinyin, each pronunciation is actually made up of two parts. Its similar to English.

    English example:

    oe when combined with f gives foe and with t give toe, both have similar endings but the "front" sound is different.

    In hanyu pinyin, it is the same.

    Common endings:

    a - "ah" (English equivalent of pronunciation), i - "e", u - "oo", e - "eh", o - "oar"

    Common starts:
    s - "ser", k - "ker", n - "ner", m - "mer", t - "ter" (note: the "er" is silent)

    Example:
    ma = mer+ah, pronounced as "mah"

    ni = ner+e, pronounced as "nee"

    ku = ker+oo, pronounced as "koo"

    so = ser+oar, pronounced as "soar"

    te = ter+eh, pronounced as "teh"

    Lesson 4: Greetings (in general)

    zao(3) an(1): zao = early, an = safe, meaning "good morning"

    wu(3) an(1): wu = noon, meaning "good afternoon"

    wan(3) an(1): wan = late, meaning "good night"

    ni(3) chi(1) bao(3) le(4) ma(1): chi = eat, bao = full, meaning "have you eaten?"

    xin(4) hui(4): "pleased to" (usually, xin hui xin hui is used to mean "pleased to meet you")

    hen(3) gao(1) xing(4) ren(4) shi(4) ni(3): hen = very, gao = high, xing = happy, ren shi = know, meaning "pleased to meet you"

    ni(3) hia(2) hao(3) ba(4): hai = are, ba = question ending, meaning "are you well?"

    Lesson 5: Salutations

    xie(4) xie(4): xie = thanks, meaning "thank you"

    ni(3) gan(4) de(4) hen(3) hao(3): dan = did, meaning "you did very well"

    zai(4) jian(4): zai = again, jian = see, meaning "see you again"

    gong(1) xi(3) ni(3): gong xi = congratulations, meaning "grats to you"

    xia(4) chi(4) zai(4) yi(4) qi(2) you(3) xi(4): xia = down, chi = attempt, yi qi = again, you xi = game, meaning "we'll party again the next time we meet"
    Last edited by Aranticus; 06-30-2008 at 10:24 PM.
    If you want to know why...

  2. #2

    Default mp3s pls

    Give us some MP3 files to go with your examples....both correct and incorrect pronunciations.

  3. #3
    Community Member Samadhi's Avatar
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    Default

    Bah - give us profanity!!
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  4. #4
    Community Member Bronko's Avatar
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    Default Mandarin vs. Cantonese

    Very interesting thread.

    I'd chat with you for practice but my Mandarin sucks. If you want to swap for Cantonese lessons I'm all game.
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  5. #5
    Community Member Caelan's Avatar
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    Default

    can we go more simply?

    Stop

    Go

    Gather

    buffs

    heal

    block

    loot

    wait

    can't think of others... but those would be way more useful than "where are you from" because if i'm asking it and they don't respond, or respond in a language i don't recognize, the answer doesn't really matter. i actually have a set of mandarin chinese flash cards for kids to learn and they use the same system for roman spelling and pronunciation keys. i figure if grade-schoolers can learn this stuff, then DDO gamers who have memorized maps, puzzles, strategies, dps algorithms, ritual recipes, and countless other inane things for this game should be able to learn at least a handful of commands.

    oh yeah... and thanks! good thread idea.
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  6. #6
    Founder Dariuss's Avatar
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    Default

    hmm... cool though

    i appreciate your efforts here... i've seen (too often, actually) people treated poorly in gorups because of a simple lack of communication ability

    i don't know how much help this thread will do, but i wish it the best of luck...

    i will say this: foreign != dumb
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  7. #7
    Founder Kindoki's Avatar
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    Default

    Great thread idea. I have a pimsleur cd set that has been collecting dust that I have been meaning to bring out again. One of the great failings of the US is our lack of secondary languages - and Chinese is right up there with Spanish in usefulness. Even a few DDO words is better than nothing!

  8. #8
    Community Member honkuimushi's Avatar
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    Maybe not entirely on topic, but I had a question about mei(3).

    The first time I encountered it was when a panda was born at the San Diego Zoo and it was named Hua Mei, or China- USA. Now a few years later I gained some experience with Japanese and noticed that the old name for the U.S. was bei-koku (米国.) This bei is still used in terms like bei-gun(米軍-U.S. Armed Forces), and nichi-bei taiketsu (日米対決- U.S. vs Japan match.) But this bei, also pronounced mai, means (uncooked) rice. I had believed that bei and mei used the same character. Am I wrong, or was there a change in meaning when the Japanese adopted the charater? 美 (mi) is the character that is generally used for beauty in Japan, but there are no associations with the U.S. as far as I know. Sorry for the hijack, I just wanted to clarify my understanding.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by honkuimushi View Post
    Maybe not entirely on topic, but I had a question about mei(3).

    The first time I encountered it was when a panda was born at the San Diego Zoo and it was named Hua Mei, or China- USA. Now a few years later I gained some experience with Japanese and noticed that the old name for the U.S. was bei-koku (米国.) This bei is still used in terms like bei-gun(米軍-U.S. Armed Forces), and nichi-bei taiketsu (日米対決- U.S. vs Japan match.) But this bei, also pronounced mai, means (uncooked) rice. I had believed that bei and mei used the same character. Am I wrong, or was there a change in meaning when the Japanese adopted the charater? 美 (mi) is the character that is generally used for beauty in Japan, but there are no associations with the U.S. as far as I know. Sorry for the hijack, I just wanted to clarify my understanding.
    as far as i know, the official chinese name for US is mei guo 美国. the old name 米国 is commonly used as 美 in a chinese dialect is pronounced as 米 (bee (note: dialect, not hanyu pinyin). as for the japanese name, that i'm not too sure
    If you want to know why...

  10. #10

    Default

    Lesson 2: Conversations with a Plat Seller

    dui(4) bu(4) qi(3) - dui = right, bu = no, qi = up, meaning "sorry"

    wo(3) bu(4) yao(4) mai(3) jin(1) - yao = want, mai = buy, jin = gold, meaning "i do not want to buy gold/plat"

    qing(3) ni(3) bu(4) yao(4) shao(1) rao(3) wo(3) - qing = please, shao rao = harass, meaning "please do not harass me"

    ni(3) zai(4) zhe(4) yiang(4) wo(3) ke(3) yao(4) kao(4) ni(3) - zhe = this, yiang = thing, ke = will, kao = sue, meaning "if you continue do it, i'll will sue you"

    qing(3) ni(3) xiang(4) ning(3) mu(3) qin(1) wen(4) hao(3) - xiang = towards, ning = your, mu = female, qin = relative, wen = ask, meaning "please say hi to your mother for me"
    Last edited by Aranticus; 06-16-2008 at 04:57 AM.
    If you want to know why...

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronko View Post
    Very interesting thread.

    I'd chat with you for practice but my Mandarin sucks. If you want to swap for Cantonese lessons I'm all game.
    heh, i can speak cantonese and hokkien too
    If you want to know why...

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelan View Post
    can we go more simply?

    Stop ting(4)

    Go chi(4)

    Gather ju(4) he(3)

    buffs no chinese version but can be loosely translated as zhen(1) tian(1) yu(4) fang(3) mo(2) shu(4) (add defensive magics)

    heal hui(1) fu(4) (restore) sheng(1) ming(4) (life)

    block ding(3)

    loot bao(3) wu(4) (treasure)

    wait deng(3)

    can't think of others... but those would be way more useful than "where are you from" because if i'm asking it and they don't respond, or respond in a language i don't recognize, the answer doesn't really matter. i actually have a set of mandarin chinese flash cards for kids to learn and they use the same system for roman spelling and pronunciation keys. i figure if grade-schoolers can learn this stuff, then DDO gamers who have memorized maps, puzzles, strategies, dps algorithms, ritual recipes, and countless other inane things for this game should be able to learn at least a handful of commands.

    oh yeah... and thanks! good thread idea.
    answers
    If you want to know why...

  13. #13
    Community Member TheMerc's Avatar
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    Don't suppose anyone know's Korean and could teach some words to a newbie? I'm over on Ghallanda, and I think it'd be cool to be able to converse a little more with some people I've played with over there, they've generally made an effort to speak the basics, figure I could learn some as well.

  14. #14
    Community Member KiwiJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aranticus View Post
    The idea of this thread came from a few sources. Previously, when I was bored and no one would join my groups, I would list in my LFMs "Come learn to speak to a farmer!". Recently, I also participated in one server thread where people were asking if there was any "unofficial" thread. The result it this!

    Before I begin, some self introduction. I'm Chinese by race, Singaporean by nationality. Singapore is a small sunny island state situated at the tip of the Malaysian Pennisular. Population is approximately 60% Chinese, 22% Malay, 12% Indian and 6% Others. English is our first language and we also learn our mother tongue, which in my case, Mandarin.

    As many people have problems with the pronunciation, Mandarin characters are taught using Hanyu Pinyin. It is sort of a direct translation of phonetics in English. However, there is a slight difference. In the English phonetics, there is usually a set to represent a particular sound, but in Hanyu Pinyin, there are four. We have what we call "sounds" for each. Sound come in 4 varieties which we represent using -, /, \/ and \. These symbols are usually placed on top of the vowel. However, it is difficult to put them in text and in some books, usually represented by (1), (2), (3) and (4) respectively.

    The "-" sound or the first sound is to pronounce the word without variation in tone. The "/" sound or the second sound is to pronounce it with an increaing pitch. For "\/" or the third sound, the pitch drops slightly then picks up. And the "\" or the fourth sound is a short downward tone with a sharp cutoff.

    Take the word "pin" for example. pin(1) can signify the word to represent "fight". pin(2) can signify the word to represent "piece together". pin(3) can signify the word to represent "bottle". Last but not lease, pin(4) can signify the word to represent "hire". This is not the end yet for there can be many words with the same Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation. In addition, the same word cand also have a few pronunciation.

    Have fun with this guide and hope this helps people communicate better.

    Lesson 1 - Greetings/Introductions (DDO style)

    Ni(2) Hao(3) - ni = you, hao = good, meaning "how are you?"

    Ni(2) Shi(4) Na(3) Li(3) Ren(2) - shi = yes, na = there, li = in, ren = person, meaning "where are you from?"

    Wo(3) Lai(2) Zhi(4) Mei(3) Guo(2) - wo = me, lai = come, zhi = from, mei = beautiful, guo = country, meaning "I'm from America"

    Ni(2) Hui(4) Jiang(3) Ying(1) Yu(3) Ma(1) - hui = will, jiang = speak, ying yu = english, ma = ending for question "do you speak English?"

    Ni(2) Zai(4) Na(3) Li(3) - zai = at, meaning "where are you?"

    Wo(3) Men(2) Zai(4) <insert quest name> - men = group, meaning "we are at <insert quest name>"
    Good God... No wonder Chinese people are so smart; everyone of average intelligence or less never figures out how to communicate and staves to death in childhood. ;/
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  15. #15
    Community Member Teech's Avatar
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    Sarlona is having an influx of chinese players (DDO China went down I believe) so I think this is a good idea.
    I would suggest, however, that players leave out that intonation (1-4) stuff because its usually quite clear what you're trying to say w/o all those numbers cluttering it up. I actually find it harder to read with the numbers. Just keep to the simple stuff.


    Quote Originally Posted by Caelan View Post

    Stop - t*ng (ting2)

    Go - qù (qu4)

    Gather - jù hé (ju4 he2)

    buffs - don't know direct translation for this. would suggest just asking them to gather (ju he). Or 'come to me' (lai wo ze bian)

    heal - yù (yu4) / yī zhì (yi1 zhi4)

    block - fáng (fang2) This also means 'defend'

    loot - bǎo wù (bao3 wu4)

    wait - děng (deng3) I prefer 'deng yi xia' (wait a while)

    Also. This one doesn't seem very easy for someone new to use, but might be helpful for those willing to explore.

    http://www.chinalanguage.com/dictionaries/ecdict/

  16. #16
    Community Member Bekki's Avatar
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    Like the Idea, Outstanding initiative.

    I love to see player's finding ways to work togther
    to make the game more enjoyable.

    My wife and oldest son are from the Philippines
    so I can truly relate this.

    I have played with several players from
    China, the Philippines, and South America.

    It was fun, key is to slow down and take your time (when you can)
    Thank you for the info, I will make it a point to practice.

    Again, outsatnding initiative.
    This thread has my vote for thread of the week!
    Last edited by Bekki; 06-19-2008 at 01:25 PM.
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  17. #17
    Community Member Kalari's Avatar
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    Cool Thread Aranticus I think it will help alot of player miscommunication. And I always like learning new things ^_^
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  18. #18
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    Going to be tough. I can't even communicate with the Canadian players ...

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  19. #19
    Community Member Caelan's Avatar
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    thanks for the translations... yeah, think i'll avoid the numbers if i can and hope the concept gets through based on context. if not, i will use voice and after they stop laughing it should be fine. my feeling is if the non-english speaking players were to see some of us un-educated single language americans making an effort, it should be pretty smooth. as it is, i've got my cheat-sheet stickied up next to my monitor.

    i do have a question... i've been noticing some LFMs with what appears to be chinese words in the notation. has any of you who do speak/read the language know if it is and if that is basically that person's way of flagging that run as a chines-speaking run?
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  20. #20
    Founder Alavatar's Avatar
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    This reminds me of a conversation I had the other day with a player from Montreal. He said that he learned how to read and write English by playing PnP D&D and now he is learning how to speak English by playing DDO. Sounds like a great lesson plan to me!
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