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Facts about Chinese Language
Feature
Chinese language refers to the language Han Chinese speak. Han Chinese is the major ethnic group that forms about 92% of the population in China. The rest 8% ethnic minorities in China speak other languages such as Korean, Mongolian, Russian, Tibetan etc.

Like any other language, there are many dialects and variations of Chinese language. Due to the country’s vast territory and long history, the number of dialects amount to thousands and their differences are huge. Many of them are not mutually intelligible, a bit like French to Italian. Some foreign linguists think these dialects should be called different languages. Well, we have a second opinion here, as the major difference lies in pronunciation (you can imagine there are thousands of very different ways to speak every English word, just like Americans, British) and some subtle difference in choice of vocabulary (like pants in American English and trousers in British English), the grammar is almost identical and the characters are the same.

Thus, an intermediary way to speak Chinese language is a must for people from different regions of this nation to communicate with each other. That would be Standard Mandarin (often referred as just "Mandarin"), the standard form of Chinese language understood by any Chinese, used on TV, radio, school, everywhere. At MandarinRocks Chinese Language School in Shanghai, we teach you Standard Mandarin.

Standard Mandarin itself is not a language formed by nature and time. It is a mix of a number of dialects of different regions in the category of “Mandarin” and was invented by Chinese government in the 1950s and promoted nationwide since then. (How did people communicate to their countrymen before 1950s? The government through history had all people learn one dialect, the capital dialect)

That said, there is no place where Standard Mandarin is spoken as a first language and each city, even district, county must have its own dialect. Every kid is taught how to speak standard Mandarin like a second language besides their dialect, by parents or in school. You don’t have to worry about learning Chinese in a wrong city and come out with local dialect; Standard Mandarin is prevalent nationwide today due to education, mass media and increase of mobility networks within China.

Generally people living in big cities such as Shanghai speak much more standard Mandarin. We have to remind you if you had planned to learn Chinese in Beijing. It is of course possible to learn perfect Standard Mandarin in Beijing like in any other city, but most Beijing people (may include some Chinese teachers, readers on audio learning materials) are not aware of the difference of Beijing Mandarin (their dialect) and Standard Mandarin, which is easily noticeable by speakers from other cities and among those that are aware of this, many are reluctant to speak Standard Mandarin to non locals and foreigners. Speaking Beijing Mandarin is the most normal thing in Beijing but it is not so popular and well accepted anywhere else. Though similar to Standard Mandarin, many people in this nation find the Beijing Mandarin a bit phony and arrogant.

Written Chinese
In the 1950s, China started to promote simplified Chinese Characters (fewer strokes) in mainland. In the 1970s, Singapore adopted and started to use exactly the same simplified Chinese characters. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao however, still use the traditional ones up to today. The good thing is that almost all Chinese people in mainland can read traditional characters as they are still used in some formal occasions and simplified characters are getting more and more popular in Taiwan, Hong Kong and worldwide. At MandarinRocks, we teach simplified characters and we believe it is more useful and it’s the trend. One of the biggest difficulties of the Chinese language is its writing. Unless you are already familiar with Chinese characters (Japanese and Korean people), several years of study are necessary to achieve complete literacy. Chinese students learn about 3000 common characters for two to three years in primary school. That is the amount an average Chinese person masters. Compared to many European languages, Chinese grammar is relatively simple. Complicating factors, such as gender articles and distinctions between plural and singular, are almost completely absent. Conjugation rules for verbs and adjectives are almost entirely free of exceptions. These facts make the language relatively easy for starting students.
Offers you the opportunity to supplement a general Chinese group course with 10 individual lessons. Two individual lessons daily allow students to reach specific learning goals more quickly
China

MandarinRocks Teaching Methodology
Method is the crucial factor that determines how fast and how well you learn Mandarin Chinese. The teaching methods used at MandarinRocks Chinese language school in Shanghai are based on practice and communication. Students actively exercise the four fundamental functions of the language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Particular attention, however, is given to conversation, to develop in the student an increasing capacity to express himself/herself and communicate in Chinese from the very beginning of the course. Naturally this method includes the study of the rules of Chinese syntax and grammar, which are essential to language learning, but which, alone, are not sufficient for gaining a real command of the Chinese language. To make learning even more active and interactive, our teachers often take students to restaurants, shops for students to apply what they just learnt in real life. .
The school's continuing research into improved methods has resulted in the development of textbooks and teaching materials. Various authentic materials published by Chinese language experts have been carefully collected in combination with school prepared materials are used throughout the courses: video clips, radio excerpts, newspaper and magazine articles, films, songs, games, etc. These materials not only are adapted to Chinese Proficiency Test HSK but also expose the student to Chinese culture.
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MandarinRocks (Shanghai)
Tel +86 21 62550715
Fax +86 21 62883988
E-mail: info@mandarinrocks.com
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